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News » St. Louis Cardinals Inside Pitch 2009-04-28

St. Louis Cardinals Inside Pitch 2009-04-28

St. Louis Cardinals Inside Pitch 2009-04-28
Joel Pineiro is about four months ahead of 2008. Pineiro didn't win his fourth game until early August last year and wound up 7-7, but he has the best record in the National League at 4-0 after beating Atlanta with the considerable help of three relievers Monday.

Again, Pineiro didn't need a strikeout pitch. He didn't fan anybody in eight innings when he beat New York last week, and he fanned just one Monday. But he got 13 groundball outs, including a couple of spectacular plays by backup SS Brendan Ryan.

With Pineiro trusting his sinkerball and working quickly, the Cardinals' defense, which has made 20 errors in 20 games, generally has been at its best when he pitches.

"Great defense once again," said Pineiro. "I try to keep the ball moving as quickly as I can. Hopefully, the guys don't get on their heels."

Even though Pineiro had thrown just 76 pitches, he was pulled with two outs in the seventh as the Cardinals had a one-run lead and the Braves had a runner at second. The hitter was David Ross, who had doubled home a run and been robbed of another hit by Ryan. Righty Chris Perez entered the game.

"I just thought it was a better match-up with Perez instead of Ross seeing (Pineiro) for a third time," said manager Tony La Russa.

Perez fanned Ross on a slider to end the inning.

In the eighth, right-hander Kyle McClellan walked third baseman Chipper Jones to fill the bases with two out but then got first baseman Casey Kotchman on a fly to right. In the ninth, righty Ryan Franklin ripped off his sixth straight save with a perfect inning.

CARDINALS 3, BRAVES 2: The Cardinals, the top hitting team in the league and the top clutch hitting team in the league, delivered three two-out singles to score all their runs. Two were knocked in by CF Rick Ankiel, who was not an exceptional hitter with men in scoring position either last year or until just recently this year. The other came off the bat of LF Chris Duncan.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 28, 2009

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