cards and yankees just getting started; big unit vs big sid ponson. here's the lineup:
game's on espn; i'll be watching from my desktop and updating periodically. anthony reyes is supposed to pitch, so maybe we can getta look at that famous new pitch of his.
chris duncan is the only left-hander in the starting lineup today vs johnson. in case you missed it, la russa stated categorically in today's post that duncan will not break camp with the team; he'll go down to memphis and learn to play the outfield.
scott rolen just flew out to right-field; handcuffed by a high hard 94-mpher. and there's a two-out sb by taguchi with gall batting . . .
keep 'er tuned right here.
Update [2006-3-14 13:29:56 by lboros]: and so ends the 1st; ponson dispatched crosby cano and giambi on 6 pitches. 0-0 heading into the 2d.
cards down in order in the 2d. duncan whiffed on three swinging strikes: fastball, slider down/in, slider down/in. big big kid; looks vaguely like larry walker out there.
bottom 2nd: ponson's through with only one single allowed. he's throwing strikes and generally staying ahead. these spring training at-bats seem pretty perfunctory; i haven't seen a single one go more than 4 pitches so far.
Update [2006-3-14 13:48:4 by lboros]: top 3d: three up three down. michel hernandez is built just like terry pendleton; a big round berry. spivey turned on a fastball and hit it pretty good, but it found the 3bman's glove; good to see him pull the big unit, anyway.
yawn . . . i'm going to lunch.
Update [2006-3-14 14:24:15 by lboros]: robinson cano whacked a homer to the opposite field leading off the bottom of the 4th; ponson left it up and on the outside corner, and cano served it over the fence. ....and wow, here's a home run by chris duncan off randy johnson. yanked it into the alley in right-center. wow, that's something --- spring training or no.
duncan's homer opened the floodgates -- luna cruz and hernandez all followed with singles, and the cardinals now lead the game 2-1.
isringhausen is on to pitch the 5th. ponson went 4 innings, yielded 2 hits and 1 run.
Update [2006-3-14 14:28:30 by lboros]: for the record, randy johnson only yielded one home run to a left-handed hitter last season. . . . here's the flip side of the HR ledger: so far this spring ponson and reyes have combined to yield 5 hr in 15 innings pitched. the other contender for the #5 rotation slot, adam wainwright, has yielded 0 hr in 6.2 innings. . . . .
izzy is through the 5th safely. reyes likely to the mound next.
Update [2006-3-14 14:42:6 by lboros]: cards down in order in the 6th; duncan whiffed against mariano rivera to end the inning. rivera got ahead on a cutter inside that duncan swung through, put strike two on the outer half, wasted a pitch, then nicked the outside corner for strike three. duncan kept waiting for rivera to come back inside and never looked at the outside half.
reyes nicked for one run in bottom of the 6th. the yankees hit the ball hard, and reyes didn't look very good --- never topped 91 on the gun and couldn't find the plate reliably. it looked to me like he was only throwing one fastball; couldn't detect any diff'nce between the 4-seam and 2.
the score is now 2-2, if anyone cares.
Update [2006-3-14 15:14:6 by lboros]: a better inning for reyes --- much better control, and a little more pop on the fastball. he featured his change-up this inning, threw it for strikes effectively; he struck out the last guy of the inning, shelby duncan (chris' older brother), on a 93-mph fastball after a succession of off-speed pitches. duncan is a double-a player . . . .
top of the 8th, it's still 2-2.
the cards plated a run in the top of the 8th -- bigbie and luna were both involved somehow, and the run came home on groundball to 1st. reyes went out in his half and pitched another strong 1/2 inning --- threw strikes, got the ball in on the yankee hitters. most of the regulars are out of the game by now; cano is still playing. still not much zip on the ball; lot of pitches at 89, 90 that inning, nothing faster than 92.
there's a single for junior spivey off LOOGY specialist mike myers; spivey's 1 for 4 with an hbp today and 1 strikeout.
Update [2006-3-14 15:53:44 by lboros]: st louis scores again in the top of the 9th; reyes takes the hill, bottom 9, with a 4-2 lead. he yields a flare and a solid single but then gets a broken-bat dp grounder, which scores a run and makes it 4-3. reyes fools the last guy with off-speed stuff, strikes him out.
and that's the ballgame. reyes and ponson went 4 innings each; sidney faced better hitters and put together the better line, but reyes got the win. the kid threw strikes, i'll give him that, but i gotta think he's no better than 2d in line for the rotation vacancy --- behind sir sid and possibly also behind adam wainwright.