-Sloppy start for the Cards after Bourne’s single. Yadier Molina got overexcited with the speedster on the base paths and tried to pick him off. The ball trickled into right, allowing Bourne to move up.
-It cost the Cards after a sac fly by Pedro Feliz. The Astros lead 1-0 heading into the bottom half. Aside: Pedro Feliz is batting third! No wonder this team is winless. He went from the seven hitter in Philadelphia to the third spot in Houston. Pedro is known for his glove. His bat? Not so much. He struggled to come up big all last season.
-With two men in scoring position, Brad Penny’s night is done. Nick Stavinoha is pinch hitting after Ryan’s sacrifice.
-Speaking of former Phillies, Brett Myers is on the hill tonight. He’s a head-case so once the Cards break through, they should really break through. Eventually, he’ll serve one up and St. Louis will break free. Already walked Skip, this should be a fun night in St. Louis. Ludwick follows with a bullet in the “5.5 hole.” Yep, Albert’s next. Follows Luddy’s lead and hits a single in the hole. Pujols now has 15 RBI on the year and the score is tied 1-1. Holliday rips one right at the shortstop to start the double play. Rasmus drills another that’s too hot to handle for shortstop Manzella. Cards lead 2-1
-Heck of a catch by Bourne to end the inning. He just saved two runs.
-St. Louis peppered the 5.5 hole that inning. Everyone hit the ball hard. Looks like a high scoring night for the Cardinals.
*Check back for updates throughout
-Quick inning for Brad Penny — 10 pitches.
-Relatively uneventful bottom half. Schumaker has another great at bat to work his second walk; he looks very comfortable in the leadoff spot. Heading into the third, St. Louis leads 2-1.
-Penny breezes through another. Felipe Lopez just beats Bourne for the final out.
-Bourne and Penny got a little chippy in between innings. Penny came to compete tonight.
-Pujols battles, but just misses getting everything with a 390 ft. flyout to center.
-Myers had Holliday fooled in that at bat. Rasmus hits it hard, but right at Blum. Nothing changes as we go into the fourth. Still waiting for this game to break open.
-Penny used a double play as the smooth sailing continued this inning.
-Likewise for Myers, who hasn’t surrendered a hit since the first inning.
Could we be watching a pitcher’s duel in St. Louis? Let’s see if they keep it going in the next two-three innings.
-Penny doesn’t wow you with his stuff anymore, but he locates his pitches and gets outs. He looks calm and in control and looks primed for the comeback year the Cards had in mind when they signed him. Maybe this time he’ll get the win.
-Brett Myers matches Penny and the score remains locked at 2-1.
-Brad Penny had retired 16 of the last 17 batters until Michael Bourne came to the plate. Bourne won the matchup with a slicing liner into left center. Colby Rasmus misplayed the ball and Bourne ended up on third. It was ruled a double with an error. All of the sudden, Penny was thrown into a pressure situation. He kept his cool and retired Kaz Matsui to get out of the jam.
-Myers K’s Pujols with a slow curve after breaking his bat. He has retired 13 straight batters and hasn’t given up a hit since that rough first inning.
*Note: Only one run is earned this game. Since the wacky first inning when both teams committed costly errors, neither has scored.
-Penny goes one, two, three. He has now pitched seven innings while giving up zero earned runs (one on an error) and three hits. Penny has struck out four and walked none. Another solid night for the new Cardinals hurler. Will La Russa bring him out for the eighth or will he test the shaky bullpen in this tight situation? I’d let Penny keep firing.
-Lopez breaks Myers streak with his second hit of the game. It would be nice if the Cards can tack on an insurance run going into the final two frames. Look for St. Louis to be aggressive and put some pressure on the Astros with this opportunity.
-Manzella felt the pressure and rushed his throw to second. He wanted the double play, but got none. Cards have two on with no outs. It’s a perfect situation to move the runners over with a bunt and put this game out of reach.
-Brett Myers was running on fumes at the end of the seventh but somehow got out of trouble. He has pitched great tonight, it’s too bad he won’t get the win for it. He really lost the edge on his curve and fastball, but got through it.
-Of course, the game wouldn’t be complete without a scare from the ‘pen. McClellan gave up a hit to start the inning and walked Keppinger. Dennys Reyes comes in to get Michael Bourne, the most dangerous threat in the Houston lineup tonight.
-Reyes walks him and the nerves are starting to fray in St. Louis. With a hit, the Astros could take the lead. It’s all up to Kaz Matsui now.
-Brendan Ryan makes a tough play charging from short to get Matsui. Take a deep breath. Cards hold on to one-run lead. Gotta love the ‘pen!
-Long bottom half for the Cards ends quietly. Scoreboard reads 2-1 with one inning to play. It’s Ryan Franklin time.
-First out in the books with a lazy fly ball to left. Another can of corn to right makes that two down. Franklin throwing strikes and making quick work of the ‘Stros. Grounder to Ryan ends it. Good performance from Franklin — six-pitch save.
-There were more errors (4) than runs scored (3) in this one. Wild game in St. Louis in the first inning, quiet one for the final eight frames. Brad Penny and Brett Myers kept the bats silent tonight with solid efforts on the mound.
-The Astros continue to fall. Houston as a team is behind Albert Pujols in all major offensive categories. It’s going to be a long season for the division rivals.
-Brad Penny gets the player of the game honor tonight. He pitched seven innings and gave up no earned runs to lead St. Louis to a win in the pitcher’s duel.