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Two homers in one inning against Cards pitching not that rare

Baseball clubs make pitching changes either to head off trouble before it begins or perhaps even more often, to stop the bleeding before it becomes terminal. On Wednesday in Miami, the moves to the pen made by manager Mike Matheny proved fatal for the St. Louis Cardinals’ chances on that night.

During the seventh inning, Cardinals starter Joe Kelly had to watch from the bench as he was removed from the game after six solid frames of two-run baseball.

The move was understandable, given Kelly’s rookie status. Though he had thrown just 85 pitches, Kelly had gotten into trouble in the fifth, with two walks having turned into runs.

The Cards plated a run in the top of the seventh on Tony Cruz’ home run. It broke a 2-2 tie and set up Kelly for a nicely-deserved win. He did not get to enjoy the possibility of his second career victory very long.

With nine outs to secure, Matheny turned to Fernando Salas in relief. After a strikeout, the right-hander yielded a home run to John Buck that re-tied the game.

Lefty Sam Freeman was then called upon to face Logan Morrison. The move backfired when Morrison’s shot to left bounced off the top of the wall for a replay-assisted home run.

After a second out was secured, Victor Marte came in to escape the inning, but the right-hander yielded a run of his own in the eighth to create the final 5-3 margin.

It was not pleasant symmetry – three relievers, three two innings, three runs allowed.

FOX Sports Midwest stat man Tim Trokey tweeted that the back-to-back home runs served up by Salas and Freeman were the first allowed by different Cardinals relievers in 35 years. On June 20, 1977 versus the Dodgers, Larry Dierker and Clay Carroll were the victims.

Casting a wider net, researcher Tom Orf provided a list of the 16 times since 2000 that any two Cardinals pitchers allowed home runs in the same inning. On the average, the event occurs slightly more often than twice once per season, with four of them happening during the forgettable 2003 campaign. The club avoided this malady entirely during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Wednesday was the Cards’ second two-pitcher, two-homer inning of 2012. It previously happened 15 days earlier against the White Sox when Marc Rzepczynski and Mitchell Boggs were taken deep during the eighth inning on June 12.

St. Louis Cardinals, home runs allowed by two different pitchers in the same inning, 2000-present

Date Pitcher Opp Batter Score Inn RoB Out R
7/23/2000 Heathcliff Slocumb @HOU Bill Spiers down 6-9 b7 123 1 4
7/23/2000 Alan Benes @HOU Lance Berkman down 6-13 b7 1– 2 2
5/18/2001 Mike Timlin @PHI Marlon Anderson tied 0-0 b8 1– 0 2
5/18/2001 Steve Kline @PHI Jimmy Rollins down 0-2 b8 1– 0 2
9/12/2002 Dave Veres @HOU Craig Biggio ahead 3-2 b8 0 1
9/12/2002 Mike Crudale @HOU Jose Vizcaino tied 3-3 b8 -12 1 3
9/18/2002 Gabe Molina @COL Ross Gload ahead 3-1 b7 1 1
9/18/2002 Jeff Fassero @COL Ben Petrick ahead 3-2 b7 2 1
4/10/2003 Lance Painter @COL Todd Helton ahead 6-4 b8 1 1
4/10/2003 Steve Kline @COL Jose Hernandez ahead 6-5 b8 1– 2 2
4/27/2003 Jeff Fassero @FLA Luis Castillo ahead 6-2 b9 1 1
4/27/2003 Russ Springer @FLA Mike Lowell ahead 6-4 b9 1– 2 2
8/20/2003 Jason Pearson PIT Reggie Sanders down 0-5 t5 0 1
8/20/2003 Esteban Yan PIT Reggie Sanders down 0-9 t5 123 2 4
8/22/2003 Steve Kline PHI Jim Thome ahead 4-3 t8 1– 1 2
8/22/2003 Esteban Yan PHI Pat Burrell down 4-5 t8 -2- 2 2
4/6/2004 Jason Marquis MIL Lyle Overbay tied 3-3 t6 3 0 2
4/6/2004 Jason Simontacchi MIL Chad Moeller down 3-5 t6 1– 1 2
6/10/2004 Dan Haren @CHC Moises Alou down 0-5 b4 -12 2 3
6/10/2004 Cal Eldred @CHC Derrek Lee down 0-9 b4 1– 2 2
5/10/2005 Matt Morris LAD Jeff Kent ahead 7-3 t6 0 1
5/10/2005 Kevin Jarvis LAD Hee-Seop Choi ahead 7-6 t6 -12 2 3
7/18/2006 Jason Marquis ATL Chipper Jones down 1-10 t6 0 1
7/18/2006 Tyler Johnson ATL Brian McCann down 1-11 t6 1– 0 2
9/17/2007 Brad Thompson PHI Aaron Rowand down 0-1 t4 1– 0 2
9/17/2007 Andy Cavazos PHI Jimmy Rollins down 0-3 t4 -23 2 3
7/9/2008 Kyle McClellan @PHI Ryan Howard tied 2-2 b8 0 1
7/9/2008 Chris Perez @PHI Pedro Feliz down 2-3 b8 2 1
5/22/2011 Jaime Garcia @KCR Jeff Francoeur ahead 7-2 b6 0 1
5/22/2011 Miguel Batista @KCR Wilson Betemit ahead 7-3 b6 -2- 0 2
6/12/2012 Marc Rzepczynski CHW Adam Dunn down 1-3 t8 1 1
6/12/2012 Mitchell Boggs CHW A.J. Pierzynski down 1-4 t8 1– 2 2

