April 22, 2009

Cards kick off homestand with win over Mets

After a rough weekend in Chicago, the St. Louis Cardinals lucked out for some much needed rest with a rain out and a scheduled day off before returning to Busch Stadium to kick of a six-game home stand with a win over the New York Mets, 6-4.

Todd Wellemeyer started the game for the Cards, but received no decision for five full innings of work. Wellemeyer got off to rough start, Carlos Beltran doubling home David Wright in the first inning. The Mets added another run in the second, then two more in the fifth.

Mets started Oliver Perez didn't fair any better, however, allowing four runs on six hits. Perez struck out four Cards, but did himself no favors by walking five. By the time Perez reached the "hook point," after 4.2 innings, he'd given up all four runs his teammates had put forth versus Wellemeyer.
The Cards broke the 4-4 tie in the eighth. Leadoff man Brendan Ryan also started this inning, hitting a liner to Daniel Murphy in left field, who slipped, then made a desperation grab, his glove descending along with his body as he back-flopped to the turf, the ball rolling to the wall. Ryan sped for three bases.

Rick Ankiel then doubled into the right field corner, Ryan scoring easily to put the Cards up 5-4. Albert Pujols than advanced Ankiel to third base with a fly out to Ryan Church in right field. Ryan Ludwick took a turn at a fly ball then, lofting one to Murphy in left field, a sacrifice fly, Ankiel tagging and scoring the Cards' sixth run from third base when Murphy's throw sailed 15 feet up the first base line.

The Cardinals had used Kyle McClellen in relief to stop the Mets in the sixth and seventh innings. Left-handed specialist Dennys Reyes then walked a Met and got one out on a sacrifice bunt. Jason Motte got the call, finishing off the eight inning, therefore, earning a win. Ryan Franklin got the closing chores, and made good, earning a save.

Going into the game, the Mets' bullpen was ranked first in the NL, the Cards' ranking 10th. The turn of events helped boost the Cardinals' confidence in the pen.

The Cards will take on the Mets Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon, the second half of their homestand versus the Chicago Cubs with three games spanning the weekend.

photo by Barbara Moore