Astros offense explodes, the bullpen implodes, but Wandy still gets the W: Cards 6 — Astros 11

We could almost just go ahead and gloss over the first six innings of this game because it wasn't until the seventh that this one got...interesting is about the mildest way to put it.  Wandy didn't have his best stuff in the first few innings, but he dialed it in to cruise through 7IP and even contributed offensively in what would be an explosive bottom of the seventh.

Let's break it down:

  • Wandy Rodriguez's line: 7IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 5K, 0BB with 6GB and 10FB on 104 pitches (71 strikes).  
  • Hunter Pence started the Astros off with a 2-run HR in the second to give the Astros a lead they would never relinquish (try as Chad Paronto might, though).
  • Miguel Tejada was 2/5 with 3 RBIs on two singles and a sac fly.
  • Chris Coste did an admirable job standing in for Lance Berkman with an RBI double in the fourth and played solid defense.
  • Carlos Lee hit a 316 foot grand slam to ice—or what seemed like icing at the time—the Cardinals after TLR ordered an IBB of Miguel Tejada.  Way to make'em pay big guy.
  • Geoff Blum had an amazing snare to rob Jason LaRue of a double in the top of the seventh and hit a homerun in the bottom of the frame before Carlos Lee could even finish his curtain call.
Chad Paronto entered the 8th in what looked like a ball game that was over, but oh it wasn't.  Oh was it not:
  • Brendan Ryan doubled a ball that caromed off the Crawford Boxes and made Carlos Lee look a little silly in the field.
  • Skip Schumaker walked and then a passed ball advanced Ryan to third.
  • Nick Stavinoha hit a sac fly to score Ryan.
  • In stepped Albert Pujols which was nerve racking, but a 1B to left limited the damage to runners at first and second.
  • Ryan Ludwick clocked a HR.
  • Mark DeRosa tattooed his second HR of the night into our bullpen off Wesley Wright.
  • Thankfully the Cardinals bullpen hasn't heard of momentum and Miguel Tejada's sac fly was able to take the proverbial wind out of the Cardinals proverbial sails.  I was kind of hoping that TLR would sucker punch Dennys Reyes when he pulled him.
The good news in all of that is that it really had no real impact on our odds of winning the game.  Going into the 8th the Astros had a 99.9% chance of winning, and the low point after DeRosa bomb was 97.6%.  See for yourself:
290721118_cardinals_astros_135102303_lbig_medium

via www.fangraphs.com

With the Cubs extra inning loss to the Phillies and the Astros series clinching victory (how's that for the keynote address I was looking for?) here's how the NL Central shakes out:


NL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
St. Louis 51 45 .531 0 Lost 2
Houston 48 46 .510 2 Won 2
Milwaukee 48 46 .510 2 Won 1
Chicago 47 45 .510 2 Lost 2
Cincinnati 44 48 .478 5 Lost 1
Pittsburgh 41 52 .440 8.5 Lost 1

(updated 7.21.2009 at 10:42 PM CDT)


With Roy on the mound tomorrow against Carpenter, the great match-up will have a lot riding on it (we could be one game out!!!!).

Cardinals vs Astros boxscore ; Cardinals vs Astros recap ; Cardinals vs Astros coverage ; Viva El Birdos

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