Phew. That was a close one.
The Cardinals Wednesday tilt against the Dodgers had all the hallmarks of a game that was going to be lost because of missed opportunities. They left a dozen runners on base and should have scored AT LEAST two more than they did. But all's well that ends well, and they won 3-2.
Albert Pujols walked in the top of the ninth, stole second and then went to third on a wild throw from the catcher. It seemed like Matt Holliday was going to put one in the bleachers, but the ball hung up and the Birds settled for a sacrifice... then it was a nail biter in the ninth with the tying run on base -- and later in scoring position with one and two outs -- before Ryan Franklin could put it away.
Adam Wainwright deserved better. He flirted with a no hitter deep into the game and eventually buckled to give up four hits and two runs over seven innings. When they were able to chase Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw in the fourth inning, the Cardinals batsmen needed to make the most of the opportunity and score some more runs. You don't often get away with stranding the bases loaded twice. But, fortunately, the Birds did this time as the Cubs beat San Diego. The lead in the NL Central remains at 6 games.
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright reacts to a seventh inning homer run by Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake. AP photo.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Wainwright pitched well enough to get his 15th win of the season. Too bad the offense couldn't help him out a little bit. Instead, Kyle McClellan gets his fourth win of the season.
Lowlight: The offense had its struggles. But the bonehead play of the game came when reliever Dennys Reyes threw one pitch in the ninth inning... hitting the only batter he faced and putting the potential tying run on base with no one out. Why in the world did Tony La Russa bring in Reyes to pitch to Andre Eithier in the ninth innings instead of Trever Miller, anyway?