Sunday, July 7, 2013 - At Busch Stadium III (Lance Lynn - Starting Pitcher) - Opponent: Miami Marlins (Jose Fernandez - Starting Pitcher) - Attendance: 43,741
Exactly one year after beating the Miami Marlins at Busch Stadium by a score of 3-2, the Cardinals beat the Marlins at Busch Stadium by a score of 3-2. What a coincidence. Last year, all the scoring in the game had concluded after the fourth-inning - which is exactly what happened in this game.
The manner in which the runs scored had changed, along with a change in the sequential order. For example, last year Matt Holliday did not hit a two-out first-inning home run to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead; but he did this time around.
Last year, the Marlins didn't score a run in the second-inning to tie the game at one run apiece, since they actually scored two runs in the second to take a 2-0 lead.
And last year, the Cardinals did not score two runs in the third-inning to take a 3-1 lead; they scored three runs in the fourth-inning to take a 3-2 lead - and that's how it ended.
Returning to the reality of 2013, Holliday did indeed hit a two-out solo home run in the first-inning to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.
And the Marlins did indeed tie the game in the second-inning, on a Derek Dietrich double and an Adeiny Hechavarria run-scoring single.
The Cardinals added two more runs in the third-inning. Leading off, Matt Carpenter was hit by a Fernandez fastball - then Carlos Beltran laid down a perfect bunt, enabling him to reach base safely on the infield hit, as Carpenter advanced to second. Fernandez then walked Holliday to load the bases for Allen Craig - who scored Carpenter with a long sacrifice fly to center field, as Beltran also moved up to third.
The next batter - David Freese struck out on a 3-2 fastball while Beltran was busy stealing home - and Holliday was sliding into second. The double steal - with the lead runner hampered by a bum knee - caught everyone off guard; but it gave the Redbirds their third, and final run of the game.
Miami scored a run in the fourth-inning, and threatened to score in the eighth-inning - but Trevor Rosenthal was able to get the final out on a ground ball to second, with the bases loaded with Marlins.
Edward Mujica pitched a perfect ninth-inning to record his 23rd save of the season, as Lance Lynn improved to 11-3 - and rookie sensation Jose Fernandez dropped to 5-5.
Imagine that. Beltran - bad knees and all - stole home. Lou Brock - 938 career stolen bases - yet not a single solitary theft of home. Go figure.