LA Dodgers lose to the St. Louis Cardinals but remain in 1st Place as team keeps optimistic (5/07)

The defending World Series Champions Cardinals came into town to play the first place Dodgers on May 14, 2007. This night belonged to St. Louis as they used the steady offensive attack and a good start from Brad Thompson. They jumped on LA starter Brett Tomko early scoring eight runs in the first three innings. World Series MVP, David Eckstein (pictured below) had three hits while fellow teammates Adam Kennedy, Chris Duncan, Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen all had two hits to help the Cardinals take an eight nothing lead and hold to win eight to four. The only position player without a hit was Luis Pujols who went 0 for 5. The Dodger hitters couldn’t put together any big innings. Rafael Furcal was 4 for 5 and Andre Ethier was 3 for 4 to lead their team. Furcal has been on fire with his second consecutive four hit game and 10 hits in his last 11 at bats. He has raised his average about 30 points and is looking more and more like the player he is supposed to be. Wilson Bettemit and Jeff Kent each added two hits including home runs by both.

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The Dodgers are still two games up in their division and with their strong pitching they will be a team to be reckoned with for the rest of the season. They signed Jason Schmidt who is still on the DL and is 1 and 2 with a 7.6 ERA. Even without him Brad Penny has been the best starter in the national league this season with a 5 and 0 record and a 1.39 ERA.  Derrick Lowe, Mark Hendrkson and Randy Wolf  have all been solid starters with Broxton and Saito coming in late the Dodgers are just about unbeatable if they have the lead after six innings. The hitting has been decent lead by Russell Martin’s .318 average. Garciaparra, Kent and Pierre are all batting .290 or better.

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The Cardinals have been struggling this year with injuries and disappointing play from their main stars. Duncan (pictured below) is the only starter batting .265 or better leading the team with a .289 average as he added a homerun vs. the Dodgers. Most all the other starters have underachieved with Pujols at .239, Edmonds at .218, Rolen at .216, Kennedy at .238 and Eckstein at .226. That is not going to get it done, especially when they have lost three starting pitchers. Their top pitcher, Chris Carpenter is on the DL and will be out a minimum of 2-3 months while Jeff Suppan signed with Milwaukee as a free agent as did Jason Marquis with Chicago. This could be a long year for the Cardinals while the Dodgers have been more consistent and have high hopes.

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