It looks like the Cardinals are finally starting to act like the Cardinals.
Not only are their hitters starting to hit, but they came out with both barrels blazing against the upstart Reds and made a statement, moving back into first place with a 12-4 thumping.
On Sunday Albert Pujols carried the team. On Monday, everybody pitched in. Pujols, Felipe Lopez, Ryan Ludwick, Colby Rasmus, David Freese and starting pitcher Jaime Garcia each had two hits. Matt Holliday had only one hit. But it was huge. With runners at second and third and Pujols at the plate, Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker decided to issue an intentional pass. With the pressure on, Holliday ripped a ball down the third base line that kicked up chalk just after it hopped over the third base bag.
Cardinals rookie starter Jaime Garcia throws a pitch Monday against the Reds at Busch Stadium. AP photo.
Garcia, who has been cheated out of at least a couple of wins by the sputtering offense, got more than enough help this time. He was forced to sit through an hour-long rain delay. But he stuck it out and held Cincinnati to two earned runs through six innings. His counterpart, Bronson Arroyo, was tagged for 10 hits and seven earned runs in 4 1/3 innings pitched.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Garcia, for his bat almost as much as his pitching. In addition to his two hits he worked a walk and scored a pair of runs.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Holliday's RBI base hit.
Lowlight:In the first inning centerfielder Colby Rasmus played a base hit rather casually and allowed the runner on first to go all the way to third. After he realized his mistake, Rasmus threw the ball to third too late to get the runner, which allowed the trailing runner to move to second. Both runners eventually scored because of the mental error.