Sunday, July 6, 2008

best rivalry in baseball

That would be the Cubs and the Cardinals, thank you.

Game 1: Albert hit his 300th career home run on the 4th of July (with his wife in the stands). How apropos. Fireworks were on-hand.
The Redbirds and Looper, who went 7 innings, were able to hold a very competent Cubbies' offense to two runs. Even thought we didn't win, I'd call that a moral victory for sure.
Izzy pitched in his 600th game and struck-out Jim Edmonds. Kinda surreal.
Speaking of Edmonds, he got a standing ovation from the Cardinals fans when he stepped up to the plate in the first, then struck-out three times in the game.
Glaus and HP umpire Ted Barrett nearly came to blows in the bottom of the ninth after Barrett (possibly trying to speed up the game due to the "distracting" fireworks outside the stadium) expanded the strike zone and called Troy out on two consecutive pitches 6 inches off the plate. The first one was a bad call. The second one was pure spite. He stared Troy down as he walked back to the dugout.

Game 2: Once again, our starter--Lohse, this time--held the Cubs' lineup in check, allowing only two runs over 7 innings. This time, however, our bats made some noise, too, and we had it tied at two until the eighth inning, when Ryan Franklin gave up another two on a homer by Ramirez. But in the bottom of the ninth, the Redbirds answered. Kerry Wood, who up until this game had only walked nine batters all season, walked the first two he saw (Ludwick and Molina). Kennedy doubled and drove in Ludwick, bringing us to within one. Wood intentionally walked PH Chris Duncan. (Bases loaded with none out.) Schumaker hit a swinging bunt that dribbled into the infield, Molina was out at the plate. (Bases loaded, one out.) Miles popped one up in the infield for out number two, and for a minute it seemed like Wood was going to get himself out of the jam. But then up stepped Slick Rick. Ank the Tank. The former pitcher turned outfielder with a power arm. I think if you were going to try and define the ultimate clutch situation (for the regular season, of course) you couldn't do a lot better than bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, two out, down by one, playing your biggest rival. And if you're a Cardinals fan, then you know how it turned out.
Ankiel lined one into center field and drove home Kennedy, and we were tied. Then Duncan came home as well, beating Edmonds' throw to the plate, and the "Cardiac Cards" won 5-4.
I can't remember the last time the Cardinals have come from behind like that, but I'm glad we were at home because if the Cubs'd had another opportunity, who knows how it would have turned out. Poor Wood.