Why They Won
Because Bud Norris owns the Cardinals. He threw a career-high 8IP, didn't walk anybody, and the Astros got five hits out of Keppinger and Berkman.
Norris continues his dominance over the Cardinals. Let's look. Today was Norris' seventh start of the season. In the five starts against teams not in St. Louis, this is the line: 21.1IP, 28H/22ER, 24K:17BB. Against the Cardinals: 13IP, 12H/1ER, 17K:3BB.
Interestingly enough, Norris got 12 groundball outs, and three flyball outs. In his last outing against the Padres on May 7, Norris got one groundball. All game. So the tinkering of mechanics with Arnsberg - for one game - has paid off.
The hit that made the most news on the tweet line was that not one that actually resulted in a hit. Carlos Lee popped up a Carpenter pitch, and slammed his bat to the ground. Carpenter and Lee exchanged words (similar to when Bourn and Penny exchanged words for the same thing), and the benches emptied. No punches were thrown, but words were spoken. Later we'll look at a dust-up that changed 2004, but this is a good sign. Carlos Lee didn't do anything today, but go 0x3 with a walk. His batting average has now settled back under .200 at .198.
Pence was the one who got everything really started - and iced - after Berkman singled in Bourn. Pence took the 8th pitch of the AB in the 3rd to centerfield for a three-run homer off Carpenter. This happened immediately after Lee popped up, so this "playing angry" thing seems to be paying off. So I will commence blogging angry, in response.
Otherwise, it was a little bit more of the same for those struggling. Feliz was 0x3 to drop his line to .225/.244/.306, Matsui was 0x4 to drop his average to .164/.227/.180. The only one who should be happy about this is Tommy Manzella, who is unbelievably an upgrade over Matsui. I would imagine that, under normal circumstances (no day games following night games), Keppinger will slide over to second.
Pitch Count Hero: Bourn (0x3, BB) - 18 pitches in four PAs.
Pitch Count Punk: Berkman (3x4) - 8 pitches in four PAs. Though he did get on base three times, so it's not always a bad thing.
Man of the Match: Have to give it to Norris, who hadn't made it into the 6th all season.
Goat of the Game: Kaz Matsui. This is embarrassing. He saw 17 pitches, only four for balls.