The St. Louis Cardinals used five pitchers, including newly returned starter Jeff Suppan to beat the Mariners 4-2 at Busch Stadium tonight in front of 40,269 fans. The Mariners started out with Ryan Rowland-Smith tonight, and the big Aussie looked a little better than usual in his four innings of work giving up 3 runs including a two-run bomb to Colby Ramus. This kid Rasmus is the kind of player I’d like to see us get in exchange for Cliff Lee, he is 23 years old, hits for power with 13 dingers on the year, and seems to be confident. Of course the Cardinals who are rumored to be in the hunt for Lee will probably hang on to this budding star, but I wanted to use him as an example.
The Cardinals in general are a well-balanced club with some depth at the major league level including newly acquired ex-Mariner Randy Winn who came in to pinch-hit late in the game. Of course their star Albert Pujols is the glue that holds this club together and he delivered a solo home run off Shawn Kelley in the 5th to put this one away. Not that the Mariners didn’t have chances to score tonight. As a matter of fact they stranded 9 runners including two bases loaded situations, one in the first and one in the 5th, each time the Paper-boy Josh Wilson failed to deliver the clutch hit.
The Mariners did manage to lift a couple of balls out of Busch stadium tonight, one by Milton Bradley in the 4th and the other a pinch-hit homer off the bat of Ryan Langerhans off another ex-Mariner Ryan Franklin in the 9th. Also on a positive note I did notice that several Mariners were more aggressive at the plate tonight going after first pitch strikes and though it didn’t produce a victory I hope in the long run this approach will help our club.
The Mariners made a long overdue move today designating for assignment Ian Snell and bringing up 36-year-old Brian Sweeney from Tacoma. Maybe Snell will get picked up by another club who will be able to turn him around, as Lord knows the Mariners gave him every possible chance, and then some. All and all this was not a terrible game, our boys just couldn’t get the clutch hit tonight, and with a solid club like St. Louis you need to take advantage of scoring opportunities or the Cards will prevail. So it is one more game against the Cards before coming home for the weekend to face more NL teams starting with the Reds on friday who are in a tight race with the Cardinals in the NL Central.http://jeffsmariners.com