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Well, it wasn’t quite a perfect game, but John Smoltz pitched his best game of the season. He fanned nine batters, including seven straight at one point, en route to a 5-2 St. Louis victory over the San Diego Padres. He told MLB.com that people will be surprised…and I’m sure critics are. After limping through his tenure with Boston, Smoltz came out determined and prepared and it showed.
Behind the bat of Albert Pujols, who hit his 40th homerun of the season, the Cardinals gave Smoltz all the support he needed. It was good, but kind of irritating, to see Smoltz pitch this well Sunday. Perhaps he coasted his way through Boston before needing to revamp his mage. He looked broken down in Boston, but appeared to be a solid veteran in St. Louis.
He could just be more comfortable pitching in the NL, but for whatever reason, it appears John Smoltz has morphed into the pitcher the Sox hoped he would be in Boston.