Adam Wainwright was again fantastic last night. He has pitched more than 7 innings in all of his starts so far this year. Adam gave up an earned run in 7.2 innings, while striking out 6. With Prince Fielder being the tying run batting, Randy Flores came in and STRUCK HIM OUT! (I'm currently watching the Brewers-Cardinals day game, and the Cardinals just lost, 5-3, in 10 innings. Just wanted to let everyone know.) Skip Schumaker again had a solid game, going 2 for 2, and scoring twice. He hit his first HR of the season, that barely got over the fence. The big offensive surprise was Adam Wainwright. I knew he was a good batter, but he went 2 for 3 last night with a his THIRD CAREER HOME RUN! Kennedy and Molina both raised their averages above .300. Once again, the Cardinals got the early lead thanks to a 2 run double by Pujols. I think getting an early lead takes stress off the pitchers, and just lets them pitch w/o worrying about losing the game for the team. Izzy nearly blew a save, but got saved by Albert. It was 5-3 going into the 9th, and Izzy gave up two runs, with the tying run on board. But Pujols leaped and snagged a line drive that would've scored the tying run. Then Izzy got Weeks on a bouncer and game over. Izzy still got his 6th or 7th save, though. It was a Gold-Glove play by Pujols.
Player of the Game: Adam Wainwright, 2 for 3, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 7.2 IP, 6 SO, 1 ER, improved to 2-1
A real close decision again, this time between Albert and Adam. Albert's defensive play saved the game, but Wainwright's pitching kept the Cardinals leading the game. And his solo homer provided offense in a game where every run counted. Wainwright has stepped up to the challenge of being the staff ace and will be a great influence on some of the younger pitchers. I'm glad they locked him up to a 4 year deal.
Current NL Standings (as of 4/16/08):
1. St. Louis Cardinals (11-4)
2. Chicago Cubs (9-5)
3. Milwaukee Brewers (8-6)
4. Pittsburgh Pirates (7-8)
5(tie). Cincinnati Reds (6-9)
5(tie). Houston Astros (6-9)
WOOHOO! STILL FIRST PLACE, STILL BY 1 1/2 GAMES!!!