Cardinals beat Marlins 7-1 to win fourth-straight series, Carp and Yadi deliver HR’s, as Gant-Shreve-Hudson-Mayers hold the Marlins to 3 hits
Yadier Molina got the Cardinals on the board in the 1st inning, smacking a Trevor Richards fastball to LCF for his 15th bomb of the season to make it 1-0. Richards would pick up two k’s in the inning, getting Carp swinging at a changeup before the Yadi HR and Cafecíto after the the Yadi HR went down looking at an outside fastball. Richards ended his 1st inning on 12 pitches, getting Swags to pop out to Castro.
John Gant would toss 6 innings of dazzling baseball tonight, throwing under 10 pitches in 4 of those 6 innings. Gant opened his night getting the Fish to go in order, striking out Realmuto on a slider to end the inning.
Yairo Muñoz would deliver a one-out double into LF in the top of the 2nd, the final Cardinal hit until the 6th inning began. With Wong batting, Yairo would be caught trying to steal 3B, 1-5-6 on the play. Wong would work a two-out walk to bring in Adolís Garcia. Garcia, making his major league debut, would fall victim to an outrageous changeup from Richards, his third k of the night.
The Marlins would tie things up off Gant in the bottom of the 2nd 1-1. Bour worked a leadoff free pass, Castro grounded into a 6-4 fielder’s choice, Prado singled to RF, Rojas drove in Castro with an RBI single to LF, making it 1-1. Carp would record the final two outs of the inning, a liner from Sierra and a grounder from Richards to end the 2nd.
No team recorded a hit the 3rd-5th innings, both pitchers settling in and going toe-to-toe Richards would retire all 9 batters he saw during that 3 inning stretch, striking out 4 (3 coming in the same inning.) Richards was technically two pitches away from an immaculate inning, striking out the side on 11 pitches (11 strikes).
Gant did the same thing, retiring all 9 batters he faced those 3 innings, doing so on 31 pitches, picking up two strikeouts for the line. In the 4th inning, Gant would strikeout Castro on a slider for his second out. Wong ended the inning emphatically, robbing a base-hit up the middle off Prado.
The Cardinals would break the tie open in the top of the 6th, making it 3-1. Gant would fly out to Anderson for out number one, bringing in the leadoff guy, Carp daddy. The salsa provider broke the tie with his league-leading 31st HR of the year, taking a 3-1 Richards changeup to deep RF. “MVP, MVP, MVP!!” Cafecíto would work a two-out walk after Yadi lined out to Rojas. Swags delivered back in his ole stomping grounds, ripping an RBI double into LF, scoring Café to make it 3-1 Cardinals.
Gant would throw his last inning in the bottom of the 6th, working another quick inning, throwing only 8 pitches. Gant would pick up his 4th and final strikeout of the game, getting Dietrich to swing and miss at a two-seamer. Anderson flew out to Garcia and Realmuto popped out to his counterpart in foul territory to end Gant’s evening.
Gant’s final line: (6IP, 2 hits, 1r/1er, 1 bb, 4 k’s, 63 pitches, 71 game score)
Shreve and Hudson would work together to complete the 8th inning. Shreve got his only man, left-handed Justin Bour, to strikeout on 4 pitches, whiffing at a slider. With Castro and Prado due up next, Shildt would turn to Dakota Hudson, who has turned out to be valuable. Hudson would get Castro and Prado to both ground out to DeJong to end the inning, heading to the 8th.
Kyle Barraclough, who was removed from the closer role after blowing a save the other night in game-one, didn’t run into good luck this appearance either. After getting Carp to fly out, Barraclough would hit Yadi with a pitch. With Cafecíto batting, Yadi would get picked-off, 1-4 on the scoring. Café followed that up with a base-knock into RF, and he would be lifted for a pinch-runner, Harrrrrry Bader. Bader would snag second base with ease, face planting on the head first slide into the base. With two outs and first base now open, the Marlins would elect to pitch to DeJong instead of Swags, intentionally walking the Cardinals LF’er. DeJong would make Mattingly pay for his decision, ripping a double into LF, bringing in Bader and Swags to make it 5-1 Cardinals.
Dakota Hudson worked a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 8th, needing only 9 pitches to send his team back to the dugout to bat. Pauly D would flash some leather to rob a single off the bat of Sierra. With one out, Sierra would line a ball that was slicing back up the middle, only to have it find the glove of a diving Paul DeJong, the 19th Marlin retired in-a-row. Hudson ended the inning retiring the 20th straight Marlin, getting Riddle (pinch-hitting) to lineout to Bader in CF.
Kolten Wong led off the top of the 9th vs Brett Graves, a local STL resident growing up, hitting a double down the 3B line. Graves then picked up two big outs, getting Adolis García to ground out to Rojas and Greg Garcia (pinch-hitting) to strikeout on a fastball. For the second time tonight, Mattingly elected to intentionally walk a batter with first base open and two outs. Rightfully so, because the batter was Carp. But Yadi made Mattingly’s decision hurt for the second time, as the veteran backstop hit a two-run double that would drop in front of Anderson in RF, plating Wong and Carp to make it 7-1 Cardinals.
Mike Mayers threw the final inning in tonight’s blow out win, striking out Dietrich on a heater to begin his outing. Anderson then hit a one out double to LF, bringing in Realmuto, who would ground out to DeJong. Justin Bour would ground out on the first pitch he saw from Mayers, grounding out to Wong to end the game.
With the win, the Cardinals have now won their past four series, (CHI, COL, PIT, MIA) making things interesting in the NL Wildcard race. Matt Carpenter continued his campaign for NL MVP, connecting for his 31st HR of the season. And Gant and the bullpen looked masterful tonight, picking up a big win heading into tomorrow’s off-day.
The Cardinals (60-55) are on a #happyflight to Kansas City as you read this, to take on their I-70 rivals, the Royals (35-79). Austin Gomber (1-0, 4.10) gets the ball in game-one, matching up with Burch Smith (1-3, 6.41), who looks like a local 7-11 regular. First pitch from the beautiful Kauffman Stadium is 7:15 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 115 is in the books