Offensive explosion ends with rainout

Monday, May 12, 2003

CHICAGO -- The wind was blowing at nearly 40 mph, making every fly ball an adventure for fielders or a home run.

The rain increased steadily and was making the grass slippery and the infield muddy.

Another wild weather day at Wrigley Field before Sunday's game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs was postponed by rain in the top of the fifth inning.

When the game was called, it wiped out 20 runs and seven homers, while sparing Cubs starter Matt Clement the worst outing of his career.

The game was postponed after a 64-minute delay with the Cardinals leading 11-9. None of the statistics count, including the career-worst 11 runs allowed by Clement. No makeup date was immediately announced.

"I'm glad it's a clean ledger now," Clement said. "The rain was coming up into my eyes like a rising fastball. It was a strange day, a tough day."

Tino Martinez hit two homers for St. Louis and Albert Pujols had a grand slam that was wiped out. Moises Alou, Corey Patterson, Troy O'Leary and Alex Gonzalez homered for the Cubs.

"It's hard to say which ones were legit and which ones weren't," Clement said.

Marrero suffers injury

Cardinals right fielder Eli Marrero severely sprained his right ankle when he slipped in the wet grass going after a fly ball. He was carted off on a stretcher and X-rays taken at a local hospital were negative. Marrero is expected to be placed on the disabled list.

"It was a shame. He was just starting to feel good in all phases of the game," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

La Russa said the umpires made the right decision by calling the game.

"It started raining hard in the fifth. If it had stayed the same, I think we could have kept playing. It got harder and (umpire) Bruce Froemming did the right thing," he said.

The wind was blowing at 23 mph with gusts at 39. The game-time temperature was announced at 53, but it felt a lot colder.

Part of a camera shelter in the center field bleachers was blown over before the game, hot dog wrappers were flying around and even the right field foul pole could be seen shaking in the gale.

No play illustrated the unpredictable conditions more than Jim Edmonds' two-out, two-run double in the fourth. When it left the bat, it appeared to be a routine fly to left as Alou moved in to catch it. But at the last minute the ball was blown wildly into the left center and Alou had no chance, even with a diving attempt.

"Not even Willie Mays could have caught that ball," Alou said. "I didn't have a chance. It went to center field."

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