The Coaches Game – 02/26/07
The St. Louis Cardinals sent Dyar Miller to the mound to start the first Coaches game of spring training.
Home Team - the "So" team – Starting Lineup;
1. Bryan Anderson, DH
2. Gary Bennett, C
3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Adam Kennedy, 2B
5. Scott Rolen, 3B
6. David Eckstein, SS
7. Rick Ankiel, LF
8. So Taguchi, CF
9. Preston Wilson, RF
Visiting Team – the "Skip" team – Starting Lineup
1. Danilo Sanchez, DH
2. Yadier Molina, C
3. Eli Marrero, 1B
4. Aaron Miles, 2B
5. Scott Spiezio, 3B
6. Jolbert Cabrera, SS
7. Chris Duncan, LF
8. Skip Schumaker, CF
9. John Rodriguez, RF
TOP OF THE 1ST
Leading off for the "Skip" team, the DH, Danilo Sanchez – flew out to deep left as Rick Ankiel makes a diving catch to rob Sanchez of a hit. (OUT)
Yadier Molina drove a ball into left center for a base hit. The first of many we hope.
Eli Marrero came up to the plate next. Marrero is trying to make the club as the Cardinals third string catcher or a utility man who can play all outfield positions, 1st and yes catch. Marrero doubles down the left field line, and Ankiel who earlier made a great play to rob Sanchez of an extra base hit, bobbled the ball, allowing Molina to score and Marrero to move to third on the throw to home.
SKIP Team leads 1-0
Aaron Miles flied out to right field deep enough to score Marrero from third. (OUT)
SKIP Team leads 2-0
Scott Spiezio, a switch-hitter batting left handed this time, came to the plate with two outs and hit a hard line drive to right for a base hit.
#19 Jolbert Cabrera stepped up to the plate with two outs and Spiezio on first and flies out to Rick Ankiel in left for the final out. (OUT)
At the end of the top half of the 1st inning it is the Skip Team 2, with the "SO" team coming to bat.
BOTTOM OF THE 1ST
Leading off for the "SO" team, catcher Bryan Anderson #87, delivers a base hit to left to start the inning.
Backup catcher Gary Bennett grounds out into a 4-6-3 double play that was turned very quick by old and new teammates Adam Kennedy and David Eckstein. (TWO OUTS)
Two outs already and the bases are empty. Maybe the Cardinals found their fifth starter in pitching coach Dyar Miller.
Albert Pujols gets some wood on the ball and flies out to deep center to close out the bottom half of the 1st. (OUT)
As the end of one inning of play the "SKIP" team had a 2-0 lead.
TOP OF THE 2nd
Big Chris Duncan, led off for the "SKIP" team and doubled to center and Dunc probably would have surprised you by how fast he got over to second base.
Skip Schumaker, hit a doubled down the right field line, driving Duncan home from second. The back to back doubles gave the underdog "SKIP" team, a 3-0 lead over the heavily favored "SO" team. What else would you expect from a Schumaker team?
John Rodriguez grounded out to first, as Schumaker moved to third on the play. (OUT)
PITCHING CHANGE – Cardinals manager Tony La Russa sends in special pitching coach Dennis Martinez to relieve Dyar Miller.
DH Danilo Sanchez stepped up to the plate to face Martinez and promptly hit a sacrifice fly to left, deep enough to score Schumaker from 3rd. (OUT)
Yadier Molina, grounded into a 6-3 out. (OUT)
At the end of 1 1/2 innings the "Skip" team leads the "SO" team 4-0
BOTTOM OF THE 2nd
Scott Rolen led off the second and after the first pitch from Dennis Martinez, that seemed to have a lot of movement on it, Rolen asked La Russa to check the ball. Rolen then hit a single to left.
David Eckstein – grounded into a double play. (2 OUTS)
Rick Ankiel homered to left, to put the "SO" team on the board. Score 4-1 Ok we forgive you for the miscue in left.
