The Phillies and Cardinals played another close game Friday, this time with the Phillies taking the win in extras with the help of a Hunter Pence home run off Jason Motte. The Cardinals had a 3-2 lead until the seventh, when Juan Pierre slapped a double to score Cliff Lee to tie it. The Cards looked like they could have taken the lead in the 8th, but great defense by the Phils prevented the winning run from scoring. Pence’s homer in the 10th broke the tie and the Phils took the 2nd of this four-game set, 5-3.
SOLID STARTING PITCHING
Kyle Lohse and Cliff Lee both pitched well Friday night. Lohse pounded the strike zone, relying on his fielders behind him to do their jobs. Despite the two errors, they did pretty well. Lee’s location was spot on, but with the mishaps in the fourth inning and a few mistakes, he surrendered three runs. Here are their lines:
Lee: (ND) 7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K
Lohse: (ND) 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Lee still does not have a win in 2012.
GETTING THE JOB DONE EARLY
In the 2nd inning, with two outs, Jimmy Rollins slapped a soft line drive to right for an RBI single, which was followed by an amazingly placed ground ball by Juan Pierre that resulted in an error and another run.
In the Cardinals half of the inning, they responded with a little “getting it done” themselves, with a double by Matt Adams followed by a ground ball down the first base line by Shane Robinson that barely made it inside the first base bag, resulting in an RBI double.
A WACKY FOURTH INNING
In the Cardinals half of the fourth, David Freese started off with a deep fly ball to center that Shane Victorino lost in the night sky that resulted in a triple. After Yadier Molina singled up the middle, Matt Adams hit a pop up to right that Hunter Pence lost in the sky that dropped in as well. But thanks to Victorino’s strong arm, Molina was thrown out at third on the play. The next hitter was Shane Robinson, who hit a slow roller to third for an infield single. Pitcher Kyle Lohse stepped to the plate and squared to bunt, only to pop it up to Placido Polanco at third. Finally, Rafael Furcal struck out to end the inning. Wacky stuff.
In the top of the 7th, after a Cliff Lee two-out single, Juan Pierre smoked a ball in the left-center gap and Lee hustled all the way around to score to tie the game. Then Lee came out and threw a scoreless inning to make sure the Cards couldn’t respond right away.
Then in the 8th, with Molina at first, Adams hit a gapper that looked like it would be a potential game winning hit, but a perfect relay throw by Victorino to Galvis to Ruiz had Molina–who tried a collision to jar the ball loose–out by a mile. I particularly liked the fact that after the rough collision, both catchers exchanged what looked to be friendly words. It’s always good to see good sportsmanship in such tight situations.
In the ninth, with runners on 1st and second and two outs, Raul Valdes made a series of good pitches to push the game to extras, and went on to pick up the win.
In the 10th, Juan Pierre lead off with an outstanding at-bat against closer Jason Motte, knocking a single. Hunter Pence came to the plate and launched an opposite field bomb that would be the game-winner for the Phils.
Rafael Furcal still has Cliff Lee’s number, as he hit his second home run off the Phillies lefty in 13 at-bats.
Lee continued to show his skills at the plate, as he collected two hits on the night.
The Phils take on the Cards again tomorrow night at 7:15 PM EST in the third of four games this weekend with Kyle Kendrick taking the mound for the Phillies and Jaime Garcia taking the mound for the Cardinals.