In my preview of this series, I said that the only chance that the Cardinals had to win was to get early runs off of Philly’s pitching, and manage to hold their offense in check. Well, they did half of that tonight….but half isn’t enough, as Philadelphia won the game 11-6 to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
The Cardinals got three runs in the first inning on a three run homer by Lance Berkman. Those three baserunners, and a Skip Schumaker single to lead off the second, were the only baserunners that St Louis would get off of Roy Halladay, who retired 21 in a row after Schumaker’s single. St Louis would get back on the board in the ninth, plating three runs courtesy of an Adron Chambers pinch hit single and a two run double by Schumaker. Here’s the problem with the six runs that the Cardinals scored – in between those two three run outbursts, the Phillies put 11 on the board.
The Phillies offense absolutely poured it on after the fifth inning. Through five, Kyle Lohse had allowed just one run on two hits. Then, he went through Philly’s order for a third time. Five of the first six batters in the sixth reached base, and they all scored, courtesy of homers by Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez. That would end Lohse’s day. Philly’s offense went right back to work, putting the first three hitters on against Mark Rzepczynski. He was pulled and Mitchell Boggs came in, who allowed three runs to come in on a sac fly and a pair of singles. That made it 9-3. Philadelphia would get two more off Boggs in the eighth, courtesy of a Hunter Pence single.
Matt Holliday didn’t play in this game due to soreness in his wrist, and his replacement Allen Craig went 0/3 with a walk, a run scored and two strikeouts. Holliday struck out while pinch hitting to end the game. Albert Pujols walked and singled in his four plate appearances, and was pinch run for with Gerald Laird of all people in the ninth. Berkman had just one hit, the homer in the first inning. It was a wasted day for St Louis’ offense, as their six runs couldn’t feel more hollow with the way Halladay dominated them. The doctor would strike out eight in addition to the three hits, three runs, and one walk he allowed.
As for the Phillies offense, which I called inferior to St Louis’…yeah, they showed up big time today. Chase Utley had three hits (two doubles) and scored three runs. Pence singled twice, drove in two, and scored twice. Shane Victorino also had two hits and three RBI for Philly, while Ibanez and Howard both homered and combined to drive in seven. The middle seven innings were perfect for the Phillies, it was just that pesky opening and closing frames.
The Phililes and Cardinals get to be the primetime game tomorrow due to an Eagles game next door, and they’ll start at 8:37 PM. Chris Carpenter goes to the mound and looks to turn the tide of the Cardinals pitching staff. The Cardinals offense has a tough time lined up though, as Cliff Lee is on the mound for the Phillies.