August 13, 2008

You might say, the Cards just couldn't hang

You might say the Florida Marlins hung on, for seven innings, to edge the St. Louis Cardinals.

Or, you might say, the Cards were stifled by a gutsy Marlins' pitching staff.

Or, you might say, the St. Louis bats went to sleep, again.

Or, you might say, the Cardinals just couldn't hang.

Actually, all of the above might apply, and then some, but however you say it, the Cards fell to the Marlins, 4-2, in a game that saw a rain delay of almost two hours.

Unfortunate for the current Cardinals' ace, Kyle Lohse, who, although made one mistake pitch that led to a Hanley Ramirez three-run blast in the second inning, was pretty much on his game. Lohse hurled for just 4.1 innings, allowing six hits, and four runs. He struck out five.

Lohse had the lead in the first inning, before he even took the mound, when Ryan Ludwick clear a loaded set of bases on a double. The Marlins got one of those back in the first, and then, the rocket shot from Ramirez in the second inning to reverse the lead.

And that's how the lead remained for seven more innings, both squads getting into their bullpens due to the lengthy rain delay.

Cards' manager Tony La Russa used Russ Springer, Jason Isringhausen, and Ryan Franklin, most of his more experienced relievers, as the Cards were within one run. The offense never got anything going, however. The only good part about the pen usage was the Cards did save one inning's worth of work due to the Florida home team advantage, not having to bat in the ninth.

Marlins' manager Fredi Gonzalez used more of his pen than La Russa, replacing starter Chris Volstad with Mark Hendrickson, Matt Lindstrom, Arthur Rhodes, and closer Kevin Gregg.

Every reliever in the game did well, evidenced by the fact that no more runs were scored since the starters were forced to depart.

The loss evens the four-game series at Dolphin Stadium at a game each.

The series continues tonight at 6:10 p.m. CT at Dolphin Stadium. Braden Looper is slated to take the hill for the Cardinals, matched against Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins.
photo by Barbara Moore