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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

McClellan Cardinals unsung hero Friday


Matt Holliday
, John Smoltz and Ryan Franklin are among the St. Louis Cardinals players receiving well-deserved headlines for the club’s stirring 3-2 ninth-inning win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday at Busch Stadium. The win cut the Cards’ magic number for clinching their division to six.

Holliday’s walk-off home run deep to right field off Chicago reliever Aaron Heilman ended the game in the most dramatic fashion possible.

The long ball made the recently-struggling Franklin the winner after he fanned two in a scoreless top of the ninth, Bobby Scales and Jake Fox.

Holliday’s heroics accentuated another fine start by the 42-year-old future Hall of Famer Smoltz. Coming back after missing a turn with right shoulder tendinitis, the right-hander allowed just two runs on six hits and three walks in six innings of work.

Yet right-hander Kyle McClellan may have had the biggest night of all.

In his first of two scoreless innings of bullpen work in support of Smoltz on Friday, the 25-year-old second-year reliever fanned the side in the seventh. Cubs’ 1-2-3 hitters Ryan Theriot, Kosuke Fukodome and hot-hitting Derrek Lee were sat down in order.

It was the 17th time this season Cardinals hurlers retired the side via strikeout but perhaps the most impressive. Smoltz is the only one to have achieved the feat in consecutive innings, against San Diego in his St. Louis debut on August 23.

In 2009, McClellan has 15 holds, a 2.87 ERA and a .228 opposing batting average against in 62 2/3 innings over 61 games. He was the Cardinals Rookie of the Year in 2008.

Following are those who preceded McClellan this season.

Cardinals striking out the side, 2009

Date Pitcher Opp Batter Score Inn RoB Out Play Desc.
4/30/2009 Mitchell Boggs @WSN Cristian Guzman ahead 2 - 0 b 1 0 Strikeout Swinging
Mitchell Boggs @WSN Adam Dunn tied 2 - 2 b 1 1 Strikeout Looking
Mitchell Boggs @WSN Elijah Dukes tied 2 - 2 b 1 2 Strikeout Swinging
5/4/2009 Dennys Reyes PHI Shane Victorino down 1 - 6 t 7 0 Strikeout Swinging
Dennys Reyes PHI Ryan Howard down 1 - 6 t 7 1– 1 Strikeout Looking
Kyle McClellan PHI Jayson Werth down 1 - 6 t 7 1– 2 Strikeout Swinging
5/5/2009 Adam Wainwright PHI Jayson Werth down 0 - 1 t 2 0 Strikeout Swinging
Adam Wainwright PHI Pedro Feliz down 0 - 1 t 2 1 Strikeout Swinging
Adam Wainwright PHI Carlos Ruiz down 0 - 1 t 2 1– 2 Strikeout Swinging
5/17/2009 Todd Wellemeyer MIL Rickie Weeks tied 0 - 0 t 1 0 Strikeout Swinging
Todd Wellemeyer MIL Prince Fielder tied 0 - 0 t 1 -23 1 Strikeout Swinging
Todd Wellemeyer MIL Manny Parra down 0 - 4 t 1 1-3 2 Strikeout Swinging
5/18/2009 Chris Perez MIL Mike Cameron down 0 - 4 t 5 -12 0 Strikeout Swinging
Chris Perez MIL Corey Hart down 0 - 4 t 5 -12 1 Strikeout Swinging
Chris Perez MIL Braden Looper down 0 - 5 t 5 123 2 Strikeout Looking
6/10/2009 Chris Perez @FLA Ronny Paulino ahead 10 - 4 b 8 0 Strikeout Looking
Chris Perez @FLA Chris Coghlan ahead 10 - 4 b 8 1– 1 Strikeout Swinging
Chris Perez @FLA Emilio Bonifacio ahead 10 - 4 b 8 1– 2 Strikeout Swinging
6/17/2009 Todd Wellemeyer DET Marcus Thames ahead 3 - 2 t 6 0 Strikeout Swinging
Jason Motte DET Brandon Inge ahead 3 - 2 t 6 1– 1 Strikeout Swinging
Jason Motte DET Gerald Laird ahead 3 - 2 t 6 1– 2 Strikeout Swinging
7/1/2009 Adam Wainwright SFG Travis Ishikawa tied 1 - 1 t 9 1– 0 Strikeout Swinging, Renteria Steals 2B
Adam Wainwright SFG Juan Uribe tied 1 - 1 t 9 -2- 1 Strikeout Swinging
Adam Wainwright SFG Fred Lewis tied 1 - 1 t 9 -2- 2 Strikeout Swinging
7/10/2009 Chris Carpenter @CHC Mike Fontenot ahead 8 - 3 b 6 0 Strikeout Swinging
Chris Carpenter @CHC Koyie Hill ahead 8 - 3 b 6 1 Strikeout Looking
Chris Carpenter @CHC Jeff Baker ahead 8 - 3 b 6 2 Strikeout Swinging
2009-07-12(2) Ryan Franklin @CHC Milton Bradley ahead 4 - 2 b 9 0 Strikeout Looking
Ryan Franklin @CHC Jeff Baker ahead 4 - 2 b 9 1 Strikeout Looking
Ryan Franklin @CHC Micah Hoffpauir ahead 4 - 2 b 9 2 *ENDED GAME*:Strikeout Looking
7/21/2009 Todd Wellemeyer @HOU Kazuo Matsui down 1 - 4 b 5 3 0 Strikeout Swinging
Josh Kinney @HOU Carlos Lee down 1 - 5 b 5 1– 1 Strikeout Swinging, Tejada Steals 2B
Josh Kinney @HOU Geoff Blum down 1 - 5 b 5 -2- 2 Strikeout Swinging
7/29/2009 Joel Pineiro LAD Matt Kemp down 0 - 1 t 5 0 Strikeout Swinging
Joel Pineiro LAD Clayton Kershaw down 0 - 1 t 5 1 Strikeout Swinging
Joel Pineiro LAD Orlando Hudson down 0 - 1 t 5 1– 2 Strikeout Looking
8/12/2009 Chris Carpenter CIN Wladimir Balenti ahead 3 - 0 t 2 0 Strikeout Looking
Chris Carpenter CIN Alex Gonzalez ahead 3 - 0 t 2 1 Strikeout Looking
Chris Carpenter CIN Drew Sutton ahead 3 - 0 t 2 2 Strikeout Swinging
8/23/2009 John Smoltz @SDP Kevin Kouzmanoff ahead 4 0 b 2 0 Strikeout Swinging
John Smoltz @SDP Will Venable ahead 4 - 0 b 2 1 Strikeout Looking
John Smoltz @SDP Nick Hundley ahead 4 - 0 b 2 2 Strikeout Swinging
John Smoltz @SDP Luis Rodriguez ahead 4 - 0 b 3 0 Strikeout Looking
John Smoltz @SDP Edward Mujica ahead 4 - 0 b 3 1 Strikeout Swinging
John Smoltz @SDP Everth Cabrera ahead 4 - 0 b 3 2 Strikeout Swinging
9/2/2009 Jason Motte MIL Jason Kendall ahead 10 - 3 t 8 0 Strikeout Swinging
Jason Motte MIL J.J. Hardy ahead 10 - 3 t 8 1 Strikeout Looking
Jason Motte MIL Felipe Lopez ahead 10 - 3 t 8 -2- 2 Strikeout Looking

Thanks to Tom Orf for the above table.

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