Even before the Cardinals marathon game against the Mets was over, I've heard a whole bunch of people ripping manager Tony La Russa for a variety of moves he made as the game lingered on.
While I might have preferred to see Bryan Anderson or even Adam Wainwright at the plate instead of Jason Motte with the bases loaded and two out, those decisions didn't nearly as directly impact the outcome of the game as did the failure of St. Louis regulars to drive in runners in scoring position.
Cardinals third baseman, shortstop and -- ahem -- pitcher Felipe Lopez steps up to the plate in the 20th inning Saturday night against the Mets. AP photo.
Skip Schumaker and Ryan Ludwick struck out with the winning run on third base and less than two outs before Felipe Lopez or Joe Mather had to be pressed into service as pitchers. The Redbirds stranded 22 runners on base. If ANY of them had been knocked in, then we wouldn't be having this conversation.
That being said, the 20-run game was historic and exciting. A tightrope walk. It's just a shame to see a team burn up its whole bullpen burned up for one game. La Russa refused to stretch out his relievers to do that.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Lost in the length of the game was the fantastic start from Cardinals rookie Jaime Garcia who threw seven innings of one hit ball. He carried a no hitter into the seventh inning while striking out five Mets and walking two. His shut out innings lowered Garcia's ERA to 0.69.
Cardinals Play of the Game:After the Mets broke a scoreless tie in the top of the 19th, Yadier Molina hit a two-out single to score Albert Pujols from second base and push the game to a 20th inning.
Lowlight: How about the whole bottom of the 14th inning as reported by Yahoo Sports? --
|- J. Mather doubled to shallow left|
|- B. Ryan safe at first on pitcher H. Takahashi's fielding error, J. Mather to third|
|- B. Ryan to second on fielder's indifference|
|- S. Schumaker struck out swinging|
|- R. Ludwick struck out swinging|
|- A. Pujols intentionally walked|
|- B. Hawksworth struck out looking|