The St. Louis Cardinals are are now 2-1 in September with all their games this month being 1-run games. The game looked to be in the bag early, but a late run in the 7th was a necessary one, as the New York Mets decided to show up late.
Joe Kelly turned in a fabulous start, going 6 2/3 innings with just 2 earned runs allowed, and 4 strikeouts. Edward Mujica followed, and faced just one batter, getting the out he needed to end the 7th. Mitchell Boggs got one out as well, but not before allowing the second 2-run homerun given up by Redbirds pitching on the day. Jason Motte pitched 1 2/3 innings to finish things up, and allowed just one runner to reach, while striking out 2.
After Jon Jay‘s 4th triple to lead off the bottom of the 1st, Matt Carpenter hit an RBI groundout giving the St. Louis Cardinals an early 1-0 lead. Nothing doing for either team until the 3rd, when Matt Carpenter hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Joe Kelly after his leadoff double, and a sacrifice bunt to get him to 3rd. Yadier Molina later singled home Matt Holliday, pushing the lead to 3-0.
Skip Schumaker hit his first blast of the season in the 4th inning to make it a 4-0 lead. There was no further scoring until the 7th, when following a Mike Baxter walk, Kelly Shoppach hit his 8th homerun of the season. After an Andres Torres triple, Joe Kelly’s day was done, and Edward Mujica made quick work of Justin Turner.
In the bottom of the 7th, Jon Jay was hit by a pitch, and Matt Holliday singled 2 batters later, sending Jay to 2nd. Allen Craig followed with an RBI single, scoring Jay, to bring home the Cardinals 5th run of the day. Yadier Molina grounded into a double play to end any further threat, but the score stood at 5-2 and all seemed well.
That was, until the 8th inning, when Ruben Tejada singled in front of a homerun by Daniel Murphy to right, trimming the lead to just 1 run. Jason Motte closed the door, as not much gets past the fire-baller when he enters the game.
Quick Look At The Standings: The Cardinals won a 1-run game for the second time in three tries this month. Returning home could be just what the doctor ordered. Though the Mets are sure to give them a fight, I’m feeling a sweep of this series. It’s also nice to hear from the lips of John Mozeliak that Chris Carpenter may make an appearance in the starting rotation this season. Though it’s only an outside shot, it is a great thought!
The Redbirds still control their own destiny, and with Reds and Pirates losses yesterday, the Cardinals are in much better position than they were just a day ago. I’m hoping that the Pittsburgh Pirates will continue to fade, while the Cardinals and Reds continue to slug it out.