Unlike a popular columnist who sits in his lair smoking cigars, some of us actually enjoy watching games in person. So I’ll steal his column title and make it more meaningful.
The Cardinals 3-2 victory took all of three hours and fifty-five minutes to play. Long? Sure. But this was a winning team’s game, a game that must be won by those who want to compete in November.
I’ll start with Kyle Lohse, who took his 9th no-decision of 2012 in another stellar outing for the free-agent to be. Talk about a guy who gets ahead in the count, goes right after hitters, and trusts his stuff. Lohse pitched seven gutsy innings, issuing 0 walks despite seven 3-ball counts. In both the 4th and 5th innings, Lohse pitched his way out of a runner on 3rd base with 2 outs. Then in the 6th, Lohse struck out Matt Kemp (1-12 in series) after a leadoff double.
When things got shaky in the 7th inning, he induced catcher AJ Ellis into a 6-4-3 double play-ball. A big pump fist later, he struck out pitcher Aaron Harang and left a 2-2 game to his vulnerable bullpen and streaky offense.
5 innings, 1 hit, and 0 runs. That’s Mitch Boggs, Jason Motte, and Fernando Salas. Boggs recorded his 17th straight appearance without a run allowed, and Salas had that freaky movement in 2 IP.
Baseball always retreats to pitching and defense. Rafael Furcal was money up the middle, and provided the game winning base hit in the 12th inning to seal the deal.
Tyler Greene was Tyler Greene, oops.
Matt Holliday hit a rocket with the bases loaded that turned into a 4-unassisted double play to end a promising 8th inning (bases loaded, 1 out).
Hanley Ramirez had a strong debut for the Dodgers, going 2-4 with a run scored an a RBI. He laced an 83 MPH changeup to tie the game at two in the 6th (2-out RBI).
37,841 paid to see a 12-inning marathon which started at 7:16 with a game time temperature of 102 degrees.
The Cardinals won their fourth game in walk-off fashion this season and the second at home in extra innings. Pitcher Joe Kelly scored the winning run pinch running for the hobbled Lance Berkman (knee) after he drew a 7-pitch walk.
That’s a winner, folks.