Be honest. You were nervous, weren't you? I know I was. Despite the Cardinals scoring 5 runs in the top of the 8th, thankfully a half inning after the Astros got five of their own, and made sure they won this series with an 11-6 win. Wandy got his 10th win, tying a career-high, by the way.
Wandy: 7IP, 4H/1ER, 5K:0BB, 20/26 First-pitch strikes, 31/71 non-contact strikes (23 called:8 swinging)
Paronto: 0.1IP, 3H/4ER, 0K:1BB, 4/5 FPS, 3/14 NCS (1c:2s)
Wright: 0.2IP, 1H/1ER, 2/3 FPS, 2/7 NCS (1c:1s)
Arias: 1IP, 0H/0ER, 1/3 FPS, 0/3 NCS
Hmmm. Welcome to Houston, Chad Paronto. He and Wesley Wright will again be teammates, but in Round Rock, if they keep that up. After Wandy held the Cardinals' offense down for seven innings, needing 104 pitches to run through 21 batters, they needed 34 pitches to get through the 8th, and made it more interesting than was called for. Arias needed just six pitches to finish it off in the 9th, and there you have it. Wandy only got to a 3-ball count four times - two of those were hits, and one of those was DeRosa's homer in the second that gave the Cardinals the briefest of leads.
Because the offense had it going. The Cardinals had a 1-0 lead for half an inning. Pitching with the lead, he got Lee to strike out swinging, walked Blum on four pitches, and gave up a Hunter Pence homer to left. Tejada singled in Bourn - who had previously singled and stolen 2nd; Chris Coste, starting in place of Lance, got himself an RBI double in the 4th; Tejada again singled in Bourn in the 5th. Then you had the 7th. PJ Walters gave up a double to Wandy (!), walked Bourn, Matsui sac'ed the runners over, intentionally walked Tejada (?), and gave up a granny to Lee and a homer to Blum consecutively.
This isn't a place where we question the wisdom of another team's manager, and far be it from me to question future Hall-of-Famer Tony LaRussa. I guess he was playing for the double play by walking Tejada. Tejada was also, at this point in the game, 2x3 with 2RBI. Lee was 0x3 with 2K. So I guess it makes sense, but I also remember last night, when Carlos Lee hit a 3-run homer. So what are you gonna do? Tejada would go on to hit a sac fly scoring Q in the 8th. The 3-4-5-6 of Tejada-Lee-Blum-Pence was 6x13 with 3 homers, 6 runs and 10 RBI.
Man of the Match: Even though Wandy made it 18+ scoreless innings and lowered his ERA to 2.72, this one is going to Miguel Tejada. 3RBI on the night, including accounting for two of the first five runs of the game, really getting it going after Pence's 2-run shot.
Goat of the Game: I really don't want to give a Goat to a guy making his first appearance of the season. But that's exactly what I'm going to do. Chad Paronto, bring your 108.01 ERA down! The only out he recorded still scored a run for the Cardinals and made a laugher not so funny.