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Saturday, April 5, 2008

And It Continues...

Alright, raise your hand if you're impressed. The starting pitching continues to be very strong, as Adam Wainwright pitches eight innings of 2-run ball vs. the Nationals today in St. Louis. The Cards survived a disappointing outing from Anthony Reyes to beat Washington today 5-4, and stay tied atop the Central with Milwaukee. St. Louis' record improves to 4-1 on the young season, tied for best record in the majors. It's also the Cards' best start since 2000, when they also began the season 4-1.

Wainwright was not dominant today, but he did what he needed to do. He scattered eight hits, kept the ball in the park until giving up a solo shot to Nick Johnson in the eighth inning, and was the beneficiary of some spectacular defense (Adam Kennedy). Wainwright struck out four batters against only one walk.

So through five games, Cardinals starters have pitched 30 2/3 innings and allowed just four earned runs resulting in a 1.17 ERA (if my math is correct). Wainwright was the first Cardinal starter to give up more than one earned run in an outing this season, but also the first to complete 7+ innings of work.

Isringhausen was unavailable to close the game out after pitching the previous two days, so Anthony Reyes was brought in to pitch the ninth inning today. Reyes allowed a leadoff double to Ronnie Belliard, retired the next batter and then grooved a change-up to catcher Jesus Flores who took Reyes deep for a 2-run home run. It was encouraging to see LaDuncan allow Reyes the opportunity to pitch in a save situation. Of course McClellan was unavailable, Franklin has looked a bit shaky thus far and Springer was placed on the DL earlier. Reyes came back to retire the next batter, but LaDuncan opted to bring in Randy Flores to cherry-pick the save.

Kyle Lohse goes tomorrow, as the Cards seek a sweep of the Nats. So rub your lucky rabbit's foot, knock on wood, or do whatever you need to keep the streak going. This is fun to watch!

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