Looper goes nine

by on June 11, 2008 · 0 comments

Braden Looper just completed what may be the best performance by a Cardinals starting pitcher to date this season.

Pitchers IP H R ER BB SO HR PC-ST ERA
B Looper (W, 8-5) 9.0 3 0 0 0 4 0 98-63 4.34

For a guy who hadn’t finished a game as a starter in his career (albeit a short one, as a starter), this was an even more magnificent outing. Only 98 pitches, 63 of them for strikes. To put this in perspective, Looper’s opponent, Reds “phenom” Johnny Cueto posted this line:

Pitchers IP H R ER BB SO HR PC-ST ERA
J Cueto (L, 5-6) 5.0 5 6 6 8 2 2 101-50 5.42

That’s right, Cueto threw 51 pitches for balls. In five innings.

Now, obviously that contributed, on a night when Rick Ankiel (again), Ryan Ludwick (again), and Jason LaRue (what?) hit home runs worth six of the Cards’ ten runs on the evening. Ludwick’s homer was a solo shot, and he also had an RBI double in the fourth (should’ve scored two, but Aaron Miles doesn’t know how to slide).

The boys responded very well to a day full of “Chicken Little” reporting from major media, including the hometown paper.

Tonight’s news bore this:

Cardinals first baseman {bbref|p/pujolal|Albert Pujols}} has been diagnosed as suffering from a moderate strain of the left calf and is expected to miss a minimum of three weeks, according to club sources.

Not shocking. As Mo described in yesterday’s bits, it looked bad. Here’s hoping it will be a short stay on the DL for El Hombre. God speed Albert – the boys got things on lock down until you get back.

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Writing about the Cardinals and other loosely associated topics since 2008, I've grown tired of the April run-out only to disappoint Cardinal fans everywhere by mid-May. I do not believe in surrendering free outs.
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