Diamondbacks-Cardinals: Joel Pineiro Carries The Cards To A Win

Brian McDowellCorrespondent IJuly 19, 2009

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20:  Pitcher Joel Pineiro #35 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2009 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

For the second game in a row, the inconsistent, struggling offense of the St. Louis Cardinals only managed to cobble together two runs today at Busch Stadium. Luckily, the brilliant Joel Pineiro was on the mound, and completely shut down the Arizona Diamondbacks, holding them to one run in seven innings. Pineiro's smashing pitching performance in this game led the Cardinals to a 2-1 victory.

The only reliable pitcher in the St. Louis bullpen, closer Ryan Franklin came in in the middle of the eighth inning to earn his 22nd save.

Not only did Pineiro manage to dazzle on the mound, he also drove in the Redbirds' only runs with a two-run double in the fourth inning. All-Stars Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, on base after their only hits of the game, came in to score. Otherwise, the Cardinals' hitters looked as awkward as ever. The terrible Chris Duncan, who for some stupid reason was batting fifth, went 0-for-3, striking out twice. Mark DeRosa still hasn't gotten a hit for the Cardinals.

For some reason, Joel Pineiro doesn't get much run support. That is unfortunate, because if they would produce a little more for him, the baseball world in general would realize how good he really is.

The Cubs have leaped ahead of the Brewers in the National League Central, but, with this win, the Cards are still the leaders of the division by two games.

The Redbirds next travel to Houston for a three-game series against the Astros. There are still plenty of reasons to be concerned about the prospects for this team, but as long as they're winning, it is becoming more and more difficult for residents of Cardinal nation to complain.