August 9, 2010

Cards Look for Cincy Leake ** Mets Comeback?

As the St. Louis Cardinals looked forward to a key 3 game series in Cincinnati against the Central leading Reds, Tony LaRussa's magic came to the forefront as the club was set to face the Marlins in Miami on Sunday.

LaGenius and his key henchman Dave Duncan had juggled the rotation putting the washed up Jeff Suppan in line for Sunday while allowing for both of the Redbirds aces (Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright) to face the Reds along with lefty rookie sensation Jaime Garcia. The trio have a top 3 starters combined, MLB best 45-24 record thus far in 2010.

Sunday's postponement of the scheduled finale in Miami which had started twice before the umpires decided to call it a day after the all afternoon rain, gave the Cards entire pitching staff (other than Suppan who'd warmed up twice without throwing a pitch in the game) a full day off heading into Cincinnati. Closer Ryan Franklin would probably rather have not had the time off to reflect upon his Saturday night IMPLOSION.

Carpenter (12-3, 2.91) will face off against Reds rookie Mike Leake (7-3, 3.86) in Monday nights opener at Great American Ball Park. Carpenter is 3-0 against the Reds thus far in 2010 with a minuscule 1.29 ERA and has recorded 8 straight wins versus Cincinnati.

Garcia(9-5, 2.53) is set to oppose Reds righty Johnny Cueto(11-2, 3.24) on Tuesday night with veteran Bronson Arroyo(12-6, 3.83) scheduled to take the ball from manager Dusty Baker on Wednesday against the Redbirds' Wainwright (16-6, 2.07).

Sunday's rainout put a hold on Albert Pujols' recent HR surge in which he's gone yard 5 times in his past 7 games.

In Philadelphia, the Phils' Roy Halladay and Mets knuckleballer RA Dickey squared off in what Ron Darling predicted on SNY would be a "pitchers duel". Wrong! Dickey, given a surprising (for the Mets) 2-0 1st inning lead, saw quickly that his dipping and darting knuckleball had little effect on Phillies hitters early as they moved up in the box and attacked his pitches scoring once in the second and 5 times in the third giving Halladay and the Phils a 4 run cushion which they were able to make stand up as Phillies relievers Ryan Madsen and Brad Lidge were able to stave off yet another Mets late comeback effort to give Philadelphia the series victory with a 6-5 win pushing the Mets 9 games out in the NL East and once again dashing Mets fans hopes for an actual comeback win.

While Dickey suffered through his shortest outing of the year(3 innings) in dropping his seventh decision (he has won once since June 23) Angel Pagan continued to produce, driving in 2 runs with a pair of hits and catcher Josh Thole added 3 hits. Carlos Beltran continued his struggles "begging" to benched as he now sports a .195 season average with 1 HR and 7 RBI in the 22 games he's played since his post All Star break return from the DL. Beltran also added 3 K's bringing his season total to 14 strikeouts with 12 walks in 89 plate appearances. He also left a team high 4 men on base. Jose Reyes added 2 hits and scored the Mets 1st run but also committed his 12th error in 96 games.

The Mets (55-56) would need 35 wins the rest of the way to get to 90 wins which would put them into possible playoff contention.

The New Yorkers "welcome" Colorado(58-53) and Ubaldo Jiminez with his 17-2 record and 2.61 ERA into Citi Field for a 3 game series.

Mike Pelfrey(10-6, 4.16) will make his 8th attempt at win number 11 against Jiminez on Tuesday night followed by the Rox Jeff Francis (4-4, 4.67) vs Jon Niese (7-5, 3.6.) Wednesday night and Johan Santana (9-6, 3.06) matched up with Jason Hammel ( 8-6, 4.38) in Wednesdays matinee finale.

The Mets Fans Mantra continues to be :


Of Course as Mets Fans "We Will Continue to BELIEVE!!"


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