Game Observations – Sun. 9/03 – Cards 6-3

The St. Louis Cardinals won the game 6-3 and the series 2-1 over the National League's worst team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, on Sunday afternoon at Busch Stadium. Albert Pujols hit three home runs and Anthony Reyes struck out nine. The 73-62 Cards' lead over the Reds in the NL Central Division race is temporarily 5-1/2 games.

It was the Reyes-Pujols show at Busch on Sunday. In a preview of co-starring roles that Cardinals fans hope to see for many years, starting pitcher Anthony Reyes and slugger Albert Pujols teamed up to led their squad to a decisive victory.

Reyes struck out nine batters in 6-1/3 innings, allowing just four hits and a walk. Pujols hit three home runs in a game for the second time each season. With Chris Duncan on base ahead of him the last two times, Pujols collected four RBI.

One year ago today
On September 3, 2005, Chris Carpenter won his Major League best 20th game in a 4-2 win over the Astros in Houston. Carp pitched his seventh complete game (tops in the Majors), allowing eight hits and two runs while striking out eight. Albert Pujols had two hits and scored once. Larry Walker scored twice on a walk and single. Yadier Molina reached base three times and drove in two.

The match-up
Anthony Reyes (4-6, 4.73) vs. Ian Snell (12-8, 4.70). It is Reyes' 13th start of the season, but his first since his most recent promotion from Memphis, where he went 2-0 on a pair of shutouts.

The line-up
Miles (SS), Duncan (LF), Pujols, Rolen, Encarnacion (CF), Wilson (RF), Belliard, Molina and Reyes.
In: Preston Wilson
Out: Scott Spiezio
Jim Edmonds remains out with post-concussion syndrome and is not accompanying the team on its upcoming road trip.

On to the game…

Pirates first – Fanning the side
Reyes fanned the first three hitters, all on strikeouts.

Cards first – On top
Albert Pujols clubbed his 40th home run of the season into the bullpen in left center. Rolen drew a free pass, but Encarnacion took strike three looking. Cards 1-0.

Pirates second – A hit
Jason Bay singled with one out but never advanced from there.

Cards second – Single for Yadi
Wilson fanned leading off, losing his bat in the process. Belliard also struck out before Molina singled up the middle. But, Reyes took strike three looking.

Pirates third – Reyes still dealing
Snell fanned for the second out of a 1-2-3 inning.

Cards third – Albert is different from the others
Chris Duncan singled to right with one out. One pitch later, Pujols hit his 41st home run into the first row of the seats in left and gave the fans their expected curtain call. Rolen walked, but two fly balls ended it. Cards 3-0.

Pirates fourth – Jam averted
Freddy Sanchez shot a double into the gap in right center with one out. A wild pitch put him on third with two out, but Reyes fanned Bay for his sixth K of the day.

Cards fourth – RISP unused
Molina doubled into the left field corner, but was stranded.

Pirates fifth – RISP for them too
Doumit doubled to right with one out. Rolen fielded a chopper with two outs and tagged Doumit out as he slid into third base.

Cards fifth – Duncan enjoying the ride
Duncan singled off Castillo. He scored again on another Pujols home run. Unbelievable! Another curtain call followed. Rolen took his third walk of the afternoon. Cards 5-0.

Pirates sixth – Starting and ending
Rolen slid in from his right, swiped the ball in front of Miles and threw out the speedy Duffy at first for the first out. Reyes struck out Bautista and Sanchez to end it.

Cards sixth – Walking nowhere
Belliard walked against the new pitcher Josh Sharpless. No one brought him around.

Pirates seventh – Reyes exits
Bay singled off Miles with one out. After Paulino walked, Reyes was removed from the game in favor of Adam Wainwright, even though the lefty Doumit was up. It worked as a strikeout and ground out ended the inning.

Cards seventh – Not four in a row
Rookie Brian Rogers pitched. Pujols flied out to deep left for the second out.

Pirates eighth – Getting it over with
Wainwright made quick work of the Bucs, including two strikeouts.

Cards eighth – Rose smells sweet
Jonah Bayless became the next Bucs hurler. Wilson walked and Belliard singled. Mike Rose made his first Cardinals hit count, an RBI single to center. Cards 6-0.

Pirates ninth – Pen smells not so sweet
Coming off a groin injury, Josh Hancock allowed a bloop single to Sanchez and a walk to Nady. Izzy and Randy Flores began to warm up. Rolen got the first out on a force at second. Sanchez scored on a Paulino RBI single. Izzy came in to pitch to the lefty Doumit, who doubled into the right field corner for another RBI. Paulino scored on a ground out. A wild pitch put Doumit at third before the final out was retired. Cards 6-3.

Upcoming action – probable starters (times CDT)
Mon., Sept. 4 @ Nationals: Jason Marquis (14-12, 5.86) vs. Tony Armas Jr (8-10, 5.28) 12:05 p.m. FSNM
Tue., Sept. 5 @ Nationals: Jeff Suppan (10-7, 4.61) vs. Ramon Ortiz (9-12, 5.34) 6:05 p.m. FSNM
Wed., Sept. 6 @ Nationals: Chris Carpenter (12-6, 2.87) vs. Pedro Astacio (3-4, 6.12) 12:05 p.m. FSNM

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

© 2006 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.


The Cardinal Nation Top Stories