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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22 Responses to “Two homers in one inning against Cards pitching not that rare”

  1. WesPowell says:

    Every blog needs a proud and loud smart-alek.

    How does 17 times since 2000 average out to slightly more often than twice a year?

    • Brian Walton says:

      Not a smart alec at all. It was just a mistake. Two homers = once.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Also Brian you mentioned 3 relievers, 3 innings, 3 runs. It was 3 reliever, 2 innings, 3 runs. Yet 3-2-3 is still symettric.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Haste makes wast… It would have been three innings had the pen done their job.

          • JumboShrimp says:

            Thanks for the photo of Freeman yielding the ball. I would wish him to yield the mound and head straight to Memphis.

            • Brian Walton says:

              I’ve noticed a recent lack of stumping for your small-sample size favorite John Gaub. Perhaps that is because he has been awful. Seven earned runs in seven innings, so the ERA calculation is easy.

              I suggest you shift your allegiance to Barret Browning. He actually might be deserving of a shot.

              • Bw52 says:

                Just looking at stats Browning sure looks worth adding to the 40-man.Somebody like Kozma or Bryan Anderson or Gaub could be dropped from the 40.Kozma has been passed by Ryan Jackson and Bryan Anderson still barely above Mendoza line.Noticed Gast,Tyler Lyons are both getting AAA baptisms the hard way.Also see Zach Cox averaGE UP TO .236………………….Looks like another AAA season for him in 2013 to right the ship.
                Wondering if Cards can see Tyler ZLyons as a bullpen guy.same question for Gast?

              • JumboShrimp says:

                Now Brian, much more than I, you seem a maestro of small n, because your Freeman has only made about 6 appearances at AAA, whereas Gaub has made about 130 more at this rung. Also Gaub has had an uncommonly high K rate, throughout his minor league career. So based on the entirety of their pro careers, I am comfortable preferring the guy with swing and miss stuff.

                rowning is experienced too, like Gaub. And he has pitched very well this season. I have no problem with Browning replacing Freeman. Freeman should be at AAA. Someday he may be ready for the majors but that someday is not now.

                • Brian Walton says:

                  Nice try, Jumbo. Feel free to point out where I defended/supported Freeman. Of course, you can’t because it didn’t happen. I am simply pointing out that the guy you kept saying should be called up has logged a 9.00 ERA for Memphis since having been put on waivers three times this year already. Fortunately, the field of choices is not limited to two players.

                  • JumboShrimp says:

                    Gaub was waivered by the Rangers, who shed Arthur Rhodes last summer and Arthur helped us into the winner’s circle, ignoring doubters.

