Completely Useless By AuguSt?
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No, I'm not getting overconfident just because the Cardinals handled the Reds 5-2 Wednesday while the Phillies plastered the Wee Bears at Wrigley field to give St. Louis a four-game lead in the standings...
But it seems like Chicago's recent slide has lightened the load on the Cubs bandwagon quite a bit. That's all I'm saying...
The Cardinals got off to a good start in the first when Albert Pujols lined a one-hop shot off of pitcher Homer Bailey's ankle, knocking the Cincinnati starter out of the game while driving in a pair of runs. Matt Holliday then hit an RBI double to extend the lead to 3-0 and the Cardinals cruised, tacking on a run in the third and another in the fifth.
Albert Pujols slides into third base Wednesday night against the Reds. The Cardinals won the game 5-2 and extended their NL Central lead to four games over the Cubs. AP photo.
The only Reds rally happened in the sixth when the otherwise stout Cardinals ace, Chris Carpenter, was tagged for four line drives and two runs. The tying run was at the plate when he struck out Willy Taveras looking and Cincy never really challenged again.
I would be interested to know how Carpenter feels today because his sixth inning stumble came not too long after he fell awkwardly trying to field a throw at first base. Hopefully he didn't aggravate his troublesome shoulder or cause some sort of other injury...
Carpenter pitched seven innings allowing eight hits and two runs. He walked none and struck out 10 as he starts to make a strong case for CY Young Award consideration.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Albert Pujols was 2-for-4 with a laser beam homer, two runs scored and an RBI. But he'll have to share the accolades with Carpenter.
Lowlight: I don't know if it's his wrist, his back or just a bad night. But Mark DeRosa was helpless at the plate with an 0-for-4 night with three strikeouts.