David Campbell – 23 Sports

A few days after splitting with AL Central powerhouse Minnesota Twins, the St. Louis Cardinals faced off against another formidable foe from the same division, the Detroit Tigers.

The Cardinals came into the game behind the Chicago Cubs for the NL Central lead and with only a few weeks left in the season, every game is important. Unfortunately for the redbirds, they left the doubleheader feeling as if they should have done more.

Game one felt like it was over before it started. After the third inning it was 9-0 Cardinals and with ace Jack Flaherty on the bump, the Tigers had no chance of coming back.

A very emotional and powerful moment came in the second inning. Cardinals legend and starting catcher Yadier Molina was up at the plate. This was not a normal day for Yadi as Thursday was Roberto Clemente day.

Roberto Clemente was a former major league outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Clemente was one of the best to ever play the game and more importantly was one of if not the greatest Puerto Rican player in MLB history. Puerto Rico is also Molina’s home country.

In the 1972 offseason, the country of Nicaragua suffered a catastrophic earthquake. Clemente immediately wanted to help send supplies to the capital city Managua. The flight he was on crashed right after take off and landed in the Atlantic Ocean. His body was never found. He was 38 years old.

This day always meant a lot to Molina, and on a 2-2 count he belted a ball to left and it just got over the fence. Molina was wearing Clemente’s number 21 for the day. When he crossed home plate, he looked up to the sky and pointed as if to thank Clemente.

The Cardinals would use that momentum to score seven more in the third and win the game by a total of 12-2 with Flaherty taking the win.

St. Louis put up five very strong innings in game two to give them a 3-0 lead and seemed as if they were going to sweep the Tigers. Even after a sixth inning solo home run by Tigers outfielder Jeimer Candelairo, the redbirds had a two run lead going into the seventh and final inning.

Manager Mike Shildt turned to right-handed reliever Giovanny Gallegos who has had a very strong year out of the bullpen. However, this outing did not go as planned.

Gallegos gave up 2 hits and one walk while not recording a single out. The big problem: he gave up three runs and the lead. The Tigers did not stop there however.

Ryan Helsley came in after Gallegos and gave up a two run bomb to Tigers outfielder Jorge Bonafacio. This gave Detroit a five spot in the final inning. The 6-3 deficit was too much to overcome, and the Cardinals fell in a game that they should have won.

The Tigers season is pretty much over as they are seven games out of first place in the AL Central. The Cardinals on the other hand, only have to make up three games. They start a three game series in St. Louis against the Cincinnati Reds Friday. Adam Wainwright will toe the rubber for the birds and Luis Castillo for the Reds in a battle between two right handed studs. 

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