The Cardinals poundedthe Phillies Tuesday night to notch their first seven-game winning streak in three years.
St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter, who struggled in his last three starts before the All-Star break, tossed a seemingly effortless eight innings in which he allowed five hits, a walk and only one run. His ERA sank to 3.05 while his record improved to 11-3.
There was some speculation that a line drive that hit the St. Louis ace in his forearm was to blame for his struggles. But Carpenter insisted that his problem was with his mechanics -- not his health. I tend to believe him because he is better now than he was earlier in the season -- even before he was hit. Carpenter isn't missing badly with curveballs and cutters. His control is much better than it has been at any other point of this season.
Cardinals third baseman Felipe Lopez beats a throw to the plate Tuesday against the Phillies. AP photo.
The Redbirds batters did their part early in the game, giving Carpenter a lead in the third inning when Felipe Lopez singled and Randy Winn followed with his second homer in as many days. Seriously? Winn averages two homers in a SEASON. Hitting must be contageous. (Please no McGwire comments.)
Yadier Molina doubled in the fourth and went to third when Carpenter singled. He scored a run to make it 3-0 on a wild pitch. But the Cardinals really broke it open in the fifth inning when Winn and Albert Pujols walked and then Matt Holliday put a ball into the left field bleachers to make it 6-0.
The Phillies got a cosmetic run later, but never really threatened. And even that was answered by Winn singling in Lopez to make the final score 7-1.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Winn was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, three RBIs and a stolen base. Carpenter probably deserves it just as much. But Winn deserves credit for playing a great game.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Holliday's three-run homer to punish Philadelphia for walking Pujols.
Lowlight: Nothing to complain about on the Cardinals front. But it was disappointing to see 47 year old Phillies starter Jamie Moyer leave the game after the first with an elbow strain. Seeing a guy seven years older than me still playing Major League Baseball warms my heart.