Offensive production for the Cardinals had been one of the main problems St. Louis had over their recent mini-slump. However, tonight their offense finally reared its head as the Cardinals defeated the Mets 10-8 in 14 innings at Shea Stadium.
St. Louis generated 21 hits in their extra-innings affair with New York. Skip Schumaker had an outrageous ball game by hitting 6-for-7 with three runs scored. It was the Cardinals first six-hit game since Terry Moore in 1935.
However, the spotlight once again went to "El Hombre" Albert Pujols as he hammered a two-run home run in the top of the 14th inning. He ended the night by going 5-for-8 with three runs scored with three RBI.
The home run should not have come to anyone's surprise as Pujols has consistently proved he can make any pitcher pay that pitches to him.
Rick Ankiel and Troy Glaus finally decided to join the offensive act by contributing solid games themselves. Glaus ended with going 2-for-7 with two RBI as Ankiel hit 3-for-7 with an RBI as well.
As great as the Redbirds offense held their own against the red hot Mets, St. Louis' pitching was the exact opposite.
The Redbirds starter, Joel Pineiro, provided yet another gut-wrenching outing lasting only four innings while giving up five earned on 10 hits. Fortunately, his offense ate their Wheaties and would not falter.
Jason Isringhausen finally provided a scoreless inning but still has not proved that he can shut down a team on any consistent basis. Russ Springer and Kyle McClellan also followed Isringhausen's lead as they each pitched an inning of shutout baseball.
St. Louis' bullpen was not without its faults as Ryan Franklin provided yet another blown save as he gave up another run on three hits. No other team has consistently lead through six innings more than the Cardinals, yet they continually have their bullpen meltdown.
Not any amount of complaining by the media or from the fans apparently can change the mind of manager Tony La Russa as he continues to put games in jeopardy by putting in Franklin. Trying to decipher his reasoning is beyond human capacity at this point.
Youngster Kevlin Jimenez provided an "interesting" outing by pitching a pair of scoreless innings but managed to walk five batters. Obviously, his control can be best described as "spray 'n pray".
The Chicago Cubs managed to lose yet another game despite pitching their latest acquisition, Rich Harden. With Milwaukee's latest win, there is now a tie atop the NL Central.
With the Brewers and Cubs scheduled to play each other at the beginning of next week, and with Chris Carpenter slated to re-join the rotation at the same time, it might be time for the Redbirds to make a move.