Game Observations – Tue. 6/27 – Indians 3-1

On Tuesday evening, the St. Louis Cardinals lost their eighth in a row, as the Cleveland Indians prevailed by a 3-1 mark at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals' record is now 42-34 as their NL Central lead remained at 1-1/2 games over Cincinnati.

New hope Anthony Reyes and the Cardinals were behind 2-0 after the first two batters. Though Reyes was in trouble again after that, he didn't allow any more runs in his five innings on the mound and finished allowing four hits and four walks. He struck out three.

Other than David Eckstein, the offense was a no-show against veteran C.C. Sabathia. The shortstop had three singles and the lone RBI. The rest of the team collectively had just three more hits.

One year ago today
On June 27, 2005, the Cardinals were off. They were in the midst of a homestand, having just taken two of three from Pittsburgh and heading into a two-game set against the Reds. The Cards' lead in the National League Central was 8-1/2 games.

How bad was it, Jason?
From our friend Billy Ball regarding Jason Marquis' last week: "Since the end of World War II, only two other pitchers have allowed 20 earned runs over two starts: Jose Lima in 2000 (21, 12/9) and Mike Oquist in 1998 (20, 6/14)." Man, St. Louis having its own Lima Time? Say it isn't so!

The match-up
Anthony Reyes vs. C.C. Sabathia.

The line-up
Eckstein, Taguchi (LF), Pujols, Rolen, Encarnacion, Edmonds, Luna, Molina and Reyes.
Back in: Jim Edmonds.
Out: Aaron Miles.
So Taguchi moved from center to left, Hector Luna from left to second base.

On to the game…

Indians first – Uh-oh!
Grady Sizemore led off with a walk after going 0-2. Ronnie Belliard hit a 3-1 offering on a rope into the seats in left center. Three outs followed. Indians 2-0.

Cards first – A nothing start
One ball got out of the infield, at least.

Indians second – Do it again!
Franklin Gutierrez singled up the middle with two down. After Al repeated Dan in recounting Sabathia's hitting prowess, of course, the opposing hurler fanned swinging.

Cards second – Still looking
…for a baserunner…

Indians third – Leadoff double
For the second night in a row, Juan Encarnacion made a lackadaisical play in right. This time, Sizemore hit a single right at him. Instead of charging and throwing, Juan waited for the ball to come to him. By then, the hustling Sizemore took second easily. With one down, he then tagged up and took third on a fly to Edmonds, who had time to get into position, but still, his throw wasn't close. To his credit, Reyes got his man to end the inning.

Cards third – Eckstein covers Luna eclipse
Luna doubled off the third base bag leading off. He moved up on a fly ball to right. Reyes hit a slow roller to second base, but for some reason, Luna didn't come home. Eckstein picked him up with a single to right. This time, Luna trotted to the plate to score the first Cardinals run of the night. Indians 2-1.

Indians fourth – Holding them
Aaron Boone took a two-out walk. He was stranded.

Cards fourth – Swingers are missers
Pujols singled to left center to start the inning. With Rolen hitting, Pujols was forced out at second base. Encarnacion and Edmonds both fanned swinging.

Indians fifth – Sacks jammed
Sabathia singled leading off. He was retired at second on a Sizemore force out. It began to rain. Belliard walked. The umpires asked for the tarp to be put on the field at 8:30pm. After a 19 minute delay, play resumed with an out and another walk to load the bases. On a full count, Victor Martinez popped to Rolen for the third out.

Cards fifth – 1-2-3
C.C. had another in-order inning.

Indians sixth – Adam in
Adam Wainwright was brought in to pitch even though Reyes hit for himself to end the fifth. Odd, though Reyes did make 93 pitches and had to get through the rain delay, albeit a short one. Perhaps Wainwright is being stretched out. Boone doubled past Edmonds, but was stranded.

Cards sixth – Leadoff single wasted
Eckstein started the inning with a slap single to right. Pujols flied out to dead center for the second out and Rolen also was retired on a ball to Sizemore.

Indians seventh – Two out trouble
Peralta singled to short center with two out. Duncan came to the mound to talk with Wainwright with Travis Hafner coming up. He walked. Martinez went to a full count before singling to right to score one. Indians 3-1.

Cards seventh – Is one run it?
Sabathia had another 1-2-3.

Indians eighth – Quiet
So did Braden Looper have an in-order frame.

Cards eighth – Running short of chances
Eckstein singled with two down. He has three of the team's five hits. Can So get the inning to Albert? The answer is "no".

Indians ninth – Looper does the job
Looper had another fast 1-2-3 inning.

Cards ninth – Listless
Closer Bob Wickman came on. Pujols popped out and didn't even bother to run to first. I understand his frustration, but it sets a bad precedent and a bad example. Encarnacion singled past short, but Edmonds grounded out to first base on the very next pitch.

Upcoming action – probable starters (times CDT)
Wednesday vs. Indians: Chris Carpenter vs. Jake Westbrook 7:10 p.m. FSNM
Thursday: Off day
Friday vs. Royals: Jeff Suppan vs. Brandon Duckworth 7:10 p.m. FSNM
Saturday vs. Royals: Sidney Ponson vs. Mark Redman 6:15 p.m. WB11
Sunday vs. Royals: Jason Marquis vs. Mike Wood 1:15 p.m. WB11

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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