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Ludwick’s bomb pushes Cardinals past Nats

May 19, 2010

After Skip Schumaker’s error erased Chris Carpenter’s 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth-inning, Ryan Ludwick smashed a 434-foot home run to the left field bleachers to give the Cardinals their second win in as many tries against the Washington Nationals this year.

            “If Ludwick didn’t pick me up right there, I don’t know if I could look ‘Carp’ in the face until his next start,” Schumaker said. Schumaker’s error allowed Ryan Zimmerman to score and erased almost all hope for Carpenter to pick up his fifth win of the season.

            After Nick Stavinoha drew a walk pinch-hitting for Carpenter in the bottom of the eighth, pinch-runner Brendan Ryan was picked off by Tyler Clippard (7-3), who then surrendered Ludwick’s sixth home run of the season, leading to Clippard taking the loss.

            “The first two balls I hit as hard as I could, just right at guys,” Ludwick said. “I guess that’s the one way you can make sure you get a hit – hit it where they can’t catch it.”

            Carpenter pitched eight innings of nine-hit ball, while walking none and striking out five. Wil Nieves scored the only earned run of the game for the Nationals, on a home run to left field in the fifth inning.

            “We’ve been battling the last few weeks here, and to pull a game out like we did tonight — with me making some mistakes and some other guys making mistakes. For Luddy to pick it up and hit that homer there — these are big games. To win these games (is) big,” Carpenter said.

            The Cardinals ace was in trouble all night, stranding nine runners and benefiting from some spectacular defense from David Freese at third base.

            “I think runners were on all night long, weren’t they? Those guys put some nice at-bats on against me,” Carpenter said.

            Carpenter pitched a season-high 118 pitches, his most since Sept. 26, 2006. He improved his career record against the Nationals to 6-1, with this being his first victory since the Nats moved from Montreal to Washington.

            Felipe Lopez provided the Cardinals’ first two runs of the game on a two-run home run in the third. It was his first hit since coming off the DL Monday.

            The Cardinals have had some trouble scoring lately, mostly relying on superb pitching and the long ball to garner wins. The Cardinals have won both games since moving Albert Pujols to the clean-up spot in the lineup, hoping to rejuvenate their struggling offense.           

            “We’re getting better,” Lopez said. “But if you think about it, we’re getting by. We’re winning games like this. We’ve got to keep grinding. The fun will come.”

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From → Odds & Ends

One Comment
  1. Darth Vader permalink

    Not bad, not bad at all, good job miller

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