Jeff Suppan opposed Giants' ace Jason Schmidt. Schmidt spun seven shutout innings, as Suppan was betrayed by four errors from a lineup that included only two regulars. Three of the Giants runs were unearned.
Scott Seabol had an RBI, but also committed the error that opened the door for those three unearned runs. Hector Luna, who came into the game when Jim Edmonds was ejected, had two hits and two stolen bases.
Sunday's lineup – Only two real starters
Eckstein, Rodriguez (lf), Taguchi (rf), Edmonds, Seabol (3b), Mabry (1b), Nunez (2b), Diaz and Suppan. Pujols took a very rare day off. Other than Eckstein and Edmonds, the rest of the starting eight were all somewhere other than in the lineup on Opening Day.
On to the game…
Giants first – Schmidt wild
Omar Vizquel walked with one out. Second sacker Nunez started a nice 4-6-3 to end the inning. Edmonds was knocked down with a high inside pitch before he ground out. La Russa came out between innings to remind the home plate ump that Schmidt had dusted off Edmonds in San Francisco recently.
Cards first – A start
J-Rod legged out an infield single to deep short with one out. He took second on a passed ball that was scored a wild pitch. But, he didn't advance any further.
Giants second – So sloppy
Moises Alou blooped a single to right, but So misplayed it for an error as Alou took an extra base. He was stranded.
Cards second – RISP threat
Scott Seabol doubled down the left field line, but the third base ump Eric Cooper missed the call. La Russa and Oquendo argued to no avail. He fanned as did Mabry. Nunez golfed a ball into right for a single. A wild pitch sent moved Nunez into scoring position. Diaz walked. Suppan has a chance to help himself. Didn't happen.
Giants fourth – Two-out trouble
With two out, Seabol made a high throw on Moises Alou's grounder, far over Mabry's head for an error. Ray Durham followed with a single. Pedro Feliz' ground rule double to right scored Alou. Two more came home on an Edgardo Alfonzo blooper to right. So again had trouble picking up the ball, but the damage was already done. Another error, as Matheny shot a ball to Nunez, but the ball bounced off his glove. The pitcher finally made the third out on a sharply-hit ball to right. Giants 3-0.
Giants fifth – Fourth Cardinal error in five innings
Vizquel took second as Edmonds overran the ball on what should have been a single, but Nunez' throw looked to be in time to second. The same ump, Larry Young, that erred in Seabol's non-double made the call and La Russa again came out to complain. As Edmonds came in from the outfield, he and Young exchanged words and Edmonds was ejected.
Cards fifth – Errors contagious
With two outs, Alou dropped an easy fly ball by Suppan. He was stranded.
Cards sixth – Position shuffling
Luna singled for just the third hit of the day. He had come in when Edmonds was ejected, starting a chain reaction. Luna took over third, as Seabol took first. Mabry went to right and So took over in center. Luna easily stole second, but Vizquel robbed Seabol, throwing him out to end the inning.
Giants seventh – Earned run
Matheny walked leading off and Schmidt singled him to third after showing bunt. Randy Winn singled the run home. La Russa pulled Suppan from the game for Ray King, who collected two outs and yielded to Brad Thompson. Giants 4-0.
Cards seventh – Conceding defeat?
Diaz walked with two out, but Thompson was allowed to hit. Walker, Molina and Pujols remained on the bench. Thompson showed me by collecting his first major league hit. Both runners were stranded.
Cards eighth – One run
Luna singled with two outs and again stole second, although this time, it was very close. Seabol singled him home on the next pitch. Mabry whiffed to end it. Giants 4-1.
Giants ninth – Thompson time
Thompson stayed on and collected three more outs.
Cards ninth – No cigar
Nunez reached via an infield single against closer Armando Benitez. Diaz walked. Larry Walker was given a chance to pinch hit, but fanned. Pujols pinch hit next and scored Nunez with a single to left. But, So fanned on a high, hard one to end the game. Giants 4-2.
Upcoming action (times CDT)
Monday @ Pittsburgh: Mark Mulder vs. Josh Fogg 7:05pm FSNM
Tuesday @ Pittsburgh: Jason Marquis vs. Zach Duke 7:05pm FSNM
Wednesday @ Pittsburgh: Chris Carpenter vs. Kip Wells 7:05pm FSNM
Thursday @ Pittsburgh: Matt Morris vs. David Williams 7:05pm FSNM
Friday @ Washington: Jeff Suppan vs. Estaban Loaiza 7:05pm FSNM
Saturday @ Washington: Mark Mulder vs. Ryan Drese 1:15pm Big Fox
Sunday @ Washington: Jason Marquis vs. Tony Armas, Jr. 1:05pm WB11
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.