So after I got home from the sports bar where I watched the Twins/Royals game this afternoon, I settled in to watch the last few innings of the Mets/Cardinals game on FOX.
If you didn’t see this game, I really don’t know where to begin to explain it to you. You can read a brief write-up of the game from mlb.com writer Matthew Leach here (and while you’re there, click on the box score), but that story doesn’t really convey the flat out weirdness of this game.
I could tell you about how the game went 18 innings in a scoreless tie and how each team scored 1 run in the 19th. I could try to explain some of the absurdly strange strategies employed by the managers. But in the end, I think one picture might be worth all the words I could try to write.
In the 18th inning, former Twin starting pitcher Kyle Lohse entered the game for the Cardinals. No, not as their pitcher. He entered the game as the Cardinals’ left fielder, in the clean up hitter spot behind Albert Pujols in the batting order.Yes, fans, manager Tony LaRussa removed Matt Holliday from the game after the 10th inning as part of one of those fancy National League “double switch” things. Which means for the final 10 innings of the game, not only did LaRussa NOT have Holliday’s bat available, but the pitcher’s spot in the order followed Pujols. I know you’ll be shocked to learn Pujols was intentionally walked twice in extra innings, even when it meant loading the bases.
Meanwhile, Cardinals left fielder Joe Mather took to the mound in the 19th inning (in relief of Cardinals infielder Felipe Lopez, who pitched the 18th).
So… here, in the top of the 20th, we find another former Twin, the Mets 2B Luis Castillo hitting a fly ball down the left field line, off of Cardinals left fielder Joe Mather, where the ball is corralled by pitcher Kyle Lohse (yes the picture is fuzzy, but trust me, that’s Kyle). You can’t make this stuff up.
Lohse actually recorded a couple of put outs. He also went back to the warning track for a fly ball in his first inning in left field.