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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Call Bullshit

The Cardinals just dropped a circus match in the bottom of the 12th inning to the Milwaukee Brewers 9-8. Here’s the rub. Albert Pujols was called out at home plate in the 3rd inning and he was clearly safe. Multiple replays showed Albert scoring on a Troy Glaus single, definitively sliding his leg across the plate to beat the tag. Chad Fairchild, the HP umpire, had the best possible view and still found a way to blow it. Maybe he’s on a power trip and he wants the satisfaction of burning the great Albert Pujols. Maybe he’s a Cubs fan. Or maybe he’s just an idiot. Regardless, that run cost the Cards the game. Mr. Fairchild… Cardinals fans hate you.

Sure, the Cards had lots of other chances to jump ahead, but that play stung. Regardless, it was a crazy game that included some outrageous stats and circumstances. It was no 22-inning standoff, but here are some highlights:

* Albert Pujols plays 2nd Base. With the Card’s offense short staffed (Russ Springer returned from the DL and replaced Rico Washington on the roster instead of another pitcher) and several starters already pinch hit for, Albert had to move over to second due to Ceasar Izturis getting plunked in his throwing arm by Milwaukee closer Eric Gagne. Aaron Miles moved to short and Jason LaRue played first. This was a risky maneuver considering Albert’s balky elbow. The big mang made one putout, but was seen practicing his double play skills.
* The game featured 16 runs, 31 hits, 14 walks and 9 pinch hitters.
* 3 pitchers were used as pinch hitters: Adam Wainwright, Braden Looper and Jeff Suppan
* The Cardinals had only 4 non-pitchers on their bench.
* The closers stunk. Gagne blew the save in the 9th on an RBI ground out by Pujols (which was more of a botched double play ball) and Jason Isringhausen walked Gabe Gross, of all people, on 4 straight in the 12th, allowed him to steal 2nd and then promptly gave up a hit to Gabe Kapler that ended the game. Izzy has been great this season… except against outfielders named Gabe.
* The Cards overcame a 5-run deficit when they tied it in the 9th. The 2nd time they have done that this season.
* Both teams had back to back 4-run innings and had the bases loaded with no one out: Milwaukee in the 6th and the Cards in the 7th.
* The Cards used 6 pitchers, while the Brewers paraded 8 hurlers to the mound.
* The Cubs won again, so the Birds are doubly screwed.

It was a wild one. At least the Cards head to Pittsburgh tomorrow. They seem to be giving away wins over there.

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