PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The entire sequence was a blur to Mike
Matheny. So was his throw to first base that saved the St. Louis
Matheny made a super play behind the plate for the final out,
and the Cardinals held off the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 Tuesday
With the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth, closer Jason
Isringhausen struck out Pat Burrell swinging at a high fastball.
The ball deflected off Matheny's glove all the way to the
backstop, but the two-time Gold Glove winner chased it down. With
no play at the plate, he fired a long throw to first, getting
Burrell by a half-step and preserving the victory.
"I don't remember seeing it. I just chucked it," Matheny said.
"It could have been real ugly. It would have been a nightmare."
It was an ending that Matheny, Isringhausen and even 25-year
veteran manager Tony La Russa had never seen.
"I can never figure this game out," La Russa said. "It had a
little bit of everything tonight."
Five Cardinals relievers combined for four scoreless innings.
Isringhausen struck out the side in the ninth for his third save in
four chances. The Cardinals walked Thome intentionally with runners
at first and second and two outs to get to Burrell.
"Thome has a ton of confidence against us," La Russa said of
the slugger's .444 average and 15 career homers against St. Louis.
"If we're going to walk into the clubhouse and somebody beat you,
it can't be him."
Chris Carpenter (2-1) got the win despite allowing all four
homers and five earned runs in five innings.
Phillies starter Brett Myers (0-2) had another subpar outing,
allowing 10 hits and six runs -- three earned -- in 5 2-3 innings.
Myers, who won 14 games last season, has yet to go more than six
innings this year. His ERA stands at 6.64.
His spot as the Phillies' fifth starter might be secure for now,
but rookie reliever Ryan Madson's 15 2-3 scoreless innings this
season could mean a demotion for Myers soon.
"A loss is always tough, but I felt good tonight," Myers said.
"My command was the best it's been for some time."
With the Cardinals ahead 5-2 in the fifth, Abreu, Thome and
Burrell hit consecutive home runs to tie it. It was the fifth time
in franchise history the Phillies hit three in a row. The last time
it occurred -- April 29, 1999 -- Rolen hit the first homer.
"We battled until the end, but we got all our runs on home
runs," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.
Rolen, traded from Philadelphia to St. Louis in 2002 after a
long, public dispute with Phillies management, was booed loudly the
Rolen shook off the rough treatment to give the Cardinals the
early lead with a two-out, two-run single in the first inning. St.
Louis took a 3-0 lead in the third when Womack reached on an error
by shortstop Jimmy Rollins and scored on a two-out single by
Abreu homered in the bottom half to cut it to 3-2.
But in the fifth, the Cardinals tacked on two more unearned
runs. Womack singled with one out and advanced on a wild pitch. Ray
Lankford hit a grounder that Thome misplayed at first base, scoring
Womack and sending Lankford to second. Two batters later, Edmonds
lined a single to right-center.
Phillies 3B David Bell started despite a sore hip that
relegated him to pinch-hitting duties on Sunday. ... Thome's eighth
homer of the season was the 389th of his career, tying him with
Hall of Famer Johnny Bench for 42nd place on the all-time list.
Thome is one behind Graig Nettles. ... Abreu improved to 7-for-15
career against Carpenter. ... Rolen is batting .407 (22-for-57)
against the Phillies since being traded. His two hits off Myers
made him 7-for-13 this season. ... Womack stole his ninth base in
the sixth inning and has yet to be thrown out. ... Phillies
reliever Roberto Hernandez limped off the field with a strained
calf and slammed his glove down after making a putout in the
seventh. He strained his calf earlier this year, too. After the
game, the team placed Hernandez on the 15-day DL and called up LHP
Jim Crowell from the minors. Madson will take over Hernandez's role
in the bullpen.