Cardinals even series behind Beltran


By: Malaika Bobino

San Francisco, CA – Some would think, whoever created the schedule played a vicious prank on the St. Louis Cardinals.  Day two of opening series week featured last seasons MVP, Buster Posey.  Yesterday the Giants celebrated raising their championship banner and today’s ceremony belonged solely to Posey.

So, I guess it’s fitting for the Cardinals to tie the series behind the “hot” at-bats from Carlos Beltran.  St. Louis finally beat San Francisco 6-3 and no longer have the memory of the defeat from the National League Championship game where the Giants advanced to the World Series and became the 2012 champions.

“It’s just getting into rhythm,” manager Bruce Bochy said.  “We’ll get it going.”

It was a rough start for Ryan Vogelsong and the first time this season a [Giants] starting pitcher gave up an error, ending their streak after 26 innings.  Vogelsong struggled at the mound in the first inning, allowing Matt Carpenter to get on base with a left infield bunt.  Carpenter then advanced to second on a pass ball and moved to third on a wild pitch.  The sellout crowd tried to their right-handed pitcher back into the game but not in time before Beltran hit an RBI single to right field to give St. Louis a 1-0.

“I guess I was trying to hard in the first inning, going too much for the break on my breaking pitches,” said Ryan.  “I just didn’t make enough pitches, it’s what it comes down too.  I didn’t feel like I pitched terrible, it was just one of those days.”

San Francisco turned things around quickly when Hunter Pence blasted a solo shot to center field to leadoff the second frame.  Pablo Sandoval again present at the plate hit an RBI single to extend their lead to 2-1 and knocked in his second home run of the season in the eighth.  Sandoval was 2-for-4 with two RBI’s but that wasn’t enough,  Giants hitters went 7-for-33 at the plate and 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

Carlos had a three RBI’s and his second two-run single came in the fifth to give the Cardinals a 4-2 lead.  Vogelsong ended his day after 5.1 innings with a runner at first trailing 5-2.  He surrendered nine hits, five runs (all earned), walked two and struck out six.

“It’s a good team and we have a good lineup,” Beltran said.  “We have guys from top to bottom that can do the job.”

St. Louis also got a good performance from Shelby Miller who lasted 5 1/3 innings, giving up four hits, two runs (all earned) and four strikeouts.  He walked four of the last nine batters he faced but none  advanced to third base.  San Francisco’s defense fell apart and had no answer to back their pitcher.

“Miller’s got good stuff,” said Buster.  “He stayed out of the middle of the plate.”

“He pitched well, and did a good job of holding us down,” Bochy said.

Notes – Before the game Buster Posey was honored and presented along with his family, the 2012 MVP and Silver Slugger Awards.  Four former Giants National League MVP’s were present except one big name (who was at one point the franchise player), Barry Bonds.  But the sellout crowd graciously cheered on Willie Mays (1954, 1965), Willie McCovey (1969), Kevin Mitchell (1989) and Jeff Kent (2000) who attended the ceremony.

Posey is the seventh Giants player to win the award, those not present were Carl Hubbell (1933, 1936) and Bonds (1993, 2001 to 2004).  Buster is already predicted to become one of the greatest catchers in the game.  A humble, well mannered man who just recently signed a 9-year contract earned the honor after an amazing comeback season after an unforgettable leg injury back in 2011.

“I am extremely honored to have my name etched along side of these winners,” Buster said.

“This guy is going to be around for a long time,” said manager Bruce Bochy.  “At his age, what he’s already done is truly amazing.