Atlanta 3, St. Louis 2

ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Cardinals at Braves

Well, that was unusual. It’s not every day that Raul Mondesi hits a walkoff home run. Or that Dan Kolb pitches a perfect ninth, striking out Larry Walker in the process, to get the win.

I was ready to strangle Mondesi — more than usual — early in the game, when he came in with Andruw at second, nobody out, and flew out weakly to left. He made up for it some by drawing a walk to load the bases in the seventh, though a couple of the balls looked like they should have been strike three. (The Cardinal pitcher was thrown out for whining about it, but was leaving the game anyway.) Then, leading off the ninth, Mondesi hit a rocket to left field, ending the game.

The Cards got their runs early, one in the first, one in the second. All of this was happening in the rain, but the umpires never stop games anymore because there aren’t enough chances to make up games, so they played through. The Braves got one back in the second when LaRoche doubled, went to third on a long fly, then home on another one.

They tied the score in the seventh, one of the odder innings you’ll see. In the Cards’ half, Foster got one out but allowed a single to Walker and was lifted for Gryboski, who promptly hit Pujols, bringing up Edmonds. Who singled — but off of Pujols, who was automatically out. Gryboski struck out Rolen — nearly as remarkable as Kolb striking out Walker — to end the threat.

In the bottom of the seventh, Estrada singled to lead off. Bobby, as he’s been doing, ran for him with Langerhans. Hey, at least Ryan gets to get his uniform dirty. Andruw singled to left, his third hit of the day, but Langerhans stopped at second. Then came Mondesi’s walk. Bobby played the Chipper card — I wonder if Chipper could have started if not for the terrible weather. And the first pitch hit Chipper in the injured foot, only the umpire didn’t catch it and called it ball one. Chipper eventually worked him for a hobble to tie the game. (Bobby ran Jorge Sosa for Chipper.) Furcal flew out weakly to right so Andruw couldn’t score. Then Bobby hit Franco for Orr, blowing the rest of his bench (because now Betemit would have to enter the game) even though Orr’s been a better hitter than Julio and would be tough to double up. Julio struck out, and Marcus couldn’t beat out a grounder, and I’m thinking this is going thirteen, but then Mondesi came through.

Each team used five pitchers. Bobby lifted Reitsma even though he’d only thrown eight pitches in the eighth… Betemit hit a two-out triple over Walker’s head in the eighth, the last base because Walker fell down.

Rubber match tomorrow afternoon, Suppan versus Smoltz, which looks like a mismatch except that Suppan’s throwing to our hitters… The Marlins are leading the Phillies in the sixth.

15 thoughts on “Atlanta 3, St. Louis 2”

  1. From the AP story:

    “La Russa was livid about the Braves’ tactics.

    “Sooner or later, they’re going to beat the umpires down,” he said. “They argue everything. They are a class organization, but they fuss and moan about everything. Maybe that’s their strategy, but that’s not to be admired.” ”

    La Russa is such a prick.

  2. The rain wasn’t as bad as it looked on TV. I live in the neighborhood, and it was typical Seattle weather – it wasn’t really raining but it wasn’t not raining – if that makes any sense. I love that we are holding our own against the best without Chipper.

  3. Fun game. Three things:

    Games in the rain rule. It’s an X factor that always seems to give things a little extra twist.

    Second, horrible umpiring behind the plate. Chipper got hit on *the* foot, period. Plus, the strike zone totally changed, IMHO, after the rain stopped.

    Is he now back to Darn Kolb?

  4. Couple of my own observation for the game:

    Kolb pitched very well today, not considering the result, but his pitch was down, which is very important to him. Not sure if the high fastball which Larry Walker missed was a mistake or not, but it got pass Walker, and Kolb seemed to be very excited after that pitch. Seems like Bobby will stick with Kolb as closer for now. So, I guess we can only hope for the best!

    Mac, Cox usually only let his relivers pitching one inning at a time. I guess that the way he manages to keep the relivers fresh. Not going to argue if that’s good or not, but that’s the way he manages…

    Mondesi’s HR was off a AAA pitcher and was a fastball right at the middle of the plate. He certainly did the best he can off that pitch, let’s hope he will use the success tonight and achieve more consistency!