SO Taguchi – got an infield hit after hustling down the line. How can you not like this guy?
Preston Wilson – got a base hit, moving Taguchi to second.
Bryan Anderson – got the third hit in a row and Taguchi scored.
Gary Bennett – grounds out to short as Cabrera makes a short toss to Miles. (OUT)
At the end of two innings the "Skip" team's lead is down to 4-2
TOP OF THE THIRD
The Cardinals sent in minor league pitching coordinator, Mark Riggins to pitch the third and final inning.
The "Skip" team sent Eli Marrero to the plate to lead off the inning. Marrero doubled down the left field line. He still has some speed folks, beating out a throw to second that might have gotten someone else.
Second baseman Aaron Miles got a base hit to right, to move Marrero to third.
Runners at first and third, the "Skip" team was looking to extend their lead over the star- studded "SO" team.
Scott Spiezio hit a single to left, scoring Marrero from third and Ankiel once again bobbles the ball on the play, as Miles advances to third base. The "Skip" team goes ahead 5-1.
Jobert Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Miles from third. (OUT)
Left fielder Chris Duncan drove a single to left, moving Spiezio to third.
Skip Schumaker hit a ball toward second base, where Adam Kennedy made a spectacular play to save a hit, throwing Skip out at first. Spiezio scores from third, giving his team a 7-2 lead. (OUT)
John Rodriguez grounded out to Kennedy at second who made the throw to first to end the inning. (OUT)
The Skip Team led the multi-million dollar "SO" team 7-2, going into the bottom of the 3rd.
BOTTOM OF THE 3RD
Albert Pujols led off the third with a double to the gap in left center and moves to third on a poor throw from center that wasn't handled at second.
Scott Rolen flied out to short center, Pujols stays on third. (OUT)
David Eckstein grounded out to second, scoring Pujols from third, cutting the lead down to 7-3. (OUT)
Rick Ankiel doubles off the outfield fence on a play that should have been made by Chris Duncan in left, who is still a work in progress when it comes to his defense.
SO Taguchi on the advice of Albert Pujols, hit a two-run home run over the left field fence to move within two runs of the "SKIP" team, 7-5.
Outfielder Preston Wilson stepped up into the batters box with the bases empty, trying to get on to bring the tying run to the plate. Wilson grounded to short to end the inning and what you might think would be the end of the three inning game, but hold up.
Cardinal's manager Tony La Russa, in the tradition of Vince McMahon of the World Wresting Federation, acting as the Coaches League Commissioner, comes out and gives the "SO" team three more batters. Hey is this game fixed?
The game continues, with the "SO" team trailing 7-5, pulling out all stops to avoid a loss.
Apparently the lineup card was somehow lost or was written in pencil, as Rick Ankiel stepped to the plate (didn't he just bat two batters ago?) and sliced a ball to deep right center, out of the range of anyone, or so I thought, a fully outstretch John Rodriguez near the track made a great diving catch to save the day, or at least the moment.
Albert Pujols steps out on the field, now that no one can find a lineup card, I know he just batted. He looks to the fans on the other side of the fence in left and like the great "Babe" himself, hits a homerun there to give a lucky fan a ball to take home. Score 7-6
The team's Captain SO Taguchi who had already hit a two-run homer in the same inning, tries again to work his magic, this time hitting a soft fly to the outfield to end the game.
Final Score – "SKIP" 7 "SO" 6
A rematch is supposed to be scheduled for Tuesday.
COACH'S GAME NOTES
According to a report filed by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the popular Bird Land Blog, "Adam Kennedy, who robbed Skip Schumaker of a base hit with a lunging stop to his left in the coach's game, did not take his at-bats during the coaches game. The Cardinals' starting second baseman felt a twinge in his right side — "nothing serious," he said — during batting practice Sunday. He took Monday off from swings to make sure the injury didn't worsen."