Joel Pineiro bent but didn't break Saturday night against the Padres in a 7-4 win.
He got in trouble early and did irritating things like giving up a hit to the opposing pitcher with two outs then walking the leadoff man... But he made it through 6 2/3 innings, allowing 7 hits and three runs.
It really got interesting when Dennys Reyes and Kyle McClellan both struggled mightily to get that last out in the seventh innning. Reyes allowed two hits and a tun without getting an out. Then McClellan gave up a hit and a walk and was 2-0 on the next hitter while clinging to a 5-4 lead when catcher Yadier Molina saved his bacon by picking off the runner at first with a snap throw that ended the threat... Finally.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is called out as he tries to steal home Saturday against the Padres. AP Photo.
The Cardinals continued their trend of scoring early and often -- which coincidentally began when Matt Holliday arrived in the St. Louis lineup. Further coincidentally, they scored three runs in the first inning when Albert Pujols ripped a double off the outfield wall to drive in Colby Rasmus and that Holliday fellow cranked a two-run homer over the left centerfield boards. And while the Padres tried to rally in the seventh, the Redbirds piled on two runs of ther own to put the game out of reach.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Colby Rasmus was 3-for-5 and all over the bases Saturday night. As cold as his bat was a week ago, it is hot now.
Lowlight: If there is one thing the Cardinals need to fear, in their current configuration, it's the bullpen. Reyes and McClellan have both struggled quite a bit, lately, as has Jason Motte. Even if you have a seven-man bullpen, there are going to be problems if you can only trust four of them. The Redbirds could use a veteran arm. But I'm not sure they're going to find anyone worth having.