Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cincinnati Uses Depth Charges to Sink Cardinals

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cincinnati Uses Depth Charges to Sink Cardinals

Article excerpt

One of the reasons the Cincinnati Reds could go far in postseason play this season is that they surely have the best 25-man roster in the National League.

The Reds have a veteran crew of extra men, and Davey Johnson deployed a handful to face the Cardinals on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium after Cincinnati lost the first two games of a four-game series. All of them produced offensively as the Reds, behind NL newcomer David Wells, beat the Cardinals 3-1 before a crowd of 19,286 (21,092 paid).

What could have been the Cardinals' first three-game winning streak since early July was short-circuited as Wells, 3-1 with the Reds after coming from Detroit, held them to six hits, striking out six. The Cardinals' offense was curtailed even further when home plate umpire Ed Rapuano ejected Brian Jordan, the club's best hitter, after a second-inning strikeout by Jordan.

Wells, a 6-foot-4 lefthander, gives Cincinnati three strong lefthanders - the others are John Smiley and Pete Schourek - to take into a potential National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves, a predominantly lefthanded-hitting team.

Jerome Walton, one Reds bench player, opened the game with a home run. Another, Mariano Duncan, started a two-run fifth with a single. This inning was capped by a two-run double by reserve third baseman Mark Lewis.

Cardinals starter Allen Watson (5-5), who struck out a career-high eight, had given up just two earned runs in his past 28 innings. But Walton drilled Watson's fourth pitch of the game for his sixth homer of the season, four of them leading off games.

An inning later, Jordan stood in the batters' box for a few seconds after being called out on strikes and then made a motion toward the dirt with his bat, as if to draw a line. This didn't sit well with Rapuano, who thumbed Jordan, thus ending his hitting streak at 13 games.

Jordan tried to offer a close-up rebuttal to Rapuano but was restrained by manager Mike Jorgensen, who, according to National Football League parlance, had Jordan "in the grasp."

Rapuano said: "He drew a line on me, way inside, as if to say I missed the pitch. So I've got no choice. My hands were tied. That's showing me up, so I ran him. …

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