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Ankiel Throwing Strikes Again!


Migrant Redbird

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Ankiel made the web gems lineup tonight with two assists throwing runners out at third, plus a solo home run.

In the bottom of the second, Rick catches a fly ball at the edge of the warning track with Taveras on 2nd.

A miracle strike to throw out Taveras tagging from 2nd to 3rd on a deep fly.

That was the sweetest throw I've seen, a perfect strike in the only spot it could land, right in front of Taveras' front leg!

Amazing DP! Taveras is fast!

Fun to watch Walker on the replay going "Wow!"

Later on, copied from Bernie's Forum at the Post Dispatch website.

... From Bernies:

(On Shannon's call) On Ankiel's great throw-out of Taveras at third, runners on first and second, one out, "...there's a ball popped out to center Ankiel's back, makes the catch and, ah, he's thrown to the wrong base and...OUT at third." When somebody catches an ol' pro like Michael by surprise, it must have been SOME play.

Mike was almost in shock and John took over describing the amazing play. Shannon of course, to his credit, bragged on the throw all night.

In the top of the 8th, Rick led off with a solo home run to make the Cards' lead 6-2.

In the bottom of the 8th, with 2 out, Quintanilla doubles and then makes a big mistake, down 4 runs! Rick caught up with the ball at the wall, wheeled, and threw all the way to 3rd to cut down Quintanilla trying to stretch it into a triple. Not quite the perfect strike of the play in the 2nd, but Rick wasn't able to get into perfect position to make that throw like he did on the fly ball in the 2nd.

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Ankiel made the web gems lineup tonight with two assists throwing runners out at third, plus a solo home run.

In the bottom of the second, Rick catches a fly ball at the edge of the warning track with Taveras on 2nd.

bottom of the 1st, actually. Just watched it on MLB.tv and it was :eektf:

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bottom of the 1st, actually. Just watched it on MLB.tv and it was :eektf:

Thanks for the correction!

A couple other quotes, not sure from where. Probably the Post Dispatch website, which was "down for maintenance" when I tried to get to it.

Reliever Ryan Franklin had a good view of the eighth-inning play from the bullpen, marveling at Ankiel's footprints left in the warning track a shade deeper than the 415-foot mark.

"We were going crazy, especially after the second one," Franklin said. "We were right there. Me and Villone tried to jump out on the field, and we couldn't get through the chain-link fence.

.

Ludwick's 4-for-4 night with a walk, an RBI and a run would have been highlight enough on most nights, but Ludwick took a back seat to the arms of Looper and Ankiel. His perspective on Ankiel's eighth-inning assist came from being right beside the center fielder as the two converged on the ball off the wall.

"The wall was kind of slanted, so I knew it was going to come towards me, but I was letting him have it all the way," Ludwick explained. "I was yelling at him, 'Three, three, three,' the whole time. I know I had no shot to throw him out. He picks it up and makes the best throw I've ever seen in my entire life."

But even with his respect for Ankiel's arm, Ludwick honestly didn't think his teammate had a chance on the play either.

"[Quintanilla] was at second base when Ank picked it up," Ludwick marveled. "You do the math. That's, what, 300 feet compared to 90 feet? You couldn't make a better throw. You really can't. It's unreal. I've never seen anything like it. Ever."

Ludwick is another of the five "young" outfielders (also Ankiel, Schumaker, Barton, and Duncan) who had me excited going into the season, and they've not disappointed me.

Player     Ag  G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO  BA   OBP  SLG   OPS OPS+Duncan     27 28  74 12 19  3  0  2   6 16 18 .257 .385 .378  .763 103Ankiel     28 32 119 21 33  8  0  6  18 16 25 .277 .368 .496  .862 126Ludwick    29 28  83 17 29 11  2  4  17 11 24 .349 .426 .675 1.101 186Schumaker  28 33 118 25 35  8  1  2  11 15 13 .297 .376 .432  .808 113Barton     26 26  46  6 14  4  1  0   5  6 11 .304 .385 .435  .810 117

Small sample size caveats apply, of course.

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Thanks for the correction!

A couple other quotes, not sure from where. Probably the Post Dispatch website, which was "down for maintenance" when I tried to get to it.

.

Ludwick is another of the five "young" outfielders (also Ankiel, Schumaker, Barton, and Duncan) who had me excited going into the season, and they've not disappointed me.

Player     Ag  G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO  BA   OBP  SLG   OPS OPS+Duncan     27 28  74 12 19  3  0  2   6 16 18 .257 .385 .378  .763 103Ankiel     28 32 119 21 33  8  0  6  18 16 25 .277 .368 .496  .862 126Ludwick    29 28  83 17 29 11  2  4  17 11 24 .349 .426 .675 1.101 186Schumaker  28 33 118 25 35  8  1  2  11 15 13 .297 .376 .432  .808 113Barton     26 26  46  6 14  4  1  0   5  6 11 .304 .385 .435  .810 117

Small sample size caveats apply, of course.

Hey Redbird, maybe you can answer a question since I don't follow the Cards that closely. Has the team made any decision as to whether they would ever put Ankiel back on the mound briefly, say like in an extra inning game? I think Bobby Cox in Atlanta had one of his pitchers play outfield in between facing two different batters. Has the team decided "no way" for the sake of his psyche and arm health? Or is it a possibility if a certain game situation arises?

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Ankiel's public position is that he's done as a pitcher -- period! That may well be simply because Rick doesn't want to have to answer any more questions on the topic from the media. Whether he would consider pitching in an emergency has not been discussed, as far as I know. When the Cardinals ran out of relief pitchers last year, utility infielder Aaron Miles threw a couple of innings. He probably did about as well as Ankiel would have done, without any preparation.

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