St. Louis calls themselves “baseball heaven.” I was first made aware of this designation when Larry Bowa berated Scott Rolen out of town and Scott let us all know that his escape from the baseball cesspool in Philadelphia was to be followed by an ascension into baseball heaven. Supposedly they don’t boo players from the home team in St. Louis and this can probably be attributed to their sunny Midwestern demeanor. You know damn well that these people are casting dispersions about our areas’ supposed negativity. You can go straight to hell mid west.
Cliff Lee came into the second game of this series without a victory on the season. The guy has managed to throw ten scoreless innings this year, but he still has not been rewarded with a victory. He will leave St. Louis win-less. Cliff pitched well enough to win, in fact there were times in the game were he looked like he was turning into the guy that no one can touch, but it still wasn’t enough. He battled through seven innings, giving up eight hits, three walks and three runs. He even scored the tying run in the seventh.
There are times when it seems that things are preordained; like Lee is not supposed to win right now. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Shane Victorino lost track of a fly ball off the bat of David Freese. What resulted was a triple for Freese and later turned into a dugout altercation between Victorino and Lee. I would imagine that everyone would want to yell at Victorino at some point. Hunter Pence missed the next fly ball in the exact same fashion. It looks like some sort of higher power is staring down at Cliff’s ruggedly handsome visage and keeping him from winning.
Carlos Ruiz is bad ass. Yadier Molina attempted to dislodge the baseball from the erstwhile backstop on a play at the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning. Matt Adams doubled to center field with Molina on second base. Victorino retrieved that ball, actually hit the cut off man and Freddy Galvis delivered a strike to Chooch. Molina bowled into Ruiz and Chooch managed to hold onto the ball. After the play, Molina patted Chooch on the back as Carlos let him know that he was out. This is the type of stuff that makes us all love Carlos. That and the fact that he is leading the team in hitting.
This game went to the ninth inning tied at three. Raul Valdez was called upon to get the game into extra innings. Even without Tony LaRussa, this Cardinal team is a giant pain in the ass. They got two men on with Matt Holiday at the plate. I was pretty sure that this match-up was in the Cardinal’s favor. Valdez struck out Holiday to send the game to extras.
The Cardinals sent their closer out for a second inning of work and paid for it. Juan Pierre started the inning with a single and Hunter Pence put the Phillies on top with a two run opposite field home run. Jonathan Papelbon kept the Cardinals off the scoreboard to earn his 14th save.
With the win the Phillies earned at least a split in the series. Kyle Kendrick goes for the Phillies tomorrow and will be opposed by Jamie Garcia.