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NLCS Game 2
2004-10-14 21:05
by Mike Carminati

The Cards-Astros are in a rain delay. So while we have time, here are a few random thoughts. Pete Munro is the ultimate underdog. He had four wins this year. Is that the fewest by a playoff starter? I believe that the Twins started Milton last year, and he had something like one win in three starts, but he was injured most of the year. I also remember maybe Randy Lerch, who had something like 4 wins starting in maybe the '78 NLCS. I don't Kyle Lohse had that many his first year. I'll have to make a note to study that.

Anyway, everyone is concentrating on how bad an option Munro is (no power, four wins, hasn't started since Oct. 1). However, if he has a decent game or at least if Morris pitches like he did in the DS, a Houston win would be huge with Clemens and Oswalt going next. Of course, if they lose then concern becomes those two going on third day's rest. Anyway, the helpful Jeanie Zelasko informs me that the game is ready to commence. She looks like she's going to turn some tricks while the game goes on.

Astros 1st
[After 45 minute rain delay. It still seems to be raining or at least drizzling. Even wors a full night of Brennaman-Lyons. Ugh!]

Biggio—flies to left on first pitch.

Beltran—High fastball. Line drive to right. HR, Astros 1-0.

Bagwell—Ks on high heat.

Berkman—Flies to left.

Cards 1st

Womack—line drive over short. Single.

Walker—throw to first, had three lucky hits that very easy could have been none in previous game. 1-1. Throw to first. Munro hits Womack, into the stands. Womack takes second. Doesn't get third since going back to first. If rundown and going to second, I think he is awarded third. Full count. Foul on change. Ks, way in front of change.

Pujols—Lines hard on broken bat to third.

Rolen—0-1 pitch in dirt. When he misses, he misses big. 2-1, flies to center.

Astros 2nd

Kent—approaches plate in the stupendous "Groundhog cam", 0-1 bullet hits stands jutting out behind third, Double.

Ensberg—high strike called. Foul other way. Curve low and outside. Ensberg is way out in front of it K.

Vizcaino—Big curve—strike. Pops to shallow left, Renetria gets it.

Ausmus—way outside, 1-0. High—2-0. IBB. Lyons—"named cutest Astro"—great stuff. Real in-depth. Why walk this bum? Doing them a favor by getting rid of pitcher for next inning.

Munro—First pitch in dirt, swings, gets away from Matheny, Kemt goes to 3rd. Dolts not even watching. Nice walk. High, 1-1. Again 2-1. Still discussing how well Methany did not stopping WP. Low, 3-1. Way inside, almost hits him. Walks the bases loaded. Lyons just discovered that walks aren’t a good thing.

Biggio—Outside again, 1-0, Methany to mound. Off plate again but Biggio helps him by grounding to second, tosses to Renteria covering second. Bad piece of hitting.

Slama Lama Ding Dong. U2—iPod. God am I sick of these commercials. I still have nightmares about, what was that dumb show last year?, "Flesh"—"Her father's the DA, his father's the mob boss. When they met, it was murder…"

Cards 2nd

Edmonds—deep fly to center, Beltran in front of the track.

Scooter on the sinker—"I dive down like an anvil fell on my head—d'oh, the things I do for show business."

Renteria—Lost an ump (Ed Rapuano)—no reason why. Full count all on soft stuff around plate. Another—grounds to short.

Sanders—0-1 grounds to second.

Astros 3rd

Beltran—away, 1-0. Change right over plate, called strike. Heat outside and high, 2-1. Now just outside, Matheny wanted it. Change over the plate—called. Outside—walks. These dolts aren't even watching—did not acknowledge any pitch nor the walk.

Bagwell—Low. Ball in the dirt—WP, Beltran to second. Hangs a curve, liner down third base in stands. Ball. Morris is getting outpitched here. High heat called strike—first time in this series. Full count. Fouls change. Outside—walk.

Berkman—Off outside corner, gets called strike. Low, goes and gets it, pops off end of the bat to shallow center, Edmonds runs it down.

Kent—slider freezes him, 0-1. Low, 1-1. Fouls change. Slider in dirt, blocked. Fastball—outside and low. Can't locate fastball. Called strike on backdoor pitch as Brenly says to start runners because Kent doubles up a lot. Methany picks Bagwell off first. Tagged in a rundown. Do these guys even call anything right? Astros are wasting a lot of chances.

Cards 3rd

Matheny—right through Munro, single.