                    As regards Gaub, you focused on his few appearances at Memphis, while overlooking the lion’s share of his pro history, perplexing even Carioca with this small n focus. (It was just to be provocative.)

                    The Cards seem to be always scavenger hunting for a lefty reliever. Browning was an off-season idea and has been doing a very good job. He could earn a try out.

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      Rhodes was below average and is currently unemployed and likely retired. Other than the fact that the Rangers let go both he and Gaub, it seems irrelevant to the current left-handed relief problem.

                      A player being waived three times in three months is probably a good indication that he is not major league ready, no matter what his numbers might tell you. Not surprisingly, his results in Memphis may have him on the road to be waived again.

                      Carioca made one post to which I provided an explanation. He did not reply. Hardly a winning debate.

                    • JumboShrimp says:

                      Arthur Rhodes was such a sought after commodity during late 2010, he landed a $5MM gig with the high spending Rangers. Hardly “below average.” A little slippage and the very competitive Rangers let him go. The Cards will sometimes feed off the leavings of higher spending teams in hopes of finding residual value. If Rhodes was worth $5MM in April, we wondered what he would be worth come August, so gave him a whirl. Save surrendering an early homer to Jones of the Pirates, Rhodes pulled his weight and the Cards grabbed an 11th crown.

                      The job of loogy is competitive, but needed. No surprise Romero was let go a few times last year, but the Cards gave him a whirl. Given the small n of their innings, relievers can oddly vary in year to year performances. One tries to catch them on upswings.
                      The same point with Gaub. We were glad to give him a roster slot. His K rates for his career are encouraging. He needs to sharpen control. Gaub could break through, as has the RHP reliever Marte circa age 31 has been able to do. Or he might not. If he is any good, he will need to show it in memphis to earn a shot.

  2. WesPowell says:

    Hey what about me and my average. Two grand slams in one inning off the same pitcher. That’s an average of one time from Adam and Eve until the Sun dies, expands and incinerates the earth.


    Fernando Tatis.

  3. WesPowell says:

    If Jumbo is out there he inquired yesterday about twitter. If he’s out there, I’ll answer now because he may not have gone back to that thread.

    Thank you sir. It’s always nice to be appreciated. However I have never and don’t know how to twit or tweet or whatever. I’ve never even had one of those little cell phone thingies. Old school Wes.

    But to have one lost soul enjoy my wit and intellect is humbling.

    On the other hand, after a friend’s inquiry recently, I figured out I have spent about 75,000 dollars on ciagarettes in my life. Now that’s a dumb-ass. So average that out and it brings me back to the pack.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Wes, here is the deal. I also do not tweet or twit. To do, for me, is to be a twit. However, if I were ever to lose my mind and to start following Twitter, I would follow your utterances. But since I can follow them already, here at the CNB, things may be ok just the way they are now.

      I was not too fast to add a cell phone, but did so five or ten years back. Its pretty helpful, so I can recommend it. I have a simple one, however, nothing fancy, and even this one still has way too many features.

      You have outstanding common sense perspective regarding the Cardinals. This can help the rest of us to be balanced.

  4. blingboy says:

    Whatever Mo does it will be a surprise. There aren’t any leaks as to what or who might be in play. Al we can do is speculate. A year and a day since the Rasmus trade.

  5. blingboy says:

    I’ve seen some talk about if Dave Duncan not being here is a factor. I’d say you can’t lose a Dave Duncan and it not be a factor. We’d be better off with him than we are without him. Goes without saying. But so what. I haven’t heard anything negative about Lilliquist, other than that he’s not Dave. But haven’t heard any raves either.

    What about Dyar Miller out there in the pen. Is he to be faulted? If the pen coach didn’t play a meaningful role there wouldn’t be one. Do guys come in and seem to not be focused and intense? Or maybe they can’t relate to a role because of the way Mike uses them. Perhaps there is no ‘leader’ out there.

  6. WesPowell says:

    Ooops forgot about the loss last night. See how positive I am. 40-36. Well we were 40-35 last year and this.

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