Game Observations– Tue. 6/20 – White Sox 20-6

The St. Louis Cardinals were spanked by the Chicago White Sox in the first of their interleague series U.S. Cellular Field, losing by an ugly 20-6 mark Tuesday night. The Cardinals' record is now 42-27 as their NL Central lead remained at five games over Cincinnati.

The St. Louis Cardinals were spanked by the Chicago White Sox in the first of their interleague series U.S. Cellular Field, losing by an ugly 20-6 mark Tuesday night. The Cardinals' record is now 42-27 as their NL Central lead remained at five games over Cincinnati.

Four Cardinals pitchers were humiliated by the White Sox hitters. Mark Mulder allowed the first nine runs in 2-1/3 innings. Brad Thompson followed and could only go 1-2/3 more innings, watching four more come in. Deposed starter Sidney Ponson hit two batters, causing umpire warnings, as he allowed six runs in one plus innings. Ponson had "help" from Tyler Johnson, who inherited three of Ponson's runners, letting them all score and then serving up a tater himself for good measure.

There wasn't much offense from the St. Louis hitters when it mattered. Aaron Miles and Jim Edmonds each had a single and double. Juan Encarnacion, So Taguchi and Scott Spiezio each singled twice. Chris Duncan had a two-run home run in garbage time.

One year ago today
On June 20, 2005, Chris Carpenter collected his tenth win of the season win with a solid eight-inning performance as the Cardinals extended their win streak to four games with a 6-1 victory over the Reds. Reggie Sanders had three RBI on three hits, including his 14th home run and win and Albert Pujols connected for his ninth career home run at Great American Ball Park. David Eckstein, Abraham Nunez and Yadier Molina each had a pair of hits. The Cards' NL Central lead was 9-1/2 games.

The match-up
Mark Mulder vs. Javier Vazquez.

The line-up
Eckstein, Taguchi (LF), Rolen, Edmonds, Encarnacion, Spiezio (1B), Rodriguez (DH), Bennett and Miles.
Back in: David Eckstein, Scott Spiezio, John Rodriguez and Gary Bennett.
Out: Chris Duncan, Yadier Molina and Hector Luna.
The return of David Eckstein is key, with Aaron Miles back to the end of the order. John Rodriguez received the call as the designated hitter.

On to the game…

Cards first – On top
Taguchi singled past third for a one-out single. Edmonds dribbled a two-out infield single to third base. Encarnacion shot a single up the middle to collect the RBI. Young centerfielder Brian Anderson threw home late, allowing Edmonds to just slip into third. With runners on the corners, Spiezio fanned swinging. Cards 1-0.

Sox first – Whew!
Tadahito Iguchi singled up the middle with one out. He took second on a 400 foot sacrifice fly by Jim Thome. Paul Konerko was retired 6-3 for the third out.

Cards second – 1-2-3
Rodriguez fanned on an excellent change-up leading off and it went downhill from there.

Sox second – Rolen's leather
After a couple of fly ball outs, Rolen made a nice pick and throw on a bad hopper off the bat of Juan Uribe.

Cards third – Rolen's bat
Rolen dropped a two-out single in front of the rightfielder. He was stranded.

Sox third – Mulder manhandled
Joe Crede just missed a lead-off home run. So leapt, but the ball hit high off the left-field wall for a double. Anderson followed with a gapper to right center. Crede could walk home on the double. With one down, Iguchi singled to bring home Anderson. Next, Thome singled to center. The third run scored on a Konerko single between Rolen and Eckstein. Thome crossed the plate after Jermaine Dye singled to right center. The Sox broadcasters are going on an on about Mulder's decreased velocity. A.J. Pierzynski homered to right. The three-run shot cooked Mulder's and the Cardinals' collective goose. Uribe singled to left on the next pitch. Still, only one out with Brad Thompson warming up. And, Crede blasted one out of the playing field to left on the very next lob home. All the smoke from the fireworks is drifting over the field as La Russa came out to get Mulder, who looked like he was pitching batting practice. Sox 9-1.

Sox third (continued) – Thompson tattooed
After Thompson fanned Anderson, it fell apart for Brad, too. Ozuna and Iguchi singled with two down. Thome walked on a full count to load the bases. Two more scored as Konerko singled on the first pitch. 16 men hit in the inning before the final out was secured. Sox 11-1.

Cards fourth – No help
Encarnacion walked with one out. He stayed there.

Sox fourth – Brad bashed more
Leading off, Pierzynski singled just past Miles. Uribe homered to left on the next Thompson offering. Dave Duncan came out to buy time as Sidney Ponson started to heat up in the pen. Eckstein made a nice running catch with his back to the plate to end this round of bleeding. Sox 13-1.

