I was sure tonight was the night that the Cardinals were going to lose a game in the standings to the Cubs for the first time since late July.
Survey says............. No!
Albert Pujols cranked his 41st homer in the bottom of the ninth to win the game 3-2, not too long after Khalil Green tied it with a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth. The lead in the NL Central remains at nine games and the magic number shrank to 26.
Albert Pujols comes home with the winning run Friday night. AP photo.
Unfortunately, John Smoltz didn't get the win, which he deserved. But he did get an awesome standing ovation when he walked from the bullpen to the dugout before the game and another on when he came to bat for the first time in a Cardinals uniform.
Smoltz left no doubt that his first St. Louis start against the Padres was no fluke. He had a nice cutter and a good curve going. And his fastball seemed to really be darting. He threw six innings and allower four hits and a run while striking out six. Jason Motte, used very sparingly recently, got the win with a pretty good inning pitched.
Cardinals Star of the Game: How can you not give it to Pujols with the walk off win?
Lowlight: I'm starting to worry about the sputtering offense. But a win is a win.