Score one for Tony La Russa.
As so aptly put by 2xAught7 in his tweet, it was brilliant strategery by TLR to have Miguel Batista start the game last night, with bad weather imminent in downtown St. Louis. And reading this quote from Dusty Baker backs that up all the more: “The information we received was probably not the same information they received.”
Well, Dusty, there’s this thing called the Internet, and you can look up this thing called the radar, and it shows you what weather is approaching …
In contrast, look at this — praise for TLR’s move from Brandon Phillips?
“I’m going to give the Cardinals two thumbs up for what they did,” the Reds’ Brandon Phillips said. “They changed their pitcher on us at the last minute, that was a very smart thing to do.
“The next thing you know they brought in their starter who was going to start the game, and he was fresh.”
The Reds didn’t do that, of course. Edinson Volquez warmed up before the game began at 7:15 p.m. and was thus unavailable after the two-plus hour rain/storm delay. Even though he never set foot on the field, he’s listed in the box score as the Reds starter. Just like The Poet is listed as the Cardinals starter.
Yes, it was a highly memorable start — as Batista said himself, “How do you take me out? I still had a no-no.” (See, he’s funny too.) And, in honor of his appearance, another poem.
Poem for The Poet — April 22
Weather played a part
The sky was already scary.
Only six pitches
To the real whiny bitches
Before the rains came down.
The start went very fast
Too bad it didn’t last
You really were on a roll.
No attention for you
Like the last time you threw
From the starting pitcher’s mound.
But that was okay
You had a short day
Now you’re on a first-place team.
As Brandon Phillips mentioned above, Kyle McClellan did start for the Cardinals once the game resumed at 9:30 p.m., then proceeded to pitch six innings. And though he was in and out of jams, he pitched well enough and earned the victory. Eduardo Sanchez came into the game with two on and none out, and only gave up one run (charged to McClellan). Sanchez wasn’t as effective as he has been either, especially with two wild pitches, but he too pitched well enough. Plus it was good to see him come into a tight situation and work his way out of it.
Offensively, the Cards played small ball to score their four runs — the only extra-base hits were doubles by Ryan Theriot and Lance Berkman and they each scored two of the Cards runs. Albert drove in Theriot in the first and second innings, LB scored after Jay Bruce tried to throw a ball before he had it and then on a single by Yadi.
So the Cardinals take a 1-0 lead in the series. Today’s game is on Fox, tomorrow’s on ESPN. Hopefully Chris Carpenter can finally pick up his first win of the season today. (His birthday is in a few days — it would be a nice present.) Game time in just a few hours.
Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.