Morris—bunts on first pitch, Munro tags him.

Womack—Change outside, called strike. Hits to right side, Kent. Matheny to third.

Walker—"Larry" cheer. Ball. Ensberg in a little covering the bunt. Inside again, 2-0. Slider(?) called strike, looked outside. Fastball backdoor. Walker and crowd don't like it but good call. Same but lower on next pitch. Ks looking. Nice piece of pitching by Munro.

Astros 4th

Ensberg—Outside heat. Inside—fouls to right. Hanging curve—deposits deep to left. Astros 2-0, just as they were complaining about Ensberg's lack of homers.

Vizcaino—1-1, same pitch as Ensberg, gapper to left, Sanders throws to second, get him by three feet. It's good to be aggressive but these guys are wasting a ton of chances. Lyons likes the play but doesn't mention that Vizcaino hesitated out of box (thought homer?) and jogged around first.

Ausmus—three called strikes. I'd bat this guy ninth.

Ed Rapuano—left due to dizziness.

Munro—swings better than Ausmus. Grounds to second.

Cards 4th

Pujols—ball. Backdoor, timed perfectly, single to center.

Rolen—strike called. Low. Fouls outside heat. Ks on change outside. Nice pitch by Munro.

Edmonds—Outside slider. Called strike (change?). Same pitch—fouled back. These guys aren't even watching the game. High and inside—fouls. Bounces in front of the plate. Nice block by Ausmus. Same pitch as foul tip but more plate and Edmonds turns on it, into right field corner. Double. Why didn't Pujols score? He got a jump off of first? First bad pitch from Munro.

Renteria—foul fly into RF stands. Lines hard right to Kent on one knee. Pujols took step towards home. Kent laughing.

Sanders—Not swinging the bat well. Ball inside. Fastball on outside corner freezes him. Munro is pitching well here. Again, but too far outside. Same pitch—grounds to short. More wasted chances.

Astros 5th

Biggio-called strike. Low fastball, drives for single to left. They just noticed that Biggio was up.

Beltran—Gets call on fastball on corner, looked too far outside. Change in dirt, way ahead. Same pitch—Ks.

Bagwell—steps out. Foul tip. Low fastball—called a strike. Bagwell doesn't like it and shouldn’t it. Change almost in the dirt—why not call that a strike too? Ball. Bounces change. Fouls high heat—just misses. Morris throws to first, Balk. Sets to go home, steps, and then throws to 1st, yep. High change—foul tip. Just off the corner outside. Walk.

Berkman—Fouls back. Ball. High and tight—pulls to right. Pujols loses glove. Garner arguing that Pujols threw glove but no contact. Astrsos 3-0. First & Second. Duncan to mound. Pen getting up—Eldred.

Kent—Fastball grooved, Kent fouls right back—just missed. Two balls. Another low and outside but fouled off. Jammed inside to short. Klime up now too.

Ensberg—Fouled back. Over plate but doesn't get it all, flies to Edmonds.

Cards 5th

Matheny—Can Munro get bottom of order and get a win? Called strike. Ball outside. Gallo up in pen. High and in, fouled off. Backdoor—doesn't get it, but should be K. Whiffs on same pitch farther outside.

Anderson—PH for Morris, K, ball, Harville up in pen now. Ball outside. Bounces it, 3-1. Walks. Booth talking to pitching coach—kiss of death.

Womack—Inside. High fastball, grounds to Ensberg who was playing bunt, wants to go to second, but Kent was doing bunt rotation. No DP.

Walker—strike swinging, Womack goes to second without throw. Golf swing. Right over RF fence. Hanging change(?). Astros 3-2. I would pull Munro. He's lost it.

Pujols 1-1, Ball—ump no longer giving him outside corner. Same pitch—3-1. Again—hits up the middle. Garner pulls Munro—he can't get a decision but he deserved better.

Harville in.

Rolen—High/inside-fouled down 3B line. Some pitch as Pujols—hanging low curve. Same result but to left. Cards 4-3. Wow. "Shama Lama Ding Dong" sign—Oh mercy! Munro looks like he's going to cry on replay—poor guy.

Edmonds—1-1, curve-misses. Inside change—fouled down 1B line. Way outside. High fastball—foul. Ks on change.

Astros 6th

Kline in. Hey, his hat's clean.

Vizcaino—sinker in dirt. Same pitch into LF—single, Cards get Calero up. Duncan to mound.

