Many people inside the baseball world have written off Ken Griffey Jr. They say injuries and age have slowed down the center fielder and turned him into a has-been. Ask Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen how he feels about Griffey. St. Louis’ closer faced Griffey with a two-run lead and one out in the ninth. The one-time heir apparent belted his second homer of the game, a three-run shot to right that sent the Reds to an 8-7 win.
The Cardinals were two outs away from getting their second win in as many games without Albert Pujols. The injured first baseman was placed on the disabled list with a strained oblique. The rest of the Cardinals picked up the power that was seemingly lost in Pujols’ absence. Juan Encarnacion and Chris Duncan both hit two-run homers with two outs. Yadier Molina’s homer in the eighth was supposed to give Isringhausen all the cushion he needed.
Isringhausen has now walked 24 batters this year. His walk total is more than the number of hits he’s allowed and more than the number of strikeouts he’s tallied. Isringhausen only walked 27 hitters all of last year.
Starter Jeff Suppan was going for the 100th win of his career. It seemed as though he’d done everything necessary to reach that milestone. Suppan held the Reds to three runs on eight hits in six innings. One of those runs was a solo home run given up to Griffey. Three relievers entered the game to shut out the Reds over the next two innings.
Cincinnati closes the gap in the National League Central to two games behind the Cardinals.