May 21, 2008
W: Bryan Corey (1-0)
L: Joel Pineiro (2-3)
S: Trevor Hoffman (9)
In their previous game, the Cardinals unleashed a home run barrage on the Padres, pummeling them for the win. That was not the case yesterday, as the Cardinal bats were silenced by a wily Greg Maddux.
There was no 12th career home run from Cesar Izturis to save them.
Joel Pineiro was okay in the loss, and the bullpen pitched scoreless baseball, but the offense sputtered. It wasn’t even a matter of missed opportunities, as only 3 St. Louis runners were stranded. Just some days you win, and some days you don’t.
Braden Looper starts next for the Cardinals, hoping for better run support than Pineiro, while the Padres counter with Chris Young at 10:05pm EDT.
May 21, 2008
W: Chris Sampson (3-3)
L: Ryan Dempster (5-2)
S: Jose Valverde (13)
Sure Ryan Dempster had only one bad inning. Sure there was just one pitch he would like to do over. But when I saw Hunter Pence drive one deep with the bases loaded, I couldn’t help but smile.
Things don’t seem right with the world when Dempster pitches well. Earthquakes, famines, long lines for gas–all those things because Dempster hasn’t been Dumpster so far this year. Okay, the latter wasn’t his fault. The two-mile long line for gas I saw on my drive home was thanks to a radio station having a gas sale. The savings? 88¢. And people were waiting in line with their cars running. *cough*morons*cough*
Anyway, back to the game. Pence’s grand slam was all that the Astros would score, but that’s all they needed. Chris Sampson scattered hits around, but pitched into the seventh allowing just two runs. The bullpen took over, and Jose Valverde turned in another lights out performance for the save. Ever since a game in April where he completely sucked, he made an adjustment and has been one of the best closers in the league. Good for him.
The two play again tonight when the Cubs send Sean Gallagher against Shawn Chacon at 8:05pm EDT.
May 21, 2008
W: Manny Parra (2-2)
L: Paul Maholm (2-5)
I know, having followed the Reds for most of my life, that it seemed like whenever the Reds were about to face a team who’d been struggling, I dreaded it. It meant only one thing: the struggling team was about to spank Cincinnati’s ass.
And it looks like Pittsburgh is serving that whipping boy role for Milwaukee right now. Manny Parra pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings, for crying out loud.
Jason Bay did hit his 10th homer for the Pirates, hopefully increasing his trade value so that the Pirates ownership can start rebuilding. If they let Pittsburgh’s recent failure at losing fool them into thinking this team can win, then the Pirates are doomed for another decade or two.
But, on a brighter side, the Brewers bats finally came alive. Mike Cameron started hitting, as did the heart of the lineup, with the exception of Prince Fielder. Perhaps he’ll awaken today when Ben Sheets battles Ian Snell at 7:05pm EDT.
May 21, 2008
W: Chad Billingsley (4-5)
L: Matt Belisle (1-4)
S: Takashi Saito (7)
The Reds continued to show they have no business playing on the west coast. Every year their season dies out there. I understand it’s several hundred miles from home base, but it’s not like the team drives out there. Weak.
Mat Belisle actually pitched well, providing the lone spot of optimism for the Reds. If he can regularly go 6 innings and allow only 3 runs–and I think he can–then the Reds have found themselves a solid 5th starter.
The offense and defense were no-shows, though, losing the game.
The Reds thoughts of reaching .500 have been dashed until they return from California, as they fall to 21-25. They attempt not to get swept in another game no one in Reds land will be watching tonight at 10:10pm EDT when Johnny Cueto goes against Hiroki Kuroda.