Game Observations – Fri. 9/08 – D'backs 13-1

The St. Louis Cardinals were badly defeated by the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field by a 13-1 score Friday night in game two of their four-game weekend series. Anthony Reyes was victimized for seven runs and couldn't get out of the third inning. The 75-65 Cards' lead over the Reds in the NL Central Division race was cut to 5-1/2 games.

Cardinals starting pitcher Anthony Reyes lasted just 2-1/3 innings Friday night against Arizona. He allowed seven runs on a walk and seven hits, five of which went for extra bases, including three doubles and two home runs. Jorge Sosa was charged with four runs and in his MLB debut, Chris Narveson let two more in.

The offense was non-existent with just four hits on the evening, only two coming in seven innings against the starter and former National, Livan Hernandez. Juan Encarnacion launched a solo home run.

One year ago today
On September 8, 2005, Albert Pujols had a pair of home runs and Chris Carpenter pitched seven scoreless innings, winning his 21st game and 13th straight, as the Redbirds blanked the Mets 5-0 at Busch. So Taguchi had a pair of hits and John Gall belted his first career home run, a two-run pinch-hit blast.

The match-up
Anthony Reyes (5-6, 4.31) vs. Livan Hernandez (10-12, 5.24).

The line-up
Belliard, Spiezio (LF), Pujols, Rolen, Encarnacion (RF), Wilson (CF), Miles, Molina and Reyes.
Out: Chris Duncan.
In: Scott Rolen.
Apparently, the reports that the pain in Rolen's sore left shoulder was minor seem to be accurate, as the third baseman returned after two days of rest. Belliard and Miles swapped places in the order.

On to the game…

Cards first – One on
Scott Spiezio drew a one-out walk. Albert Pujols flied out to the track in right center, over 400 feet away. Scott Rolen flied out to left to end it.

D'backs first – Big hole
With one out, Orlando Hudson doubled to right as the ball skated by Juan Encarnacion and making matters worse, he didn't hustle after it. Luis Gonzalez' single up the middle plated the run. Eric Byrnes lofted a high, arching two-run home run to left. D'backs 3-0.

Cards second – Solo shot
Encarnacion hit a ball an estimated 440 feet out to left to get one run back right away. Preston Wilson walked, but Aaron Miles grounded into a double play. D'backs 3-1.

D'backs second – Third extra-base hit off Reyes
Carlos Quentin doubled into the left field corner leading off. He was sacrificed to third but was stranded there as Reyes pitched out of the jam.

Cards third – Good D(‘backs)
Quentin made a nice sliding catch in foul territory in left to rob Rafael Belliard.

D'backs third – Reyes roughed up
Hudson walked leading off, and moved to third on a Gonzalez single. Byrnes plated him on a sac fly to center. Wilson had nothing on his throw, which Reyes cut off. Conor Jackson doubled into the left center gap, which scored Gonzo. The Duncan in the game got Brad Thompson up and throwing. Chad Tracy blasted a home run out to right center. Thompson's first pitch was singled up the middle, before he collected the final two outs. D'backs 7-1.

Cards fourth – Two stranded
Rolen hit an offspeed pitch foul into the upper deck in left before walking. Encarnacion also drew a free pass. Wilson lined out to second, but Rolen just got back to the bag in time to avoid the double play. Miles grounded out 3-1 to end the threat.

D'backs fourth – Wilson shaky with the glove
With Thompson remaining on the mound, Wilson misplayed Gonzalez' line drive into a double with two down. Fortunately, the runner was stranded.

Cards fifth – Down in order
John Nelson pinch hit for Thompson but was called out looking on the way to a 1-2-3 inning for Hernandez.

D'backs fifth – Sosa strikeout
Jorge Sosa pitched. Quentin singled to left with two out, but Chris Snyder was fanned to end the inning.

Cards sixth – No action
Spiezio flied out to the track in right center, again over 400 feet from home plate. But, the offense still has just one hit on the night.

D'backs sixth – Roof caves in (actually it was open)
Livan singled leading off. Maybe he will get tired running the bases. He was forced at second as Craig Counsell took over on the bases. Hudson doubled into the left field corner to put two in scoring position. Gonzalez was walked intentionally to load the bases. Pujols slipped as he fielded Byrnes' grounder. His throw home was offline, allowing the eighth run to score. Jackson's bloop single to short right just beyond Belliard scored two, including the intentional walk. Quentin singled to score Byrnes. D'backs 11-1.

Cards seventh – Get it over with
Wilson singled with one out, the Cardinals' second hit of the night. Hooray! But, then he strayed too far off first and was doubled up on a liner to end the inning.

D'backs seventh – Clearing the bench
Chris Narveson made his major league debut on the mound as So Taguchi made his MLB debut at second base. All the starters have been taken out except for Pujols and Spiezio. Narvy retired his three men in order.

Cards eighth – None across
Brandon Lyon took over for Livan. Jose Vizcaino singled. Duncan singled to right and took second on an error. Two in scoring position for John Rodriguez, who popped out to short on the first pitch. Chris Young made a nice catch for the third out.

D'backs eighth – Baker's dozen
After a Young single, Jackson shot a gapper into left center to score the run off Narveson. A wild pitch moved the runner up to third and a balk brought him in. A couple of strikeouts ended the inning better than it started. D'backs 13-1.

Cards ninth – Down and out
Randy Choate finished off the Cards in short order.

Upcoming action – probable starters (times CDT)
Sat., Sept. 9 @ D'backs: Jason Marquis (14-13, 5.73) vs. Brandon Webb (14-6, 3.14) 8:40 p.m. WB11
Sun., Sept. 10 @ D'backs: Jeff Suppan (11-7, 4.39) vs. Enrique Gonzalez (3-7, 5.64) 3:40 p.m. WB11

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

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