All seems bright in Cardinal Nation. Last night, Busch Stadium hosted a rain-soaked pitcher's duel, between the Dodgers' Chad Billingsley and St. Louis's Adam Wainwright for six solid shutout innings. The score was zero to zero, until the bottom of the sixth inning.
Then, Billingsley's pitching turned recklessly sloppy and the Cardinals offense jumped all over him and shifted into high gear. They basically dealt with Los Angeles the way that some police officers in that fine city treat unarmed black motorists for years; the Cards issued an old fashioned beatdown.
First, Ryan Ludwick went to bat with the bases loaded got two RBIs with a single to center. Yadier Molina singled, also driving in two runs. Then Adam Wainwright joined the fun, hitting a single to drive in a run. In all, ten Redbird batters stepped up to the plate in the sixth, and St. Louis scored six runs.
It was a shellacking that the beleaguered Dodgers couldn't even come close to overcoming. The Cardinals added four runs in the eight inning, which included a home run from red hot Mark DeRosa, and St. Louis ended up winning 10-0.
Clearly, his performance in this game puts Adam Wainwright in the upper echelon of Major League pitchers. It was his 12th win of the year, which ties him for first place in the National League that category. His shutout lowered his ERA to 2.80. A few more performances like this one, and Wainwright could legitimately be called the ace of the Cardinals.
Yadier Molina was the only St. Louis batter that got more than one hit, with all of the team's meaningful offense being crammed into two innings. Still, beating the best team in baseball 10-0, it is difficult to complain about this much. Keep in mind that this second Cardinal blowout victory in a row occurred when Albert Pujols is in the middle of a bit of a cold streak. The superstar slugger didn't get any hits in this game, and hasn't had a home run in a week and a half. Despite this, the brilliant performances of the rest of the Redbirds' starting lineup seems to be keeping this team afloat.
It was a completely satisfying day for fans of the Cardinals. Not only did St. Louis dispose of the heavily favored Dodgers for the second night in a row, but the team's general management called up Mitchell Boggs to take "Terrible" Todd Wellemeyer's spot in the rotation, and sending the useless starter to the bullpen. I don't know if Wellemeyer will be any better in relief than he is when he starts. However, Bogs couldn't do much worse, so I hope this works. It would be nice if the Redbirds won't have to worry about automatically losing every fifth game.
This is an important development because St. Louis is playing hopscotch with the Cubs for first place in the Central Division; currently, the Cards are ahead by half a game. The Dodgers are in town for two more games, and then the Cardinals will host their division rivals, the Houston Astros, for a three game series. If their combination of amazing skill and incredible luck continues the way it has the last couple of nights, the next couple of months could be very interesting for the St. Louis baseball faithful.