Cards still nemesis for Nats
Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 7:00 pm
By HOWARD FENDRICH
AP Sports Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The setting and the situation were so similar, Pete Kozma couldn’t help but recall what happened six months ago.
“I can think of one game,” he said, more mischief in his words than in his deadpan facial expression.
With two runners on, No. 8 hitter Kozma came to bat for St. Louis in a tight game against the Washington Nationals, the Cardinals’ pitcher on deck. When that happened the last time these teams played a game that counted, it was Oct. 12, in Game 5 of an NL division series, and Washington pitched to Kozma, who delivered a go-ahead, two-run single.
On Monday night, the Nationals chose to intentionally walk Kozma — something some fans surely wished the Nationals had done the other time — and reliever Craig Stammen struck out Shelby Miller to end the inning. Earlier in the sixth, Yadier Molina drove in the tiebreaking run for St. Louis, backing Miller’s strong start, and the Cardinals beat the Nationals 3-2.
“Before the game, I got to thinking about it a little bit here and there,” Kozma said.
He was booed during pregame introductions and again when his name was announced before his first plate appearance, in the third inning.
He singled to right in that at-bat, the ball landing not too far from where his go-ahead hit landed in October. This time, it was part of a two-run inning, with Kozma and Matt Carpenter coming home on Allen Craig’s double off the wall for a 2-0 lead.
When Kozma came up for the final time Monday, in the ninth, he was the first batter faced by — guess who? — Drew Storen, who was Washington’s closer on Oct. 12.
Published in The Messenger 4.23.13