Ausmus—same as Vizcaino on first pitch. They need to get him.

Bruntlett-PH for Harville. Wheeler up in pen. Kline gone.

Calero in.

Bruntlett—Ball shows bunt. Bunts right in front of plate, Pujols right there, to third—out, over to first, too late. Ouch! Garner's Bobby Coxing this series away.

Biggio—Misses slider 0-1. Outside, check swing, say he went around but didn’t. Same pitch—way out ahead. Ugly.

Bektran—Duncan to mound again. High change—ball. In dirt—2-0. High change again—3-0. Brenly says to give him green light. Ball way outside. Walks bases loaded.

Bagwell—change on outside corner freezes him. Same pitch—flies to right. Another wasted chance.

Cards 6th

Dan Wheeler in. Garner doesn't trust this guy, wouldn't use him in the DS, but had OK stats in limited use.

Renteria--0-2. Ball in dirt. Pops to Bagwell in foul territory.

Sanders—flies to Berkman on first pitch.

Matheny—called strike right over the plate. Rising fastball-foul. Low—Lyons really wanted it.

Taveras in pen. Gallo in Stros.

Stros 7th

Berkman—curve that hangs, goes other way to left-center. Double.

Kent—0-1 hanging curve—foul, 0-2 way outside, Methany thinks went around, bat barely off shoulder, crowd is disappointed—surprise!, flies to left

Ensberg—high strike, tries to pull it back too late. In the dirt, 1-1. Outside and low, 2-1.
Another one—Berkman steals third. Matheny had no chance. Foul, 3-2. Again. Slider up the middle, infield in—through for single. Tied 4-4.

Vizcaino—Fireworks going off. Hit and run. Outside fastball—Vizcaino misses. Runner out by a mile. Grounds to short on next pitch. Nice way to kill a rally.

Joe Nichols—"God Bless America", some awful country singer. Looks like you'd expect. Obligatory shots of a cop and a flag. Ends. Doesn't seem that anyone really cares.

Cards 7th

Cedeno—PH for Calero. Ks on four pitches.

Womack—takes right over the plate, ball, Gallo & Oswalt (just between starts) up in pen, dribbler down the line that Ensberg lets go foul—see that Bagwell? Grounds to Bagwell. Wheeler covers.

Walker—Lyons thinks that Oswalt will come in to pitch and then start on three day's rest. What a moron! Or maybe Garner is that poor a manager. Pops out to Vizcaino on 1-0.

Astros 8th

Taveras in.

Ausmus—1-0, grounds out to short.

Palmeiro—PH for Wheeler. Lyons—asks Brenly why Wheeler was on deck. Why not? Why show anything? Why help them get the lefty arm ready? Takes inside fastball. Fly to center. Lidge up in pen.

Biggio—Duncan to mound. Inside half of plate up fastball—strike. Slider outside—goes, 0-2. Two more farther outside and low, 2-2. outside change fouled. Same pitch—grounds to short.

Cards 8th

Miceli in

Pujols—1st pitch, high fastball, too much plate, line drive, deep HR to left. Cards 5-4.

Rolen—1-2 outside corner waste high, timed it perfectly, way out to left-center. Cards 6-4. Garner's moves are killing this team. Why not use Lidge?

Edmonds—Lyons is talking about how they can't get Lidge in, why not bring him in her to face meat. 2-1 down first base line, Bagwell gets him.

Renteria—first pitch, grounds to short.

Sanders—big swing, way out in front. Check swing, called strike 2. Way outside. Foul. Low. Goes other way with same pitch as Rolen, Berkman in front of track gets it.

Astros 9th

Isringhausen in.

Beltran—Ball. High heat looking—1-1, Ball outside. Same as pitch 2—goes around. Low. Outside. Walks.

Bagwell—Fouls. Low—1-1. "Let's Go Cardinals"—No "Who's Your Daddy?" High fastball—flies to center.

Berkman—Lidge and Oswalt up in pen. Beltran goes. Foul fly. High heat inside, jams flair to deep short, Renteria has it, throws to first but Beltran back.

Kent—low fastball, 1-0. High & inside—2-0. Low and outside—3-0. Way outside—walks.

Ensberg—Duncan to mound, Everett-PR for Kent. High heat, goes opposite way, Walker has it on the track. Cardinals up two games to one. Munro deserved better. The Astros should have won this game. Garner's choices are killing this team.

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