On a night where Hanley Ramirez made his debut in Dodger-blue, the St. Louis Cardinals (52-46) defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers (53-46) by a score of 3-2 in twelve innings on Wednesday night. The Cards won on a walk-off hit by Rafael Furcal in the bottom of the twelfth inning.
Though the Dodgers had outhit the Cardinals 7-2 after eight innings, the score remained tied at two heading into the ninth inning. This was of course after Matt Holliday came to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning with the bases loaded and one out, but hit a sharp line drive right to second baseman Mark Ellis, who stepped on second base to complete the unassisted double play.
This was certainly an entertaining game to watch, even if it was a little exhausting. Kyle Lohse was great — again, giving up two earned runs on seven hits over seven innings pitched. Most importantly, he did not walk a batter, throwing about 2/3 of his pitches for strikes. Tonight marked the first time since 2004 that the Cardinals have had twenty straight games in which their starters have thrown six or more innings. This is a remarkable achievement and saves a lot of stress that will be needed to put on these relievers down the stretch as they make a playoff-run.
Speaking of the bullpen, Mitchell Boggs, whose ERA is now at 1.76, had yet another scoreless outing and continues to be far and away the most reliable arm in the Cardinals’ bullpen. Jason Motte proceded Boggs to throw a scoreless frame in the ninth and tenth innings, and Fernando Salas was nearly perfect in the eleventh and twelfth innings, merely allowing one baserunner.
In the bottom of the ninth, I would have thought that between Carlos Beltran, Allen Craig, and Yadier Molina, they would have been able to manage at least one baserunner, but a strikeout and two ground outs forced by Ronald Bellsario forced the game to extra innings. Besides a leadoff single in the tenth inning by Tyler Greene who subsequently was picked off, both teams were relatively quiet in the tenth and eleventh innings, and to be honest it made for not that exciting of a finish. Regardless, I’m never going to complain about a walk-off victory in extra innings, and it was encouraging to see this team pull off this victory, as it shows signs of life that this team seemed to be missing just one week ago. They are now 5-1 on the homestand and 6-6 to begin the second half.
What’s Next: The Cardinals look to win their four-game series from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday afternoon. Chris Young (10-5) will get the start against Jake Westbrook (8-8). The game begins at 12:45 CST and can be seen on Fox Sports Midwest.