"I don't know what the pitch was -- probably a slider -- but Supe swung through it. Rodriguez threw the ball in the dirt, and
[Guillen] tried to scoop it up, but he had no chance." -- Miles
One (move) on, two (starters) out
With the Cardinals trailing by a run, Scott Rolen led off the sixth with a double and
was bunted to third by Preston Wilson before Yadier Molina walked on four pitches to put runners at the corners.
Jim Leyland came out to remove Bonderman, surprising and upsetting a workhorse who led the Tigers in innings pitched (214) and worked at least seven
innings in 15 of 34 starts. Leyland went to Fernando Rodney.
Rodney fans Miles with three devastating changeups, forcing Tony La Russa, with two down, to pull Suppan for a pinch-hitter, John Rodriguez, who also
went down swinging against Rodney to end the threat.
"Our starters have done a good job. I thought Bonderman did a good job. ... Probably the only start that wasn't quite up to par was
[Justin] Verlander [in Game 1]. So I think our starting pitching has done very well."
If at first you don't succeed ...
Eckstein led off the seventh with a double when Curtis Granderson lost his footing chasing his drive to center. Chris Duncan
was due up.
La Russa pinch-hit So Taguchi, with the obvious intent of again attempting his sixth-inning ploy of bunting the tying run to third.
Taguchi successfully laid down Rodney's first pitch -- but the chance to again second-guess La Russa's bunt strategy never arises. Rodney heaved the ball wildly past first, enabling Eckstein to score and make it 3-3,
as Taguchi reached second, from where he would score the go-ahead run on Wilson's two-out single.
"I'm not sure the ball was wet when Rodney picked it up, who knows. But I think it's the one thing that our club has done really well. We did some really good things, enough things, to come through in tough situations." -- La Russa
"It was a little bit of a freak inning. We thought we had a fly ball, one out ... and we just talked about making sure we get one out on the next play. And you could kind of see that the ball is a little wet and Fernando was a little tentative." -- Leyland
Closing time comes early
The situation: Rodriguez opened the top of the eighth with a double off Braden Looper, then carried the tying run to third base on some smart situational swinging by Placido Polanco, who grounded out to second.
La Russa placed an early call to Adam Wainwright, who hasn't been asked to get five outs since becoming St. Louis' closer before Labor Day.
Brandon Inge greeted Wainwright with a game-tying double to the base of the center-field fence.
"Right off, they scored that run, and I was disappointed. But it was only one run, and I needed to shut them down right there. When I got back to the dugout, Tony said, 'Let's go. Lock in. You've got to pitch the next inning.' I kinda had a feeling we'd score and I'd have another lead to protect." -- Wainwright