That’s right folks, the bullpen. To say the Chris Carpenter on three day’s rest experiment was a failure, I think is a bit of a stretch. Sure he only went 3 innings, sure when he left after those 3 inning he had a pitch count of 64 but I’m not calling it a total failure. Now I’m not going to get started, and go all “whiney” as we were called last night when talking about home plate umpire Jerry Meal’s well erratic strike zone. And I won’t comment on how for some reason after TBS, I won’t dignify them by calling them professional announcers that’s for another day and I’m focusing on the positive, but after TBS conducted the in dugout interview with Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa and he called Meals out with his “two different strike zone” comment did things seem to settle down-somewhat. But the fact is that Chris Carpenter still labored, he wasn’t the total bulldog we expected and I think it’s safe to say using him on three days rest is not a good idea. Which brings me to the real bulldogs last night, the bullpen.
Mad, mad props to the guys in the bullpen who have taken their share of abuse and some of it warranted by me and others, but they came in and didn’t allow the Phillies a single run. That’s right they pitched 6 innings of shut out baseball, much like Roy Halladay did in Game One. Mad props to Salas, Dotel, Rzepczynski, Boggs, Rhodes and eventual “not the closer” Motte literally shut down the Phils bats. And better than that they got to Cliff Lee. In the end Lee who had a pitch count of 110, ended up the losing pitcher. The bullpen did their thing last night and allowed this series to be tied 1-1, which is all we could hope for going into the series. And now it’s back to Busch Stadium Tuesday, for a mid afternoon-early evening match with the Phils.
Now the Cardinals bats need credit too, as well. After all they were down 4-0 early to Cliff Lee, who is undoubtedly one of baseball’s best pitchers. But the Cardinals hitters went after the former Cy Young winner and did not back down and clawed their way back finally taking the lead on an Albert Pujols single in the 7th. Albert is hurting, it’s obvious but the MVP slugger gutted it out. Heck he even, while in a run down managed to avoid the Cardinals getting a double play and allowed runners to get to 2nd and 3rd at one point. But that’s our guy (again please don’t go Albert, I know you don’t read this but I’m asking anyway). The bottom of the lineup was very good last night. Ryan Theriot, and Jon Jay were major contributors and Allen Craig and Rafael Furcal helped with the bats as well. It was pretty much a team effort, and almost everyone contributed either with the bat or the glove and I loved that they rallied the way they did and showed why they belong in these playoffs.
So now Tuesday Jaime Garcia, who has been both very good at home, but also very good vs the Phillies takes on Cole Hamels. Let’s get out their and show the team much love, and let’s take Game Three.