It was on this date one year ago that the Cardinals played one of the most mindbending -- and frustrating -- games in franchise history.
They squared off with the Mets for 20 innings at Busch Stadium -- employing not one but TWO position players as pitchers -- in what ultimately turned out to be a 2-1 loss.
Outfielder Joe Mather was tagged for the loss after allowing two runs on two hits and three walks in two innings. He relieved infielder Felipe Lopez who threw a scoreless hinning in which he surrendered a hit and a walk. Lopez apparently aggravated an injury to the elbow on his throwing arm by pitching and would miss several games and be limited to pinch hitting duties for a while.
The game was started by Jaime Garcia who threw seven innings of shut-out, one-hit ball. Mets ace Johann Santana matched Garcia with seven shutout innings in which he allowed four hits with nine strikeouts.
The Cardinals had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the 14th inning when Mather, who at the time was playing in the outfield, hit a leadoff double. He went to third base when the Mets mishandled a Brendan Ryan sacrifice bunt attempt giving the Cardinals two on with no outs. Ryan took second because of catcher's indifference. But, the Birds were unable to capitalize when Skip Schumaker, Brendan Ryan and reliever Blake Hawksworth struck out.
As they burned through their bullpens, neither team was able to score until the Mets pushed a run across the plate in the top of the 19th innings. So, naturally, the Redbirds scored a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning to force a 20th frame.
Ryan singled with two outs in the bottom of the 20th and went to second on a Schumaker walk. But Ludwick grounded out to second to end the game.