  5. Not to nitpick, but wasn’t chipper fall behind 0-2 before getting hit? I could be wrong. Also, he made no move whatsoever to get out of the way, so that may be why he wasn’t awarded a base, notice there was no argument on the call.

  6. Caught the game this evening… my thoughts.

    It was cold.

    The ball-strike controversy during the Braves seventh was thick. We got some gifts. I wonder if the Cards didn’t do something early to really anger the crew.

    The Franco for Orr PH confused a lot of us.

    Kolb was introduced with full closer fanfare despite the fact that the game was tied. Not cool.

    The Braves mobbed Mondesi at home after the walk off. They weren’t justed jazzed to win. The whole team was jazzed Mondesi got the walk off.

    We kept the Cardinal nation quiet all night.

  7. How about this: Why does Bobby pinch run for Chipper with Sosa? Why not use an SP instead of burning a long reliever in a tie game in the late innings? If Mondo doesn’t go deep in the ninth, I feel like our bench-emptying spree in the seventh could have changed the game.

  8. Yeah, I was wrong, it was 0-2. The ball still hit him, and whiny LaRussa then went on to complain that one of the later pitches was a strike.

  9. “La Russa was livid about the Braves’ tactics.

    “Sooner or later, they’re going to beat the umpires down,” he said. “They argue everything. They are a class organization, but they fuss and moan about everything. Maybe that’s their strategy, but that’s not to be admired.” ”

    La Russa can lick my butt hole. and admire it too.

  10. Who was that pitcher who tossed the top of the 9th for the Braves and can we see him more often?

  11. You know what guys? I always thought Orr is a switch hitter, then I checked the ESPN player profile and found that Orr is straightly a lefthanded hitter. This is probably the reason why Cox played platoon with Orr and Betimet at third when Chipper is out and pinch-hit Orr with Franco.

    As for why we used Sosa to pinch run, I guess someone has pointed out about the condition of the field, and it is risky to use a SP to pinch run in cold weather. It wouldn’t be cool if say Hampton got injuried while running the bases. Considering the importance of our starting rotation this year, I guess it’s not worth to use Hampton to pinch run under the night’s particular weather condition.

    Just another note, if Edmonds’ hit didn’t hit Pujols, we would be here calling for Gryboski’s head. Seriously, the first thing he did was hitting Pujols. I was like, geez, Foster could have done that himself and he can face Edmonds, which will be a lefty-lefty matchup. Then, Edmonds hit that sharp single. Seriously, if that ball missed Pujols feet, the Cardinals will score two runs in that inning. Gryboski would have let the inherent runners scored, and no runs would have charged against him. How typical Gryboski. Also considering we scored only one run on a base-loaded no out situation, the Braves were lucky to win the game.

    Well, considering I thought we should have won the first game, I guess eveything even out…

  12. If that ball doesn’t hit Pujols, then both runs don’t score. I saw it change direction and slow down when it hit him.

    Give the Braves credit. They outlasted the Cards on a miserable weather night.

    LaRussa just has pent up anger because it has been 16 years since he won a World Series.

  13. An interesting stat heard on the radio last night — Bobby has a huge edge on LaRussa in head-to-head matchups over the years. LaRussa’s won 53 while Bobby has won 80. Well, 81 now.

  14. “He used Sosa to run because he is a converted postion player.”

    I still don’t understand. What the heck reason is there to burn a bullpen pitcher as a pinch-runner when you might need him later in the game? It was a tie ball-game. Sosa, if he had scored, would have represented the 5th run in a 5-2 ballgame. It wasn’t THAT important that the pinch-runner have a slight edge over a veteran like Smoltz or Hampton.

    Still haven’t heard this one explained well. The only reason I can think is that Sosa was injured and before the game, Cox and crew had decided that he was to be shut down. But even then, you tip the other team that you’re one reliever short in a close ballgame?

    It doesn’t make any sense.

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