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Thursday, April 10, 2008

All's Right With The World

All's Right With The World

By Cardinal 70

Hey, hey, hey! It's Phat Albert!
And he's going to drive in a run for you.
And he's going to hit you a bomb or two.
We'll have some fun now, with Rick and all the gang,
Feeding off each other, while we watch that swing.
Na, na, na, going to have a good time! (Hey, hey, hey!)
Na, na, na, going to have a good time!
Na, na, na, going to have a good time!

So it only took nine games into the season for Albert Pujols to get his first Hero of the Game. Of course, now that he got a couple of pitches to hit, they could be the last ones he gets for a while.

Were you like me, did you just know that the first home run was coming? The Astros had just cut the lead to 4-3 and Pujols was leading off. They couldn't afford to have the leadoff runner on base, so they were going to have to pitch to him. And Pujols would be wanting to add to that lead for insurance purposes. (Hey, he's seen how this bullpen's been this year!)

The first one wasn't a surprise. The second one was, though, in retrospect, I guess it shouldn't have been. It was the exact same situation--Astros cut the lead to one, Pujols leading off--but you never expect two home runs in a game. (Well, except the guy that called it in the CardsClubhouse game thread before the game.)

It took a couple of bombs for Pujols to steal the Hero label from Rick Ankiel. Another multi-hit, multi-RBI night from the Rickster. I don't figure the .314 average will last too long, but it's nice to see while it's there. As long as he keeps driving in the runs, we'll all be happy.

The pitching last night was a little on the sporadic side. Braden Looper was cruising along until the sixth, where he just about gave up the four run lead the Cards had staked him too. Still, the goat had to go to Randy Flores, who should have had a nice easy inning, especially with the extra padding Pujols had provided, but got the first two out then allowed a hit and a walk and made an error and the Astros were within one and threatening. I was very concerned when LaRussa brought in Ryan Franklin, but he closed out the inning and pitched a good eighth, which was very good to see.

And we've not said a lot about Izzy this year, but five saves already is pretty impressive. And only one--the first against Washington--had any cringe-inducing moments. In other words, few of the "Izzy saves" this year, so far!

The first-place Cardinals (nice ring, right? Got to use it while we can!) head out to San Francisco for a four-game series. Tonight's matchup is Adam Wainwright vs. Kevin Correia. Here's the Wagonmaker vs. the Giants and Correia vs. the Cardinals. Not too many people on the Giants have faced Wainwright, with only Aaron Rowand having 10 ABs against him. And, if I remember correctly, Wainwright hit a home run out in San Francisco a couple years back. Correia's even more of a cipher to the Cardinals, though Cesar Izturis and Albert Pujols have had success in their limited time against him.

You'd like to see the Cardinals win the first two game of the series, with Cain and Lincecum lurking on the back half. I've also heard a rumor that the Giants are letting people know that the Olympic Flame will be there, figuring it'll help attendance to get the protesters out to the old ball game!

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