The Official St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves thread 03/07/06

Vegito728

Registered Member
#1
Okay here's my preview of today's game 1.




Pitching matchup
STL: RHP Anthony Reyes (1-2, 2.16 ERA)
Reyes delivered another strong performance Tuesday night against the Indians, allowing two runs in five innings. He had some control problems, walking four hitters and throwing 93 pitches, but still showed impressive stuff. The rookie worked his fastball low in the zone and was very effective with his changeup, which tends to be his best strikeout pitch.

ATL: RHP John Smoltz (4-5, 3.73 ERA)
Smoltz provided his finest start in nearly a month on Wednesday, limiting the Yankees to one earned run in seven innings. The bullpen, which has blown six save opportunities, prevented him from notching his first win in seven starts. He had allowed six homers in his previous four starts, matching the total he surrendered in April and May combined.

Player to watch
Albert Pujols hasn't had a lot of trouble with Smoltz. The MVP is 5-for-12 against the Atlanta right-hander with a pair of home runs.
 

Vegito728

Registered Member
#2
Okay here's my review of game 1.


With three scoreless innings, the Atlanta Braves' beleaguered bullpen finally supported John Smoltz.

Smoltz won for the first time in eight starts, and Atlanta hit four home runs in a 6-3 victory over the struggling St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.

Coming off the worst month in franchise history, the Braves have won two straight for the first time since May 27-28, a span of 33 games.

The Cardinals, losers of 11 of 13, maintained a one-game lead over Cincinnati in the NL Central. St. Louis has dropped seven straight on the road.

Smoltz (5-5) and Cardinals rookie Anthony Reyes (1-3) both returned following a 55-minute rain delay in the bottom of the third.

A steady drizzle began falling before the Braves batted in the third, and Marcus Giles and Edgar Renteria hit back-to-back homers before play was suspended.

When play resumed, Reyes gave up Brian McCann's sixth homer, a two-run shot to right-center that put Atlanta ahead 4-3. Jeff Francoeur, who followed with a double, scored on Scott Thorman's RBI single to make it 5-3.

Smoltz allowed seven hits and three runs in six innings. After Albert Pujols hit his 28th homer -- a solo shot that gave St. Louis a 3-0 lead in the third -- Smoltz retired 11 of the last 14 batters he faced.

The right-hander struck out seven and walked none. Since pitching seven shutout innings of a 3-1 victory May 22 at San Diego, Smoltz had gone 0-3 with a 5.55 ERA in seven previous starts.

Smoltz had watched Atlanta's bullpen, which entered with 17 blown saves in 33 chances, give up leads he handed over in six of his eight no-decisions.

The outcome was different this time.

Right-hander Chad Paronto pitched the seventh, getting Pujols to ground into an inning-ending double play. Ken Ray worked the eighth and new closer Jorge Sosa pitched the ninth, earning his third save in four chances.

Smoltz also retired Pujols, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds in the fifth with two runners on.

Atlanta's Ryan Langerhans hit his sixth homer in the seventh, a solo shot on rookie Josh Kinney's first pitch in the majors.

Reyes, who faced Atlanta for the first time, allowed six hits, five runs and three walks in five innings. The right-hander, who struck out five, has lost three straight starts.

Aaron Miles' two-run double in the second put the Cardinals up 2-0.

And here are some game notes
Braves 3B Chipper Jones missed his second straight start and will see a specialist Tuesday after an MRI revealed a partial tear in his right foot. ... The Cardinals optioned RHP Brad Thompson to Triple-A Memphis and recalled OF Chris Duncan. ... Back spasms forced Atlanta 1B Adam LaRoche from the lineup. Thorman started in his place. ... Atlanta last hit three homers in an inning in a May 28 victory over the Chicago Cubs. ... The Braves hit into four double plays.