Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tonight's Cards-Mets game was a classic for the baseball purist. 3-0 for the Cardinals, the well-pitched affair featured a complete game shutout for Cardinals pitcher Joel Pinero. He only surrendered two hits the entire game. What made this even more amazing was that the game was interrupted by rain for 51 minutes. Typically the starting pitchers do not return after such a lengthy delay, but both did, and were quite effective. If not for a late 2 run bases-loaded single by Albert Pujols, Mets starter Livan Hernandez would have allowed only one unearned run. You may recall Hernandez as the hero of Game 1 of the 1997 World Series.
At this point, let me suggest that the casual fan, who eagerly desires offense in a game, scarcely understands the beauty of a well-pitched game. I have no disdain for hitters, but I have a special place in my heart for pitchers. And surely the noblest of all these warriors is the starting pitcher. We are far removed from starting pitchers who finished 25 games in a season, but it is not an entirely lost art, as the Cardinals starter showed. Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay is as likely to complete a game as not, an extreme rarity in this era. The Cards-Mets series will conclude with a great pairing, as the Cardinals will send 2005 National League Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter (5-1, 1.53 ERA) against Mets ace Johan Santana (8-5, 3.22 ERA).

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