Hud buckles down after rough 1st, Goldy and Cafecíto provide the offense, Cards down Pirates 4-3
The Pirates would jump on Dakota Hudson early, taking a 3-0 lead after the 1st inning. But for some reason, it just felt like it was gonna be one of those crazy comeback games again. Frazier began the 3-run 1st with a leadoff single up the middle, Reynolds would walk, and Marte would clear the bases with a 3-run blast to deep LCF for a 3-0 Pirates lead.
The Cards would get one run back in the top of the second with a pair of one out, back-to-back doubles from Deez and KoWo. KoWo’s double was the 15th of his season, making it a 3-1 game.
Hudson would settle in nicely, working quick and efficiently thru innings until he was relieved for with one out in the 7th for King Giovanny Gallegos. Here’s Hudson’s pitches by inning following that 28 pitch 1st:
7th– 2 (only pitched 0.1)
The Cardinals made sure to even this thing up vs Archer in the 3rd, getting things started with a one out single from Cafecíto to bring up Goldy. And Goldy did that thing again, for the second night in a row. Goldy would crush the first pitch fastball from Archer just fair of the LF foul/fair pole to tie the game 3-3.
Cafecíto would give the Cardinals the lead to leadoff the 5th. He, just like Goldy, would be first pitch swinging– this time Archer went with a breaking ball and Cafecíto knew he could pounce on it, sending it over the wall in RCF to make it a 4-3 Cardinals lead.
The Pirates looked like they were gonna tie this thing up easily, loading the bases with no outs and Josh Bell up to bat. Frazier hit a leadoff single to CF, Reynolds and Marte would walk, and Bell would strikeout for the first out. What happened next was the baseball gods loving the Cardinals on top of great coaching to get DeJong positioned perfectly vs Moran. Moran would line a ball, that looked to be a base hit up the middle, right to Deez who would step on 2B and fire to 1B to complete the inning ending double play. How did that happen?
Stratton would work 3 perfect innings of relief for Archer, striking out 4 batters. After Hud was removed after getting Díaz to pop out to Goldy in foul territory, Gio would come in for the next five outs. He’d get Frazier to ground out and Reynolds swinging on a filthy 3-2 slider down and in on the hands, the Gallegos special.
Gallegos would throw a 1-2-3 8th inning, punching out two more. Josh Bell would get the Gallegos special, the slider in the dirt. And Moran would get blown away with the high 94mph cheese, taking it to the 9th inning.
With Tsunami unavailable, Andrew Miller would look to nail down his 3rd save of the season. Miller made it look like a breeze, retiring the side in order on 19 pitches. Cabrera (pinch-hitting) flew out to Bader, Newman lined out to Deez, and Osuna (pinch-hitting) would fly out to Bader to end the game with the Cardinals hanging on by one run (again), 4-3.
The Cardinals are (9-3) since the beginning of the second-half, now sitting only a 0.5 game back of the Cubs for 1st place in the NL Central. Thank you Giants and Reds, keep helping those Redbirds out.
Uncle Charlie (6-7, 4.50) takes the bump for game-three tonight, lining up with Jordan Lyles (5-6, 4.91). First pitch from Pittsburgh, 6:05pm c/t.