Cardinals leave Pittsburgh with a series win, hold on to win 2-1 behind a great Jack Flaherty start
Trevor Williams and Jack Flaherty would match each other in the first inning, both retiring the side in order, both recording a strikeout a piece. Williams opened the game with a strikeout of Carp, beating him with a fastball. Williams then got Yadi to fly out to LF and Cafecíto to line out to Osuna at 1B, ending the inning after 24 pitches. Flaherty’s first inning was faster, as Jack got Dickerson and Marte to both fly out to Bader, patrolling CF. Flaherty ended the inning on his 13th pitch, getting Polanco to whiff at a slider for his first strikeout of seven.
Swags opened the top of the 2nd with the first hit of the game for either side, ripping a single into LF. Williams made sure to keep him stranded at 1B, getting the next three he faced to end the inning. Gyorko fly out to Polanco, Wong fly out to Marte, Garcia soft pop out to Frazier. Flaherty would retire the Bucs in order for the second consecutive inning, getting two quick groundouts off the bats of Cervelli and Moran. Flaherty then ended the inning getting Frazier to strikeout on a slider, down and in on the hands.
Jack Flaherty tried helping his own cause in the top of the 3rd, reaching base on a one out infield single, off of Williams leg, who tried to kick-save it for the out. Williams then pitched to Carp, getting him to fly out to Marte, as Yadi then hit a two out single to RF. Williams escaped the inning getting Cafecíto to fly out to Marte, the third putout by Marte in the inning.
Flaherty worked around his first trouble in the bottom of the 3rd, giving up a leadoff single to Osuna before hitting Mercer with a fastball to put two runners on without recording an out. Williams sacrificed both runners next, laying a perfect bunt down, 3-4 on the play. With the top of the order coming up, Flaherty wouldn’t back down, getting his third strikeout of the afternoon on Dickerson. Flaherty stayed low and away with breaking stuff to handle him to perfection. Marte then ended the inning, grounding out to Jedd at the hot-corner, stranding two on base. Still tied 0-0.
The Cardinals would push for their two out magic they’ve been accustomed to this season. After Swags popped out to SS, and Jedd flew out to Polanco, Wong and Garcia would collect back-to-back singles. Williams made sure no damage was done, striking out Bader on a heater to take things to the bottom of the 4th. Flaherty delivered his third, 1-2-3 inning of the afternoon, picking up back-to-back k’s on Polanco (fastball) and Cervelli (slider). Moran grounded out to Garcia to end the inning, still locked up at 0-0.
Matt Carpenter, leadoff guy, provider of the greatest salsa known to mankind, made sure this game wasn’t tied any longer. After Flaherty struck out to begin the 5th, Carp unloaded on a Williams fastball for his, league leading, 29th HR of the season, clearing over the Clemente Wall to make 1-0 Cardinals. He just keeps scooping the salsa #scoopdasalsa. Yadi and Cafecíto ripped back-to-back singles after the Carp bomb, bringing in Swags. Swags would get under a pitch for the second time today, popping it up to Frazier at 2B this time. Trap House Gyorko decided to open up for business on a Sunday afternoon, lining an RBI single into LF, scoring Yadi to make it 2-0 Cardinals.
The Bucs threatened to push some runs across in the bottom of the 5th, getting a leadoff double to RF from Frazier. Osuna then grounded out, 1-4-3 on the play, as it tipped off the glove off Flaherty, slowing it down to help Wong on the play. Mercer then hit a single into LF, but Frazier wouldn’t test the arm of Ozuna, which has been noticeably not good all season, putting runners on the corners for Luplow (pinch-hitting) for Williams. Flaherty got Luplow reaching on a first pitch slider, getting him to roll over the ball, grounding into an inning ending, 6-4-3, double-play.
Rodríguez would throw a perfect 6th inning for the Pirates, retiring the side on 19 pitches. Flaherty would throw his last inning in the bottom half of the 6th, allowing a leadoff walk to Dickerson. Flaherty bounced back, picking up two more strikeouts, ending the inning getting Cervelli to swing and miss at a knuckle-curve.
Flaherty’s final line: (6IP, 3 hits, 0r, 1 bb, 7 k’s, 84 pitches, 75 game score)
Edgar Santana threw a 7-pitch, 7th inning for the Pirates. Carp would reach base on a throwing error by Osuna at 1B to begin the inning. Santana induced a 5-4-3 double-play on Yadi, bringing in Cafecíto. Café would single to LF. Santana ended the inning getting Swags to fly out to Marte.
Chasen Shreve was the first reliever used by Shildt this afternoon, facing two lefties upon entering. Moran would pop out to Wong for the first out, bringing in Frazier. Frazier continued to be a thorn in the Cardinals side this series, smacking a solo HR over the Clemente Wall, cutting the deficit in half to make it 2-1 Cardinals. Mike Mayers would he called upon next to try and record the final two outs of the inning. Mayers appearance began the way he wanted, getting Osuna to strikeout on a slider. After being up 0-2 on Mercer, Mayers would fall behind and eventually walk Mercer to bring in Díaz (pinch-hitting). Diaz singled to RF, Mercer taking third base to put runners on the corners, with two outs and the tying run 90 feet away. Shildt would make his third pitching change of the inning, going to the young, reliable flamethrower, Jordan Hicks. Hicks recorded the final out the Cardinals needed, getting Dickerson to ground out to Wong on a 100 mph sinker from Hicks.
Hicks would get the 8th inning as well, needing only 8 pitches to get through the heart of the Pirates order. Hicks got Marte to smoke a ball on the ground to Trap House at 3B, playing in on the ball. The ball was shot down to Jedd at 99 mph off the bat, insane. Polanco would pop out to Wong for out number two. And Hicks would strike out Cervelli on three pitches, getting him looking at a slider that caught the top of the strike zone.
After Crick worked a 1-2-3 9th inning, Bud Norris would pick up his 21st save of the season for the Cardinals. Norris would strikeout the first two batters he faced, getting Harrison looking at a cutter, and Frazier swinging and missing at a cutter. Sean Rodríguez would pinch-hit for Crick as the Bucs final shot, with Freese still on the bench, popping out to Wong to end the game. The Cardinals would hang on to win 2-1, winning their third consecutive series, taking 2/3 from Pittsburgh. The last three series have been huge, beating teams ahead of them in the standings (Cubs, Rockies, Pirates) to gain a little bit of ground. The scoreboard watching has officially started.
The Cardinals (58-54) are on a #happyflight to Miami to take on the Marlins (46-67) for a three-game set, looking to gain even more ground in the standings. Luke Weaver (6-9, 4.75) takes the ball in game-one, matching up against the lefty, Wei-Yin Chen (3-8, 5.86). First pitch from Marlins Park 6:10 c/t.
The Cardinals announced before today’s game that they claimed SP Tyson Ross off waivers from SD, he will join the team in Miami, more than likely taking a rotation spot.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 112 is in the books