April 6, 2009

Bucs rally late to chill out Cards

ST LOUIS--Just when you though it couldn't get colder at Busch Stadium, along came that familiar, chilly, ninth inning. But it wasn't last season, it was Opening Day 2009.

After a handful of bullpenners, the Cardinals fell victim to a Bucs late rally that found brought the Pittsburgh team from down two to up two, a four-run swing that spoiled Jason Motte's first attempt at closing.

The 6-4 loss made things quite chilly for Redbirds' fans, the day starting off with snow flurries.

With a surprising lineup that found Brendan Ryan playing second base and leading off instead of the expected Skip Schumaker, the Cards didn't do that badly. Other surprises were Khalil Greene batting cleanup and Brian Barden at third base instead of David Freese or even Joe Thurston. Once again, not bad.

The Cards got on the board first, scoring twice in the third inning. The Pirates knotted things in the sixth.

It wasn't until the bottom of the eighth that the Cards scored a couple more, taking a 4-2 lead into the ninth. That's when things fell apart for Motte.

Nyger Morgen killed the Cards as a leadoff hitter for the Bucs, going 3-for-5 while picking up a couple RBIs. Second hitter Freddi Sanchez went 2-for-5, scoring a run. Adam LaRoche, known for slow seasonal starts, went 2-for-5, scoring a run and notching an RBI.

The big hitters for the Cards were:

  • Albert Pujols -- 3-for-4, double
  • Ryan Ludwick -- 2-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs, HR
  • Chris Duncan -- 1-for-3, double
  • Adam Wainwright -- 1-for-2, double, RBI
  • Khalil Greene -- 1-for-5, RBI

John Grabow picked up the win for the Pirates. Matt Capps secured the save.

Motte was tagged with the loss for the Cards, plus a blown save.
photo by David Watson