Walton's Game Observations – Tuesday – Cards 5-2

Rookie Anthony Reyes led the Cardinals over the Milwaukee Brewers by a 5-2 score Tuesday night.

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Brewers by a 5-2 score at Milwaukee's Miller Park Tuesday night. The Cardinals' record is now 72-41 as they took the first two of the three-game midweek series. 31 games over .500 is a new season high water mark.

On the mound, Anthony Reyes made his major league debut against Doug Davis. Reyes did not disappoint, tossing 6-1/3 innings and getting the win. He allowed just two runs on two hits and one walk, fanning five. Randy Flores and Julian Tavarez held the lead and Jason Isringhausen registered his 30th save of 2005.

Mark Grudzielanek continued his hot hitting, with two safeties, including a double, and a pair of RBI. So Taguchi also singled and doubled and scored twice. Hector Luna had two hits, a walk and an RBI. On the other side of the ledger, Mike Mahoney stranded six runners while going 0-for-4 with a strikeout and ground into a double play for good measure. His average dropped to .154.

Happy B to Matty M
Happy birthday to Matt Morris, who was born 31 years ago today in Middletown, New York.

First in class
Reyes is the first player from the Cardinals' 2003 draft class to make it to the majors. Earlier this season, reliever Brad Thompson enjoyed the same honor representing the class of 2002. Where are those other guys?

Gall gone, Skip back soon
John Gall was optioned to Memphis to make room for Anthony Reyes. On Wednesday, outfielder Skip Schumaker will be activated and Reyes sent back down.

They said it
A tasteless, but funny quip from Billy-Ball, "It appears right now that the Chicago Cubs and Gene Mauch have much in common." Too bad the main part of Billy-Ball's Tuesday report is devoted to pushing Roger Clemens over Chris Carpenter for the NL Cy Young Award.

Haren hot
Danny Haren pitched seven shutout innings to extend his winning streak to nine games as the Oakland A's defeated the Kansas City Royals Monday night. Haren is now 9-0 in his last 14 starts and the A's won each those 14 starts, tying a club record set by Chuck Dobson in 1971. Haren's last loss was on May 26.

More injury trouble in Cubbiedom
This Friday's scheduled starter for the Cubs against the Cardinals, Carlos Zambrano, left his previous start on Sunday night after three innings with a bad back. At this point, the Cubs are not sure of his status for Friday, calling him day to day.

Tuesday's lineup – who?
Eckstein, Taguchi (cf), Pujols, Grudzielanek, Seabol (3b), Rodriguez (lf), Luna (rf), Mahoney and Reyes, wearing #26. Mark Grudzielanek stepped in as cleanup hitter in place of Jim Edmonds. With that, Grudz has appeared in every spot in the batting order this season except for #8. Abraham Nunez also sat.

On to the game…

Cards first – Pujols has a Bonds moment
So Taguchi shot a double off the wall in right field for a one out double. Pujols was given an intentional pass – in the first inning, no less. The runners moved up on a wild pitch. That saved a double play and cost the Brewers a run, as Grudz grounded out for an RBI. Seabol fanned on a full-count offering to end it. Cards 1-0.

Brewers first – It's official
For the record, Reyes' first game pitch was a ball low and outside. He fanned his first batter, Brady Clark.

Cards second – Wild on the bases
With one out, Luna singled. He was balked to second, as Brewers manager Ned Yost argued vehemently enough to be tossed from the game. However, as Mahoney fanned, Luna was thrown out trying to take third base as he stumbled.

Brewers second – A bad first for Reyes
J-Rod broke slowly on Carlos Lee's fly ball as it dropped in. Lee took second on a wild pitch that Mahoney didn't handle well and moved to third on a Jenkins ground out. Bill Hall jacked a high, inside pitch way out to left. Brewers 2-1.

Cards third – Over in an instant
Eckstein singled with one out, but the inning quickly ended on a double play.

Brewers third – Double K
Reyes fanned two of the three hitters he faced.

Cards fourth – Albert on again
Albert drew a leadoff walk and took second on a strikeout and wild pitch. He was stranded.

Cards fifth – Yadi is missed
Luna drew a leadoff walk. Mahoney's bunt was poor, leading to a double play. However the Cards got a break on the play at first as Mahoney was called safe on a low throw. It didn't matter as Reyes and Eckstein were retired.

Brewers fifth – Infielders in the outfield
Luna got all spun around, but made a stretching, reaching catch of Chad Moeller's liner on the warning track in right to end the inning. Reyes has retired all 11 Milwaukee hitters since the Hall home run.

Cards sixth – Coming back
So led off with a base hit. Albert took his third free pass of the night. Grudz singled up the middle to score So and tie the game. Albert moved up to third on the play and scored on a J-Rod RBI single. Cards 3-2.

Brewers sixth – Another first doesn't hurt
Pinch hitter Wes Helms walked. It was Reyes' first. Pinch-runner Trent Durrington stole second as Mahoney's throw was offline. Reyes worked out of the jam, though.

Cards seventh – Reyes holding up
Reyes was allowed to hit for himself. He has thrown 72 pitches so far.

Brewers seventh – USC #1
After retiring the leadoff man and with lefty Geoff Jenkins coming up, Reyes was pulled for fellow Southern Cal alum Randy Flores, who collected outs two and three.

Cards eighth – Some nice padding
With one out, Grudz' ball got past Jenkins and Mark ended up at second. After a Brewer pitching change, Nunez created some breathing room with an RBI single up the middle and took second on the unsuccessful throw home. J-Rod walked and Luna's single scored Nunez. Mahoney ground into another double play. Sheesh. What a rally killer! Cards 5-2.

Brewers eighth – Tavarez time
Though he allowed a baserunner, Julian Tavarez induced a double play, facing the minimum.

Cards ninth – Albert tired?
Jason Marquis got into the act with a pinch hit single. So drew a walk. Albert ground into a double play as he dogged it between home and first. Hmm…

Brewers ninth – 44 to the mound; Brewers to the locker room
Jason Isringhausen did his thing, retiring the Brewers 1-2-3 and earning his 30th save of the season.

Upcoming action (times CDT)
Wednesday @ Brewers: Jeff Suppan vs. Ben Sheets 1:05pm FSNM
Thursday @ Cubs: Mark Mulder vs. Greg Maddux 1:20pm FSNM
Friday @ Cubs: Jason Marquis vs. Carlos Zambrano 1:20pm FSNM/WGN
Saturday @ Cubs: Chris Carpenter vs. Jerome Williams 12:15pm Big Fox
Sunday @ Cubs: Matt Morris vs. Mark Prior 7:05pm ESPN
Monday: Off day

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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