Cardinals Bats Silenced by Jon Gray, Fall 6-3 in Game-Two
Jack Flaherty and Jon Gray were both beyond exceptional this evening, matching each other, essentially, stride-for-stride throughout each other’s start. Flaherty had his slider looking very sharp tonight, painting it on both corners to both left-handed & right-handed batters. Flaherty retired the Rockies in order his 1st inning, throwing 15 pitches and ending the inning with a strikeout of Arenado on the aforementioned slider.
Matt Carpenter, leadoff guy, salsa eating, home run slamming, first baseman, clubbed his franchise leading 22nd career leadoff HR, surpassing the legend, Lou Brock. Carp would take a two strike offering to RF, putting the Cardinals on top 1-0 in a hurry. I don’t know what happened after this, but Jon Gray became a complete animal after the leadoff bomb, setting down the next 13 in-a-row.
Flaherty would begin and end his 2nd inning of work with two strikeouts, both coming on the slider, of CarGo and McMahon, stranding Parra at first base after a two-out single to RF. Flaherty would redo his 2nd inning in the 3rd, beginning and ending the inning with strikeouts, bringing his game total to 5. Flaherty would get Murphy on a four-seamer and Blackmon on a filthy slider to end the inning.
Flaherty would dance his way out of trouble in the 4th inning, working around back-to-back one-out singles from Arenado and CarGo, putting runners at the corners. Flaherty would win the battle vs Trevor Story, who would pop out to Yadi for the second time tonight. Gerardo Parra lined a ball back to Flaherty next, deflecting off his glove to DeJong playing behind him, who would throw it to Carp to get the out to end the inning.
Flaherty would run himself into trouble in the 5th, needing 27 pitches to end the inning. Flaherty found himself in a ton of deep counts tonight, which eventually came back around to hurt him. McMahon would draw a leadoff walk, and Flaherty would buckle down to get the next two batters, getting Murphy to fly out and Gray to strikeout to bring up the top of the order in Blackmon. Blackmon would deliver a huge blow, sending a two-run HR to RCF, making it 2-1 Rockies. Flaherty would end the inning with a strikeout of Desmond on a two-seam fastball, his 7th k of the game.
The Cardinals got their first hit of the game since the Carp leadoff HR, an infield single from Tyler O’Neill (called up due to the Tommy Pham trade) with one out in the 5th. Dex would then draw a walk to bring in Garcia. Gray would get Garcia to ground into an inning ending, 3-6-1 double-play.
The Rockies would extend their lead to 4-1 in the 6th inning, still with Flaherty on the mound. After Arenado flew out to Swags on the first offering from Flaherty, CarGo would draw a walk, bringing in Story. Story didn’t pop out to Yadi a third time, lining an RBI double into LF, sneaking past the outstretched glove of Swags to make it 3-1. This drew the end of the day for Jack, as Chasen Shreve* would come in to make his Cardinals debut. Shreve would give up a bloop RBI double down the LF line in no man’s land to Parra upon entering, scoring Story to make it a 4-1 game. McMahon would draw a walk next, putting runners on first and second, still with one away. Shreve would pick up back-to-back strikeouts to escape the inning, getting Murphy on a fastball and Gray on a fantastic splitter.
Jon Gray throws an 8-pitch inning, as Yadi gets robbed of a potential double by CarGo. “Just one of those nights” as Mike Matheny would say.
Colorado extended their lead by two more in the top of the 7th. Shreve stayed in to face Blackmon, retiring him on 6 pitches, getting him to pop out to DeJong. With the lineup turning over to right-handed bats, Shildt would relieve Shreve with Brebbia. Brebbia would walk the first batter he faced, Ian Desmond, but bounced back with a huge k of Arenado on a slide piece. Needing just one out to keep this within striking distance, Brebbia would give up a huge two-run bomb to CarGo down the RF line, barely sneaking around the foul-pole to make it 6-1 Rockies.
Jon Gray retired the Cardinals in order in the bottom of the 7th, what’s new? Gray would open the inning with his fourth strikeout, getting DeJong to whiff at a slider.
Tyler Webb would throw his second appearance out of the Cardinals bullpen in the 8th, tossing a 1-2-3 inning while picking up a strikeout. Webb got McMahon to ground out back to him, Murphy to pop out to Yadi in foul territory, and Gray to strikeout on a high heater.
The Cards would piece together a semi rally in the bottom of the 8th, cutting the Rockies lead in half at 6-3. O’Neill (2-3) would hit his second single to open the inning and Dex would work his second walk of the game following that. Cafecíto would pinch-hit for Webb, as Gray would win the battle, getting Cafecíto to strikeout on a slider, just fifth of the evening. Yairo Muñoz would single into LF next, loading the bases for the salsa king, Matt Carpenter. Bud Black apparently learned his lesson from last night, as he would relieve his starter with Seunghwan Oh. Carp would drive in O’Neill with a sac-fly to deep LF, making it 6-2 Rockies. With Yadi batting, Oh would throw a wild pitch to the backstop, but the ball would take a nice bounce back to Murphy, who would fire it down to Arenado at third trying to get Dex taking third. The throw would get past Arenado for Murphy’s 4th error of the season, bringing Dex around to score to make it 6-3. Oh stopped the threat getting Yadi to ground out to McMahon to end the inning.
Mike Mayers would throw a scoreless 9th for the Cards, getting some excellent defense from Muñoz to open the inning. Muñoz would take away a single from Blackmon, ranging deep into the hole to his left, throwing from his behind on the OF grass to get Blackmon. Then Desmond hit a single into RF on a play that looked to almost be routine for Muñoz, which is kinda the tale of the tape for Muñoz. Mayers would end the inning inducing a 4-6-3 double-play on Arenado to take us to the bottom of the 9th.
Wade Davis would pick up his 31st save of the season, getting the Cardinals to go in order on 6 pitches.
Luke Weaver (6-9, 4.70) will take the ball in game-three tomorrow evening for the Cards, as he will be matched up against a very good lefty in Kyle Freeland* (9-6, 3.13) First pitch 7:15 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 107 is in the books