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Official St. Louis Cardinals vs The Arizona Diamondbacks thread


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So here is where I will review the whole St.Louis Cardinals vs The Arizona Diamondbacks series. Today the Cardinals have a dayoff.

The pitching match up will be,

ARI: RHP Juan Cruz (1-0, 2.05 ERA)

Cruz has been outstanding in two starts since replacing Russ Ortiz in the rotation. The right-hander won his last start as he held the Cubs scoreless through five innings in a 6-0 Arizona win. In his start before that, Cruz limited the Giants to just one run over five innings.

STL: LHP Mark Mulder (3-1, 4.44 ERA)

Mulder improved his record to 3-1 against the Marlins in his last outing, but he showed some vulnerability. Ahead 7-0, he surrendered three runs in the fifth and left after six innings and 90 pitches. He gave up six hits and walked three, while striking out one. In the bigger picture, the Cardinals are 6-1 when he starts.


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Jim Edmonds homered and drove in three runs, helping Mark Mulder and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 on Friday night.

Albert Pujols drove in his major league-leading 44th run and David Eckstein singled twice for his 15th multihit game. The Cardinals have won six of seven overall and are 13-4 against the Diamondbacks the last four seasons.
Edmonds has gotten off to a slow start both in the field and at the plate. He entered the game hitting .243, but is 6-for-15 with five RBI in his last five games. He had a sacrifice fly off Juan Cruz (1-1) in the first after Pujols' RBI single, and Edmonds' fifth homer, a two-run shot, snapped a 2-all tie in the fifth.

Mulder (4-1) gave up six hits in six innings, the only damage Eric Byrnes' two-run homer in the fifth. Those are the only runs Mulder has allowed the Diamondbacks in three starts covering 24 innings, the first two appearances producing a one-hitter in 2001 when he was with the Athletics and a second shutout last year.
Jason Isringhausen gave up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Johnny Estrada in the ninth before finishing for his 11th save in 13 chances.

Mulder is 81-11 in 108 career starts with four or more runs support. His 92 victories since 2001 lead the majors, and the Cardinals have won seven of his eight starts this season.
Jason Isringhausen worked the ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances for the Cardinals, who sent the Diamondbacks to their third loss in four games after they had won seven in a row.

The Cardinals opened the first with singles by Eckstein, John Rodriguez and Pujols followed by Edmonds' sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead. Byrnes' second homer tied it with two outs in the fifth.
Cruz, who gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings, hit Pujols with one out in the fifth. Edmonds homered on a 2-0 pitch.

The Cardinals made it 5-2 in the sixth when Rodriguez beat out a potential double play ball after singles by pinch-hitter Larry Bigbie and Eckstein put runners on first and third.
Byrnes also singled and is batting .410 (16-for-39) in his last 10 games.

Former St. Louis Hawks NBA stars Bob Pettit and Ed Macauley were honored in a pre-game ceremony. ... Cruz hit two batters after entering the game having hit that many in his first 22 innings this season. ... The Cardinals are 15-5 at new Busch Stadium, all of them sellouts. ... Eckstein is 8-for-16 his last four games. ... Chad Tracy, who was 5-for-7 the first two games of a five-game trip for Arizona, was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.


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Alright here's the picthing matchup for tonights game.

Pitching matchup

ARI: RHP Claudio Vargas (4-1, 3.77 ERA)
Vargas has been very strong as of late. He has won his last three starts and allowed just two earned runs over 19 innings during that stretch. In his first two starts of May, Vargas is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA with just two earned runs allowed over 12 innings.

STL: RHP Jason Marquis (3-4, 6.00 ERA)
After starting out 3-0 with an ERA of 2.79, Marquis has lost four straight decisions and has seen his ERA jump to 6.00. The right-hander has allowed at least five runs and seven hits in each of his last four outings.

Players to watch
Luis Gonzalez and Craig Counsell have both had some success against Marquis. Gonzalez is batting .357 (five hits in 14 at-bats) with a double and a home run against the right-hander. Counsell is hitting .316 (six hits in 19 at-bats) with two doubles and a home run.


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Alright here's my review of game 2.

For a guy who's never considered himself a home-run hitter, Albert Pujols is setting a blistering pace.

Pujols became the fastest player in major league history to reach 19 home runs, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 9-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.

Pujols reached the milestone in his 37th game, beating Mickey Mantle in 1956 and Luis Gonzalez of the Diamondbacks in 2001, by three games. Pujols added RBI singles in the first and fourth, hiking his major league-leading total to 47, and flied out to the warning track in center field in the sixth.

He also struck out with the bases loaded to end the seventh against Brandon Medders, flipping his bat in disgust.

Pujols' heroics overshadowed a resurgent effort by Jason Marquis, who worked seven strong innings to end a four-game losing streak, and a five-RBI game by Scott Rolen. The RBI for Rolen, including a three-run homer in the first, were his first since April 16.

The Cardinals have won seven of eight overall and are 14-3 against the Diamondbacks the last four seasons. They knocked out Claudio Vargas (4-2), who did not allow a run in his first two road starts, after beginning the third with three straight hits.

Pujols lined a 1-0 pitch from Vargas well over the left-field wall in the second inning, a drive estimated at 404 feet, to give St. Louis a 5-1 lead. Mantle finished with 52 homers in 1956 and Gonzalez, who watched in left field as the ball soared over his head, had 57 in 2001.

Gonzalez complimented Pujols at first base after he walked in the sixth.

Pujols, whose best homer total is 46 in 2004, was the second-fastest to reach 18 homers when he connected off the Rockies' Byung-Hyun Kim in the Cardinals' 35th game. He trailed only Cy Williams of the Philadelphia Phillies, who did it in 34 games in 1923 but then slowed considerably in a 41-homer season.

