Fresh off sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers, the St. Louis Cardinals must have thought they had a chance at actually re-entering the playoff race. Especially with the Cincinnati Reds coming to town and Chris Carpenter on the mound.
But Reds manager Dusty Baker did something unexpected: he actually played the young players general manager Walt Jocketty had just called up when rosters expanded. And the youth movement exploded for some runs off Carpenter and the St. Louis bullpen.
Three new guys hit home runs to lead the Reds to their 11-8 victory: Todd Frazier had a solo shot in the 6th, Yonder Alonso had a 2-run shot in the 7th, and Juan Francisco had a 3-run shot to put the game away in the 9th.
Johnny Cueto had another bad start for the Reds and lost his ERA lead in the process, which is troubling, but the offense bailed him out. And the Reds helped hammer on that nail in the Cardinals’ season. Maybe tomorrow they can drive it in a little deeper.