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Game balls: Rating Game 410/11/2004 12:36 AM ET
By Mike Scarr / MLB.com
MLB.com is awarding "game balls" -- or, in this case, Dodger Dogs, that culinary delight of Dodger Stadium, and Arches, to represent the Cardinals as the Gateway to the West -- for performances in the 2004 National League Division Series. Five Arches: On top of the world
Four Arches: Clear view down river
Three Arches: Walked underneath
Two Arches: Saw it in the guide book
One Arch: I thought you said, St. Paul Five Dogs: The Works
Four Dogs: That and a cold one
Three Dogs: No onions
Two Dogs: Ketchup only
One Dog: Cold wienie
Jeff Suppan: The Cardinals right-hander came up big in his first start in 11 days. Suppan wasn't sharp through the first three innings Sunday, allowing a pair of runs and walking three, but after Adrian Beltre lifted a sac fly to right for the second out and a tie game in the Dodgers' half of the third, Suppan settled down. He retired the next 13 batters in a row and allowed just the two runs and two hits over seven full innings on the night.
Albert Pujols: After going 1-for-7 in Games 2 and 3 of the NLDS, Pujols broke out of his mini-slump in a big way with four RBIs to pace the Cardinals. The slugger walked in his first at-bat on Sunday and then broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth when he drove a 3-1 pitch from Dodgers reliever Wilson Alvarez into the seats down the left-field line. It was Pujols' second home run of the series. He later added an RBI single in the seventh.
Larry Walker: The Cardinals' right fielder went 2-for-3 in Sunday's series clincher with a single and two walks. Walker also scored three runs and stole a base in the game to finish the NLDS 5-for-16 with three RBIs and six runs scored
Reggie Sanders: Down by a run in Sunday's game, Sanders got his team on the board with a solo shot to left on a 1-2 pitch off Dodgers starter Odalis Perez. Sanders also made a fine running catch at the wall in foul territory on a shallow fly ball to left off the bat of Steve Finley.
Jayson Werth: The left fielder put the Dodgers on the board on Sunday with a solo shot off Suppan in the bottom of the first. It was his second home run of the series, and Werth scored both Dodgers runs in the 6-2 loss. Werth went 4-for-14 in the series with three RBIs and three runs scored.
Odalis Perez: It wasn't quite a repeat of his performance in Game 1, but Perez did not give the Dodgers the quality innings they needed to take the series the distance. Manager Jim Tracy went to the hook after Perez had tossed just 2 1/3 innings on Sunday while allowing two runs, three hits and five walks.
Wilson Alvarez: Called on to bail out Perez, Alvarez looked up to the task by striking out Jim Edmonds and Sanders with one in and two on to end the third inning. But the left-hander took the loss as he allowed three runs and three hits as the Cards broke it open in the fourth.
Heart of the order: The bats that were supposed to do the heavy lifting for the Dodgers got in some reps, but mostly were thrown off their routine in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals. Shawn Green went 4-for-16 in the series with three homers, but they were all solo shots. Milton Bradley was 3-for-11, but scored just once in the series when he homered in Game 2. The Beltre was 4-for-16 in the series, but club's MVP candidate did not drive in his first (and only) run until Sunday. The biggest disappointment was Finley, who went 2-for-16 with just two RBIs over the four games.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.