September 13, 2008

Walk-off Moss gathers no loss for Bucs

Brandon Moss lashed a Chris Perez fast ball off the wall in right-center field in the twelfth inning, a walk-off double that scored Adam LaRoche from first base, the Cardinals losing 7-6 in extra innings.

The loss adds to the frustrations of the team and Cardinal Nation alike, an opportunity to gain some ground on the NL Wild Card leading Milwaukee Brewers wasted. The Brewers had lost 7-3 to the Philadelphia Phillies earlier.

Adam Wainwright gave the team initial hope, considering how well he has pitched since coming off his last rehab. But tonight he struggled in the first inning, uncharacteristically giving up two runs, losing a 1-0 lead right off the bat, the first inning ending with the Pirates up 2-1.

The Cards fought back against Ian Snell, a last minute replacement for Jeff Karstens, who had to take a seat due to an infected tooth. The second inning found the Cardinals rallying, scoring three runs with RBI hits by Jason LaRue, Skip Schumaker, and Albert Pujols. The Cards retook the lead at 4-2.

Felipe Lopez added to the lead with a two-run homer to right field in the fourth inning, the Cards bumping up their score to 6-2 and chasing Ian Snell.

Wainwright settled down for three innings, but was taken apart by the Pirates in the fifth inning, the Pirates scoring three runs. Nyjer Morgan led off with a drag bunt single, followed by Freddy Sanchez single on a hit-and-run play, the second time in the game that those two paired up to put on the play.

Nate McLouth then doubled, scoring Morgan. Ryan Doumit followed by doubling off the center field wall, scoring Sanchez and McLouth to bring the Bucs within one run at 6-5.

It was after the Doumit double that must have made fans wonder if Cards' skipper Tony La Russa would hook Wainwright. La Russa, however, left Wainwright in the game, the next batter, Adam LaRoche singling home Doumit to tie the game at 6-all.

Still with no outs, La Russa brought in Russ Springer, who got the Cards out of the jam. From there, the game remained knotted at 6-each through the ninth inning, carrying to twelve innings. La Russa would call upon Ryan Franklin, Ron Villone, Jason Motte, Kyle McClellan, and Chris Perez in relief. The Pirates used seven relievers.

The bottom of the twelfth seemed under control, Perez's second inning of work, recording five fly outs in a row before walking Adam LaRoche. The fateful Moss walk-off double broke the tie for the 7-6 loss.

The Cardinals get a shot at avoiding a sweep by the NL Central's last place team tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. CT.

4thebirds will carry a LIVEcast live blogging session during the game, providing limited play-by-play and leaving the blog open to anyone who wishes to post remarks about the Cardinals and/or the game.
photo by David Watson