Game Observations – Fri. 6/9 – Cards 10-6

In the first of their three-game weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers, the St. Louis Cardinals came back from a 6-0 deficit to win by a 10-6 score on Friday evening at Miller Park. The Redbirds broke their three game losing streak and at least temporarily took back the NL Central lead over the Cincinnati Reds. The Cardinals' record is now 36-24.

In the first of their three-game weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers, the St. Louis Cardinals came back from a 6-0 deficit to win by a 10-6 score on Friday evening at Miller Park. The Redbirds broke their three game losing streak and at least temporarily took back the NL Central lead over the Cincinnati Reds. The Cardinals' record is now 36-24.

Mark Mulder again was a disappointment, allowing six runs in three innings. The bullpen contributed six shutout innings. Josh Hancock, the first of five relievers, picked up the win with two scoreless frames. Jason Isringhausen came in with the bases loaded and two out in the eighth and got his team out of the jam.

David Eckstein energized the offense with three hits, including a double, scoring twice and driving in two. Scott Spiezio had a key bases-loaded double for three RBI. So Taguchi, Yadier Molina and Hector Luna each had a single and an extra-base hit.

One year ago today
On June 9, 2005, the Cardinals lost the final game of their home series against the Boston Red Sox by a 4-0 score. The Cardinals had just six hits, with right fielder So Taguchi collecting two singles. Chris Carpenter was charged with the loss. He went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts.

The match-up
Mark Mulder faced Jorge De La Rosa.

The line-up
Eckstein, Taguchi, Rolen, Encarnacion, Spiezio (1B), Luna (LF), Molina, Miles and Mulder.
Back in: So Taguchi and Hector Luna. Scott Spiezio makes his first start in almost two weeks.
Out: John Rodriguez and Chris Duncan. Plus, Jim Edmonds sat, even after the day off. Not sure what to make of it, but I don't like the sound.

On to the game…

Cards first – KKblipK
On a full count, Eckstein took a called strike three leading off and disputed the call with the home plate umpire. So also fanned. Rolen singled, extending his hitting streak to 13 games before Encarnacion fanned.

Brewers first – Digging the hole again
Jeff Cirillo walked with one out. Bill Hall followed with a single up the middle. Carlos Lee made them pay, as his high fly just cleared the wall in left as it bounced off the top and over. Hector Luna leapt, but it just eluded his glove. Mulder collected the next two outs, but the start was not good. Brewers 3-0.

Cards second – Close, but no cigar
As the camera panned the dugout, two sights were prominent. Mark Mulder sat on the pines with his head buried in both hands. Head Trainer Barry Weinberg was the only man standing in the camera view. Neither was encouraging. Another strikeout looking sat Spiezio down. Hector Luna reached on a throwing error by shortstop Bill Hall. The scorer gave Luna a single! Molina singled past third to put two on base. But, Miles hit into a double play that took the air out of the possibilities.

Brewers second – Infielders in the outfield and runs on the board
Last game, it was Chris Duncan. This time, it is Hector Luna. Mulder walked Jenkins leading off. Luna then misplayed a line drive by Brady Clark. It was generously scored a double. The relay home was terrible as the run scored easily. Rickie Weeks doubled to center to plate another. Cirillo's single was good for an RBI. Josh Hancock began to throw in the Cards' pen. Brewers 6-0.

Cards third – Shutout lost
So reached via a two-out double. Rolen walked, then both runners swiped the next base. A wild pitch scored So. Encarnacion stroked a line drive double into the left field corner to bring the second run home. Quietly, Juan's hitting streak has reached seven games now. Brewers 6-2.

Brewers third – Not in order
Damian Miller drew a two-out walk before Mulder fanned Jenkins swinging.

Cards fourth – De La Rosa and Brewers lose it fast
Luna walked on four pitches leading off and took second on a wild pitch. Another walk, to Molina, led to De La Rosa's finger being checked by the Brewers' trainer. He's had problems with a split fingernail. When Miles worked a third free pass, Joe Winkelsas was asked to take over on the mound. Chris Duncan pinch hit with the bases loaded and no out. With no offense to speak of, La Russa had to make the move to lift Mulder. Even so, the bullpen will have to go five or hopefully six innings. Duncan fanned on ball four on a pitch about a foot down and away. Eckstein singled to short center to score one and keep the bases loaded. So took a walk to bring Molina home. Rolen was overanxious, swinging at the first pitch. But his chopper to third scored another as he was thrown out at first. Encarnacion took ball four to reload the sacks. Spiezio shot a 2-1 pitch into the right field corner that cleared the bases. The Cards have batted around as Luna came to the plate a second time and fanned looking. Cards 8-6.

Brewers fourth – Good inning
Josh Hancock came in as Duncan took over at first base. A 1-2-3 inning ensued.

Cards fifth – Eck picks up Yadi
Against Jose Capellan, Molina led off with a double into the left field corner. He took third on a Miles fly ball. Weeks mishandled a ball at second, but Molina didn't come home. The Brewers recovered in time to get the second out. Eckstein's double to left made it a moot point. Taguchi then slapped a single to right. As Eckstein came home, the ball was cut off. So escaped the rundown as the inept Brew Crew had no one covering second base. A wild pitch put So at third. Rolen was given an intentional pass, putting runners at the corners, but that was it. Cards 10-6.

Brewers fifth – Handling them
Another in-order inning for Hancock.

Cards sixth – Triple wasted
With one out, Luna shot a ball into the left field corner and sped into third without a serious throw. Unfortunately, Molina couldn't get him home.

Brewers sixth – Tyler, too
Tyler Johnson took over. Geoff Jenkins fanned to end the inning and expressed more dissatisfaction with the home plate ump, at least the fourth player to do so on the evening.

Cards seventh – Nope
Eckstein singled to right with one out. So grounded into a 4-6-3.

Brewers seventh – Keeping them at bay
Brad Thompson made his turn on the mound. Brady Clark singled leading off, but was stranded.

Brewers eighth – Big trouble dodged
Bill Hall led off with a single against Thompson. With one down, Randy Flores came in to pitch. Aaron Miles tried to be too quick to handle a tailor-made double play ball hit by Prince Fielder. Both runners were safe. Jason Isringhausen and Braden Looper began to throw in the pen. Pinch-hitter Corey Hart took a walk to load the bases on a pitch that looked like strike three. Geoff Jenkins fanned for out two. La Russa rolled the dice and brought in Jason Isringhausen. After what looked to be strike three, then what could have been a bases-clearing double that just went foul, Izzy induced a 6-4 forceout.

Cards ninth – No more insurance
Molina led off with a walk against former Red Alan Simpson, but was stranded.

Brewers ninth – More Izzy time
Weeks was hit by a pitch with one out. He leads the NL in that category with 12. Jeff Cirillo and Bill Hall fanned to end the game.

Upcoming action – probable starters (times CDT)
Saturday @ Brewers: Jason Marquis vs. Chris Capuano 6:05 p.m. FSNM
Sunday @ Brewers: Jeff Suppan vs. Dave Bush 1:05 p.m. WB11
Monday: Off day
Tuesday @ Pittsburgh: Chris Carpenter vs. Oliver Perez 6:05 p.m. FSNM
Wed. @ Pittsburgh: Sidney Ponson vs. Zach Duke 6:05 p.m. FSNM
Thurs. @ Pittsburgh: Mark Mulder vs. Victor Santos 11:35 a.m. FSNM
Friday vs. Rockies: Jason Marquis vs. Aaron Cook 7:10 p.m. FSNM

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

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