July 10, 2008

NoteCARDS v Phillies ... after 7

Top of 7th: Chris Duncan drew a leadoff walk, giving the Cards a chance to get something going, down three runs with three innings remaining. Joe Mather pinch-hit for Braden Looper. (The Phillies bullpen became active at this point.) Mather hit ground ball which looked to be a double play chance, but Duncan went in hard at second base, taking out Jimmy Rollins on the throw to first. Duncan was lucky to not have had the play called interference by the umpire, as he was far out of the line on his slide and upended Rollins doing so.

Brendan Ryan ground to Rollins, who threw the ball in the dirt at first base, Ryan Howard unable to pick the ball on the hop. Kennedy then tried Rollins out on another ground ball, but Rollins made this throw, on target and just in time.

Moyer and the Phillies preserved their three-run lead at 4-1, the Cards leaving two men on base.

Bottom of 7th: Russ Springer came on in relief of Braden Looper. (Looper pitched 6.0 innings, giving up 7 hits, 4 runs, all earned. Looper issued one walk while striking out 2.)

Greg Dobbs led off the inning with a basehit. Rollins worked a full count before popping out to Brendan Ryan in shallow left field.

Shane Victorino laced a basehit up the middle, just out of Adam Kennedy's reach.

Cards' manager Tony La Russa then went to the bullpen, calling in the lefty specialist, Ron Villone, to face Chase Utley with two runners on base and one out. And with Ryan Howard on deck, either one these Phils' sluggers could create a ballgame moment.

Utley hit a hard grounder to Albert Pujols, who started a double play with a snap throw to Ryan coming across second base. But Victorino executed an obvious payback slide, skidding under Ryan and using his arm to upend the Cards' shortstop. Ryan's return throw to Pujols at first was late, Utley sprinting through the bag safely, Dobbs advancing to third base.

With men on the corners, Villone struck out the ever-dangerous Ryan Howard, holding.

After 7 complete innings the Phillies led the Cardinals 4-1.