Walton's Game Observations – Friday – Brewers 9-6

The Cardinals lost to the Milwaukee Brewers by a 9-6 mark Friday night. In the process, Chris Carpenter may have lost his grip on the Cy Young award.

The St. Louis Cardinals were defeated by the Milwaukee Brewers by a 9-6 score at Miller Park Friday night. The Cardinals' record is now 96-59 as they lost the first of the three-game weekend series. The Cards are 3-6 in their last nine games and 10-11 for the month.

It was four C's as Chris Carpenter took on Chris Capuano. Carp was handed a four-run lead on a silver platter, but was spanked by the Brew Crew in the fifth inning. He should have departed after allowing six runs in just five innings. Instead, Tony La Russa left him in to pitch the sixth in a vain attempt to get the win. Instead, Carp allowed three more runs, perhaps losing the Cy Young in the process.

Six runs should have been enough to win. David Eckstein had two hits, two walks and scored twice. Mark Grudzielanek plated three and Hector Luna doubled home a pair.

Friday's lineup – Larry shot
Eckstein, Taguchi (cf), Pujols, Sanders, Grudzielanek, Luna (rf), Molina, Nunez and Carpenter. No lefties against Capuano. After getting another cortisone shot in his neck, Larry Walker is not expected to play this weekend. Jim Edmonds was given a night off.

Great Curt Flood story
On why he should be immortalized in Cooperstown. Hardball Times

Nothing to play for - technically
With over a week to go, the Cards have clinched the best record in the National League, meaning they own homefield advantage throughout the NLDS and NLCS.

On to the game…

Cards first – Good and bad
Eckstein led off with a walk and sprinted to first base, just like always. Albert whiffed on a high heater for the second out.

Brewers first – RISP
J.J. Hardy went the other way for a one-out double into right center. He moved up on a ground out. Carlos Lee walked with two down. Geoff Jenkins fanned for the third out.

Brewers second – Rejected!
Bill Hall led off with a single. A strikem out, throwem out double play sent him back to the bench.

Cards third – Lead taken
Nunez led off with a single of his own. Carpenter made a nice sac bunt to move Nunez up. Eckstein shot a ball past second baseman Rickie Weeks to put runners on the corners. So shot a sac fly to deep right. Jenkins threw home, as Eckstein took second. However, it took the bat out of Albert's hands, as he was walked intentionally. Sanders walked to load the bases. Grudz made Capuano pay by coaxing the third walk in a row. Cards 2-0.

Brewers third – Capuano again
Capuano doubled over Sanders' head for a leadoff double. Brady Clark bunted him over to third. That was all.

Brewers fourth – And again
With two down, Weeks and Damian Miller singled. Capuano collected both with a killer single. Six hits and two runs allowed in four innings.

Cards fifth – Grudz saves Cy
Eckstein singled again for his second hit and the Cards' third. Pujols shot a line drive off Weeks' glove to put two on with one down. A walk to Sanders loaded the bases. Grudz clutch single scored two and may have saved Carp's Cy Young. Luna doubled to deep center to allow Grudz and Sanders to stroll home. Cards 6-2.

Brewers fifth – Carp loses Cy?
Hardy led off with a single. Lyle Overbay doubled to right, putting them both in scoring position. A sac fly by Carlos Lee scored one. A double by Geoff Jenkins plated Overbay. Hall's triple closed the lead to one as Taguchi had trouble running the ball down. Hall scored on an infield out. Tie 6-6.

Cards sixth – Close, but no cigar
Eckstein led off with a walk. Albert ground into a fielders' choice, but took second on an error by Weeks. Sanders walked to load the bases, but Grudz couldn't get the win for Carp.

Brewers sixth – A bridge too far
Starting with pitch #88, Carpenter was allowed to continue in pursuit of the win. Bad idea. Really bad idea. He allowed a one-out single to Brady Clark. That was hit #11 for the Brew Crew. Hardy was hit by a pitch on a hit and run, but swung, so it was correctly called a strike and the runner had to return to first. Overbay's double cleared the bases. Cal Eldred took over with one out. Jenkins was given an intentional pass before Hall singled to drive in run #9. Brewers 9-6.

Brewers eighth – Young guys mop up
After Wainwright pitched, Tyler Johnson pitched the eighth. He allowed a hit to Overbay.

Cards ninth – Done
Closer Derrick Turnbow doesn't look like much with unruly hair and untucked uniform, but he closed out the Cards in order.

Upcoming action (times CDT)
Saturday @ Brewers: Mark Mulder vs. Gary Glover 6:05pm WB11
Sunday @ Brewers: Jeff Suppan vs. Doug Davis 1:05pm WB11
Monday: Off day
Tuesday vs. Astros: Jason Marquis vs. Roy Oswalt 8:10pm FSNM
Wednesday vs. Astros: Chris Carpenter vs. Brandon Backe 8:10pm FSNM

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


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