Marquis (4-4) allowed one run on three hits with four walks and one strikeout. The only blemish came on Conor Jackson's fourth homer leading off the second, which extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

The right-hander worked around two walks in the third when he caught Jackson looking at strike three. In his previous four starts, he'd allowed 22 earned runs in 22 2-3 innings.

Rolen's homer in a four-run first was his fourth, and first since April 16, and he added a two-run double in a four-run fifth that put the Cardinals ahead 9-1. He missed nine games due to a respiratory illness in late April and early May and had been struggling with his stroke since returning.

David Eckstein was 2-for-4, making him 10-for-20 in his last five games, and John Rodriguez had three hits and scored twice.

Vargas won his previous three starts, allowing only two runs in 20 innings, and had been 6-0 in his last seven road outings overall dating to last season. In three-plus innings he gave up eight runs on eight hits.

Vargas was uncomfortable pitching in 56-degree temperature at the start of the game.

The Diamondbacks have lost four of five following a seven-game winning streak.

Game notes
Pujols has 220 homers with the Cardinals, tied with Mark McGwire for fourth on the team's career list. ... The Cardinals are 16-5 at new Busch Stadium, all of them sellouts. ... Marquis beat the Diamondbacks for the first time in three career decisions and now has a victory over every NL team except the Braves. ... Eckstein leads the NL with 16 multihit games. ... Shawn Green had two hits and is batting .439 (29-for-66) in his last 17 games with 10 multihit games in that stretch.


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Okay so this is the pitching match up for tomorrow's game.

Pitching matchup
ARI: RHP Miguel Batista (3-2, 5.05 ERA)
Batista didn't get much run support in his last start, a 3-0 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park. He gave up three runs in seven innings in that game. The last time the right-hander faced the Cardinals in St. Louis was in 2003, when he got ejected after sparking a bench-clearing brawls for hitting St. Louis first baseman Tino Martinez with a pitch.

STL: RHP Chris Carpenter (3-2, 2.21 ERA)
Carpenter has gotten no help this year. In his three no-decisions, he's allowed two earned runs in 20 innings. Even in his two losses, he sports a 3.21 ERA. At some point, the breaks should start going his way. He's absolutely pitched well enough to have five or six victories, but he's still sitting on three.

Player to watch
Snakes infielder Damion Easley has been a thorn in Carpenter's side throughout the two men's careers. Easley has a lifetime mark of 10-for-23 (.435) against Carpenter with five walks and three extra-base hits.


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Alright here's my review of game 3.

Another stingy start by Chris Carpenter got wasted by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Chad Tracy hit a tiebreaking two-run double in a four-run seventh inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks turned three St. Louis errors into three unearned runs against last year's NL Cy Young winner in a 7-6 victory on Sunday.

Johnny Estrada had two hits and three RBI while Luis Gonzalez went 4-for-5 and scored two runs for the Diamondbacks, who avoided a three-game sweep. Gonzalez hit his 507th double in the ninth, snapping a tie with Babe Ruth for 38th place on the career list.

Estrada and Shawn Green had RBI singles in the seventh, giving the Diamondbacks the cushion they needed after the Cardinals scored three in the bottom of the seventh. Arizona is 4-14 against the Cardinals the last four seasons.

Carpenter has a mismatched 3-2 record and 1.98 ERA, and in his four no-decisions he's allowed two earned runs in 26 innings. Last year he was 21-5 with a 2.83 ERA.

Miguel Batista also gave up three runs, none of them earned, as the teams combined for five errors. The Cardinals tied a season high with their second three-error game in five days, and a two-out fielding error by Diamondbacks shortstop Craig Counsell opened the door for a three-run sixth for St. Louis that tied it at 3.

A throwing error by Tracy, the third baseman, helped the Cardinals cut the gap to a run in the seventh. Albert Pujols had a sacrifice fly in the inning for his major league-leading 48th RBI, and pinch hitter Larry Bigbie had a run-scoring infield hit.

Eric Byrnes and Counsell singled off Adam Wainwright (1-1) to start the seventh, then moved up on Damion Easley's sacrifice. Tracy greeted Randy Flores with a drive over the head of center fielder Jim Edmonds that bounced into the stands.

Yadier Molina's two-run single in the sixth had tied it for the Cardinals. They lost for the second time in nine games overall.

Luis Vizcaino (2-2) struck out pinch hitter So Taguchi with the bases loaded to end the sixth. Jose Valverde worked the ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.

Pujols' first error of the season in the fifth led to the game's first run. Jeff DaVanon hit a leadoff double, went to third when Pujols dropped a throw to first by second baseman Aaron Miles, and scored on Counsell's grounder.

Shortstop David Eckstein's fielding error in the sixth led to two more unearned runs that put the Diamondbacks ahead 3-0. Eckstein got to Conor Jackson's grounder up the middle but it deflected off his glove and he tossed late to second for a potential forceout. With two outs, Estrada hit a two-run single.

Batista held the Cardinals hitless until Miles' infield single with two outs in the fifth. Carpenter gave up five hits in six innings.

Game notes
Diamondbacks 2B Damion Easley made a nice running catch in shallow center field, twisting to make the grab that robbed Scott Rolen of a hit in the second. Cardinals LF Scott Spiezio robbed Easley in the fifth with a lunging catch. ... Wainwright allowed two runs in one-third of an inning. Entering the game he had given up one run in 16 2-3 innings all season. ... Jackson was 0-for-4, ending a 13-game hitting streak. ... Batista had five walks, tying a season high for Arizona pitchers.