Dateline: Browns Chapel
On a beautiful fall afternoon, the Cardinals continued their road trip and played the Nationals for the first time of the year. Willie batted first and was hit by a pitch. Curtis, celebrating his birthday, drilled an infield single. Michael was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Matthew singled off the soft toss to pick up an RBI and score Willie and Curtis scored on an overthrow. Curtis started off on the mound and gave up a line shot where Willie made a great catch at short. Curtis settled down and struck out the next batter and the last batter grounded out to Michael at first. After one it was 2-0 Cards.
Top of the second and the Cards threatened again. Jack led off with a hard infield single to third. Willie hit a high fly to center where the center fielder made a nice play and fired to second for and out. Cardinals bats grew quiet and the Nationals pitcher settled down and got a strikeout to end the inning. Bottom of the second. Matthew on the mound. Three batters. Three strikeouts. Nine pitches.
Top of the third, the Cards bats exploded. Michael grounded out to first off the live pitcher. Matthew led off with a single off the soft toss. Isaac battled the pitcher but struck out for out two. Two outs, runner on first and the rally began. Nima singled off the soft toss. Matthew stole third. Kian singled off the soft toss to score Matthew. With the bases loaded, Jack drilled a long double to center to score Nima, Troy and Kian. The inning ended due to the statutory four run limit. Bottom of the third and Matthew went back to work. The Nationals got a couple of runners on but Matthew recorded three more strikeouts. This closed the book on him for the day with six strikeouts while only facing eight batters.
Top of the fourth, the Cards bats continued to do well. With one out, Willie singled to short off the soft toss. Curtis singled off the soft toss. Michael was hit by a pitch for the second time of the day. Matthew hit a hard shot back to the mound but the Nationals made a great play and threw home for an out at the plate. The Nationals pitcher settled down and got the third out. In the bottom of the fourth, Willie went to work and after hitting the first batter and giving up a single, he struck out three batters in a row. After four it was 6-0 Cards.
The Cards started the fifth as Nima beat out an infield hit. Troy grounded into a fielders choice as the shortstop got the ball and ran to second for an out. Kian singled off the live pitcher to put runners on at first and second. Jack was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Christopher singled off a soft toss to score Troy. Willie blasted a double to center off the soft toss to score Jack and Christopher. At this point the umpire called the game on account of darkness. By rule the final score was 6-0 as the home team did not get to bat in the last half of the inning so the score rolls back to the last completed inning. This reporter has decided to count all of the Cardinals runs. [Editors Note: The team reporter from the Cardinals is a long-time Cardinals fan and there isn’t much we can do about it.]
Coach Grossman was available briefly, “Well, we couldn’t have asked for better weather and its great to do well before a break over Columbus Day and Yom Kippur. We worked hard on hitting yesterday and we are going to focus on it again tomorrow as I think our players should start hitting live pitches at this point. I was extremely happy to see Kian hit a live pitch and I want to keep at this and get everyone to hit a live pitch. I am on the record as promising a trip to Dairy Queen if the whole team hits a live pitch in a game. Our pitching has continued to improve and its great to see the team come together.”