Cards fifth – No rally
Miles singled and Eckstein took a walk. So forced Eckstein out. Duncan grounded into a inning-ending double play to kill the rally before it started. His reward was to get to stay in the game as Scott Rolen was wisely given the rest of the night off.

Sox fifth – Sir Sid from the pen
Sidney Ponson made his first Cardinals appearance as a reliever. Thome just missed a home run again, but three outs were secured without a baserunner.

Cards sixth – Make it two
Ozuna tried to make a running Edmonds catch on an Edmonds fly ball. But, alas, he is an infielder in the outfield. We've seen that before. Edmonds was credited with a double. He took third on an Encarnacion bloop single to center. Spiezio's fielders choice grounder took out Juan as Jim scored. That was it. Sox 13-2.

Sox sixth – Ponson's beanball episodes
Edmonds and Encarnacion joined Rolen on the sidelines. Dye singled leading off and took third as Pierzynski doubled off the right field wall as Timo Perez was unable to make a tough catch. A Uribe chop went off both Spiezio's and Eckstein's gloves for an infield RBI single. Crede singled to load the bases. Anderson collected an RBI as Ponson drilled him in the back. Duncan came out to chat, as if it mattered. Ozzie Guillen was screaming at Ponson, though the television broadcasters had no problem understanding the HBP at all. Ponson then plugged Osuna to score yet another. That led to an umpire's warning to Ponson and both benches. Guillen went ballistic with the umps as the crowd egged him on. Now, at least broadcaster Ken "Hawk" Harrelson expects retaliation. La Russa removed Sid without him retiring a batter this inning and looked to be reading him the riot act in the process after having banged the bullpen phone. Sox 16-2.

Sox sixth (continued) – Tyler torched, too
Tyler Johnson was next to pitch. Ponson took a seat all alone at the far end of the bench in the corner. It's not fair, but I am thinking about Roger Cedeno right now. Another infielder in the outfield, Hector Luna made a dicey catch for the first out. Hurray! Crede scored on a wild pitch by Johnson. Thome was fanned looking. Ross Gload hit as the Sox batted around again. Bennett saved Johnson from another wild pitch before Gload singled home two more. Dye almost decapitated Johnson with a vicious single up the middle. Duncan made another appearance on the mound – Dave, not Chris – at least not yet. Finally, the third out was secured. Sox 19-2.

Cards seventh – Dual ejections
Miles led off with a double into the left field corner. Pitcher David Riske hit Chris Duncan in the leg with a pitch. The ChiSox pitcher and manager were automatically ejected. Neal Cotts pitched next and got out of the inning.

Sox seventh – More pain
Molina came in to play first, as Duncan went to left and Luna to short for Eckstein. Crede homered again to left with one out. Tyler left for Josh Hancock in hopes that someone can get the final five outs. Ozuna hit a Buckner shot to first baseman Molina, which was the first Cardinals error in eight games. Molina then nearly collided with Miles while chasing a foul popup as the ball dropped to the ground. No error this time, at least. Sox 20-2.

Cards eighth – Two RISP
Spiezio singled past short with one down. Does anyone care enough to be reading this? I have to wonder. Spiezio was held at third on a Bennett double to right. That was it. As an aside, Spiezio is running the bases holding his batting gloves in each hand. Never noticed that before…

Sox eighth – More runners
Randy Flores pitched. Ross Gload singled with one out. Dye followed with a single to left. That was it.

Cards ninth – Garbage time goodness
Against a guy named Agustin Montero, So singled with one out. He scored on a Chris Duncan home run. Luna reached on an infield single and collided with Montero at first. Neither appeared to be hurt. Timo Perez singled to left. Spiezio singled to right to score Luna. Rodriguez singled to center to load the bases. Perez scored on the second out and the game soon ended – about two hours too late. Sox 20-6.

Upcoming action – probable starters (times CDT)
Wednesday @ White Sox: Jason Marquis vs. Mark Buehrle 7:05 p.m. FSNM
Thursday @ White Sox: Anthony Reyes? vs. Freddy Garcia 7:05 p.m. FSNM
Friday @ Tigers: Jeff Suppan? vs. Justin Verlander 6:05 p.m. FSNM
Saturday @ Tigers: Chris Carpenter? vs. Kenny Rogers 6:05 p.m. WB11
Sunday @ Tigers: Mark Mulder? vs. Jeremy Bonderman 12:05 p.m. WB11

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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