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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Cardinals come up short against Giants

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  • ST. LOUIS – There was no sweep in St. Louis on Sunday as the Cardinals lost the final game of the series to San Francisco. St. Louis fell behind early. San Francisco scored single runs in the second and third innings to take a 2-0 lead. The Cardinals tied it up at 2-2, but would get nothing more and eventually lost 4-2.
    More than the outcome though, the key moment in the game was when Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina was ejected following a play at first base.
    “(Molina) never said a word to the umpire,” Matheny said. “He was upset because he thought the ball was through and it would be a run for our club and thought we had a rally going. Then, all of the sudden he was thrown out. He wasn’t even close to talking about the call.”
    In the third, with two outs and two on, Molina hit a ball back to the Giants’ shortstop who made a spectacular play to get Molina at first and end the inning.
    Replay showed Molina was out and he didn’t dispute that fact.
    “(Molina) did nothing towards the umpire,” Matheny said. “The umpire went out of his way to instigate something and it should have never happened like that.”
    Molina, visibly upset, used both his hands and slammed his batter’s helmet into the ground while turning towards the dugout. Molina was immediately ejected by first base umpire Clint Fagan.
    “I was upset because I knew I was out,” Molina said. “I wasn’t upset with the umpire. I turned around and was going to the dugout when I heard ‘You are out. You are out of the game,’ and I was surprised.”
    Matheny was not happy with the reason his star was ejected.
    “There was an explanation all right, he said he threw his equipment,” Matheny said. “That was a very poor explanation in my mind. It’s a shame. The guy plays with a passion and is frustrated with himself. … The wrong decision was made.”
    At that point, Molina went ballistic and supposedly bumped another umpire, second base ump Mike Everitt who came over to first. In the process, Molina had to be restrained and Matheny was also ejected.
    “I didn’t do anything for him to throw me out,” Molina said. “Hopefully (MLB) looks at it because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
    The ejections were the third of each Matheny’s managerial  and Molina’s playing careers.
    “I just don’t understand how that call can be made if you are not out looking for it,” Matheny said. “Especially from a young umpire, because that changed the game for us. … That wasn’t necessary. That is all there is too it.”
    Page 2 of 3 - With Molina, the team’s hottest hitter tossed from the game, the Cardinals needed someone else to step up Sunday afternoon and hometown hero David Freese was the guy. Freese crushed the first pitch he saw from Giants' starter Chad Gaudin 399 feet to left center that just cleared the wall for a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth.
    “It was good to tie it up,” Freese said. “We just kept pushing and the Giants aren’t going to go anywhere. They have proven that strongly the last few years.”
    The Cardinals (37-19) never led though as Freese’s home run (his third of the season) only tied the game.
    San Francisco’s four runs were the most the Giants (30-27) had scored against the Cardinals all season. In San Francisco’s only other win over the Redbirds this season, the Cardinals were shutout 1-0.
    The Cardinals were only able to muster up six hits in the game. Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig each had a two-hit day, going 2-for-4. Freese (1-for-3) and Jon Jay (1-for-3) were the only other Cardinal hitters to record a base hit.
    The Giants pounded St. Louis pitching for 11 hits and two walks. However, the Cardinals’ defense kept the game close by turning four double plays. At one point, Pete Kozma and Freese turned Hunter Pence’s grounder into a 6-5 putout to catch Buster Posey trying to go to third.
    “We a make point to be strong at (our defense) no matter who is playing the infield,” Freese said. “That play that (Pete) Kozma made in charging that ball and making the throw somewhat behind to get Posey, that was a great play.”
    Tyler Lyons (2-1) got the start and was shaky all day. He had runners on in every inning he worked except the fourth.  Lyons gave up eight hits and was charged with all four runs. He walked two and struck out three.
    “Today was a little tougher for me,” Lyons said. “I was inconsistent kind of from the beginning. I didn’t have great fastball command. I applied myself and was just trying to do my best to eat up innings and get as far as we could.”
    Lyons admitted his defense bailed him out of a lot of trouble during the game.
    “I made a few pitches here and there with runners on base,” Lyons said. “The defense obviously did a good job making some plays behind me. I had some double plays. I made a few pitches here and there that gave the defense a chance to make a play that would really help us get out of some innings.”
    Page 3 of 3 - Other than Lyon’s 1-2-3 fourth inning, the only other St. Louis pitcher to have a perfect inning was Keith Butler. The rookie tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
    With the loss, the season series between the Giants and the Cardinals is over. The Cardinals took the series winning four games to two.
    “We came into this series wanting this pretty bad,” Freese said. “We won the series, but waking up this morning we wanted to complete it. They are happy they won and we aren’t.”
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