Brendan Ryan has had a rough year thus far. The Cards shortstop started the season battling back from a wrist injury and when he did return, he struggled. He struggled with the bat and surprisingly with the glove at times too. He was benched at times for Felipe Lopez after working so hard to earn that shortstop position. He knew he was good. But sometimes, baseball doesn’t give you the chance to show it.
Heading into last night’s contest, he was in the midst of an 0-for-16 slump.
Ryan finally had a memorable night with a big three-run home run in the seventh inning that gave St. Louis breathing room. It proved to be the difference in a 5-2 win on a night when little went right for either team. The homer also gave the shortstop some time to breathe again. Ryan picked up the top of the lineup with his blast. The top five hitters in the lineup went 1-for-20.
Nights like these happen in baseball.
While Rasmus, Pujols, Holliday, and Ludwick couldn’t spark the club offensively, Skip Schumaker, Yadier Molina and Ryan were there to key the win. Schumaker and Molina each had two hits and an RBI in the winning effort.
The grinding attitude of the bottom of the lineup was shared by starting pitcher Jaime Garcia. At first glance, it looks like another dominant start by the Cards super rookie. But it was a trying five innings for the lefty to get his sixth win of the year. He gave up four hits and one run with five walks on the night. The walks kept the bases full throughout the night with the D’backs just one big hit away from breaking things open. But Garcia never broke. He battled through the jams and kept the Cards ahead all night.
While it wasn’t one for the ages, this game showed a lot about Garcia. He has a great understanding for the game despite his inexperience. He is a winner. Winners always find a way to keep their team in the game.
Ryan Franklin worked 1 2/3 innings for the save.