adidas messi football boots Cardinals Leake’s start lasts too little as Bucs take big win in Classic

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. No matter the level, pitching rules.

A few hours after marveling how close the mound was to the plate in the Little League World Series games and how so many adolescent pitchers could control games from it, the Cardinals saw the opposite happen at 60 feet, 6 inches on their side.

Mike Leake’s troubles continued and that put the Cardinals behind early in a game they would lose 6 3 at Bowman Field. The Pirates took the first MLB Little League Classic by holding on to the lead they got against Leake. The Cardinals got the tying run to the plate in the ninth before Paul DeJong flew out to end the game.

The teams lined up to shake hands at the end, a first for the Cardinals since the end of the 2004 NLDS.

A crowd of 2,596, most of them Little Leaguers, saw the game.

Mike Leake continued to struggle, leaving the Cardinals with growing concerns about a starter they need to be a quality start generator for them.

The righthander allowed six runs on eight hits, and threw only three innings. Reliever Sam Tuivailala did far more with the same amount of innings, when he held the Pirates scoring through three innings. He allowed one hit a double and struck out Josh Harrison. Tommy Pham got approval for a special pair of cleats in time to wear them during the Classic. The shoes were decorated by two cancer patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital: Lamarion, 7, and Chloe, 5. Each colored and glittered and decorated one of the shoes.

The idea came to Pham only after a few of his teammates bragged about the stylish kicks they intended to wear for Players’ Weekend. Pham had forgotten. His Adidas representative offered him a pair of white shoes to decorate on his own.

He offered them to a hospital he’s visited.

“For my lack of preparation I ended up coming with something pretty cool,” said Pham, who had another pair decorated by his 7 year old nephew, Clayton.

Bucs infielder Josh Harrison had Little Leaguers sign his shoes that he intended to wear during the games of the Players’ Weekend.

The new walls were close. Balls were flying.

Through the first two innings of the MLB Little League Classic, there have already been two home runs for the little leaguers in attendance. Josh Bell jacked a two run homer in the first inning off Cardinals starter Mike Leake, and Jedd Gyorko cut into the Bucs’ lead with a two run homer.

That put the Pittsburgh lead at a run.

It has not stayed there. The Pirates have turned four groundball singles into a crooked number against the Cardinals’ struggling righthander Mike Leake. Leake, who is wearing the nickname “Sparky” on the back of his jersey, has allowed eight hits, and the first four of the third inning were all grounders that got past infielders. Two to the left field side, two the right.

Bell added a two run single to give himself a career best four RBIs, and he’s done that in his first two at bats.

“Oh, I’m playing,” Dexter Fowler gave the answer.

Slowed by back soreness on Saturday and a question mark for the coming days, Fowler felt his lower back loosen by the end of Saturday’s loss to Pittsburgh, and he said before this morning when he toured the Little League World Series grounds that he was good to go. The Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates are playing in the first Classic of its type, traveling from Pittsburgh to the middle of the Keystone State and into the tempest of Little League Baseball’s World Series.

Piscotty was picked as the 26th man, and with Fowler’s health clearer Sierra had a return trip. The decision was made late Saturday night, and the Cardinals acknowledged they were originally planning on adding Sierra and his speed for the one game Classic.
adidas gazelle black and white Cardinals Leake's start lasts too little as Bucs take big win in Classic