July 11, 2008

NoteCARDS v Pirates ... after 3 innings

Zach Duke pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Kyle Lohse pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Top of 1st: Albert Pujols hit a two-out single to left-center, but was stranded there.
Bottom of 1st: Freddy Sanchez reached with one out when Cards' shortstop Cesar Izturis threw high on a ground of which he never got a good handle on the ball. Ryan Doumit laced a single into right field to put Pirates' base runners on first and second. A Jason Bay strikeout and an Xavier Nady ground out to Troy Glaus at third left both Bucs baserunners on base.
Bottom of 1st: Freddy Sanchez reached with one out when Cards' shortstop Cesar Izturis threw high on a ground of which he never got a good handle on the ball. Ryan Doumit laced a single into right field to put Pirates' base runners on first and second. A Jason Bay strikeout and an Xavier Nady ground out to Troy Glaus at third left both Bucs baserunners on base.

Top of 2nd: Rick Ankiel drew a one-out walk. Izturis singled through the hole on the right side, Ankiel advancing to second. Lohse executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to third, advancing Ankiel to third and Izturis to second. Brendan Ryan grounded out to short, ending the Cardinals chance and stranding a couple base runners.

Bottom of 2nd: Adam LaRoche lined a ball up the middle, Lohse stabbing it on a reactionary play for the first out. Lohse wasn't done with defense just yet, grabbing up a Jose Bautista ground ball and throwing him out. Pitcher Zach Duke then hit a weak grounder to Izturis at short for an easy out and one-two-three inning for the Redbirds.

Top of 3rd: The Cardinals started the inning with the top of their order, Skip Schumaker whiffing on an outside off-speed pitch by Duke. Recently named All-Star grounded to the hole on the left side, but Bautista ranged left and made the play for the second out. The only other named All-Star for the Cards, Pujols, went to a contact swing with two strikes, hitting another single, this time more to straightaway center. Glaus kept the inning going, singling into center field, Pujols alertly advancing to third base. The tough at-bats gave a chance to Yadier Molina, who deliver with a line shot down the left field line. Pujols scored easily, but with two outs, third base coach Jose Oquendo sent Glaus. The throw beat Glaus by a good five strides, but was off-line, and the Cards went up 2-0. Rick Ankiel then took advantage of an up-pitch mistake by Duke, deposting the ball into the right field seats for a two-out, two-run homer.

Bottom of 3rd: Nate McClouth hit a one-out double to right-center, trying to get something started for the Bucs. Sanchez failed to move McClouth over to third, as his ground ball was to the left side on his ground out to Izturis. With two outs, Ryan Doumit hit the ball hard, a line drive, but straight at Izturis at short.

At the end of three complete innings, the Cardinals led 4-0.