Slowey Slowed by Pair of Gopher Balls
Ryan Ludwick, moved to the sixth spot in the St. Louis Cardinals order, hit home runs in consecutive at-bats on Sunday and Monday. He added a single and a double, the latter on a wind-blown fly ball in the fourth that should have been caught by Minnesota Twins left fielder Delmon Young, the latter wearing sunglasses on a cloudy day.
Albert Pujols contributed a two-run shot over the wall in center in the home third. Pujols’ shot and Ludwick’s latter long ball were off Twins starter Kevin Slowey, who came into the day with a 0.56 spring ERA. The righty yielded the three runs on seven hits in five innings.
Newly-named Cardinals fifth starter Jaime Garcia held the Twins’ travel squad off the board for two innings until Brendan Harris’ two-run triple put the visitors temporarily on top. Though he has a fast ball in the low 90’s, the 23-year-old left-hander used his 72 mph curve to get out of the jam. In three other innings, his sinker led to double plays. Garcia allowed eight hits, no walks and the two earned runs in six innings. In all fairness, Minnesota’s lineup was sans Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel.
Disclosure: I bought Garcia for $4 in the National League Tout Wars draft on Sunday afternoon. I expect I will be glad I did.
One player I stayed away from in drafts was questionable Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin, who blew the save opportunity in the top of the ninth while facing anonymous players with uniform numbers in the 70s and 80s. He was picked up by his teammates this time, receiving the win due to a walkoff two-run home run by minor league second baseman Daniel Descalso.