Powered by three HR’s, Cardinals blank Royals 7-0 in game-one of weekend set
Burch Smith must’ve had a gas station to go grab his tallboy and brown bag early tonight. Yes, I know he cut his hair, but I’m still going to ride this awful take. The reliever turned starter would work out of a sticky 1st inning situation. After getting Carp to pop out to begin the evening, Burch would hit Yadi with a fastball and followed that giving up a single to RF to Cafecíto. Swags lined into some bad luck, roping a fastball back up the middle 104 mph, only to find the glove of Whit Merrifield, who would tag 2B to double off Yadi.
Austin Gomber made his first two innings look like a breeze tonight, needing to throw only 22 pitches. Gomber, too, started the game with a pop out to Carp off the bat of leadoff hitter, Whit Merrifield. Gomber recorded his first of three k’s next, getting the switch-hitting Rosell Herrera to whiff at a high curveball. Salvador Perez ended the inning by lining out to Harry in CF, Gomber setting the Royals down in order.
Burch Smith was ready for that cold beverage before he could even escape his 2nd inning of work. Pauly Deez would leadoff the inning with his 11th HR, taking a hanging curveball to LCF to make it 1-0 Cardinals. Trap House then worked a walk, bringing in Wong who would ground out to Mondesi at SS. Muñoz did the same thing, getting on top of a pitch, grounding out to Mondesi for the second out. With Trap House now standing 90 feet away from scoring, Harry Bader would drive him in, ripping an RBI single back through the middle to make it 2-0. This is the part of the recap where the front runner for NL MVP, leadoff guy, salsa provider, Carp, crushed his league-leading (that sounds nice every time I say it) 32nd HR to the fountains in DEEP RF to make it 4-0 Cardinals. Yadi followed the bomb up with a double to LF and Cafecíto would waste no time driving him in, lining an RBI single to CF to extend the lead to 5-0. Ned Yost had seen enough from his starter, relieving him after just 1.2 IP. Glenn Sparkman would come in and provide some great work for the Royals, eating up the next 4.1 innings. Sparkman would get the final out of the monster 2nd inning, forcing Swags to ground out to Mondesi, his third putout of the inning.
Gomber didn’t let the long inning effect his rhythm, as the lefty would induce three fly outs on 12 pitches to end the 2nd. Kolten Wong would commit the first Cardinals error since 08/02 with two away in the inning, letting Bonifacio reach base with an errant throw to Carp.
Trap House would get the last Cardinals hit until the top of the 6th with one out in the 3rd, blooping a single over Duda’s head into RF. Sparkman worked around the single, ending the inning on two groundouts from Muñoz and Bader.
Mondesi opened the bottom of the 3rd with a triple to RF, showing off his set of wheels. But Gomber would miraculously work his way around the triple, not allowing Mondesi to score. O’Hearn would be strikeout victim #2, whiffing at a slider offering from Gomber. Merrifield then flew out to shallow CF, as Harry would race in to make the play and fire the ball back into Yadi in case Mondesi tried to tag. Herrera and Perez then loaded the bases without getting a hit, Herrera walking and Salvy getting HBP. Gomber escaped getting Dozier to line out to Muñoz, playing RF tonight.
Sparkman would retire the Cardinals in order in the 4th and 5th innings, tossing 21 pitches, while picking up a strikeout on Carp to open the 4th. The Royals on the other hand, would strand three base runners during the 4th and 5th innings. Duda opened the 4th with an infield single. After a Bonifacio fly out to RF, Brett Phillips (2-4) singled into CF, bringing in Mondesi. Mondesi would fly out to Harry and Gomber ended the inning getting O’Hearn to whiff at a slider for the second time. Gomber’s final inning would come in the bottom of the 5th. Merrifield and Herrera would record to quick outs to bring in Perez. Salvy connected for a single into LF, extending the inning to the cleanup hitter, Hunter Dozier. Dozier would ground into a 6-4 fielder’s choice for the final out of the inning/night for Gomber.
Gomber’s final line: (5IP, 4 hits, 0r, 1 bb, 3 k’s, 89 pitches, 63 game score)
HAAAAAAAARY, with eight a’s, piled on another insurance run for the Cards in the 6th, blasting his 7th HR of the year to LF with two outs. All of this with the world’s weirdest bandage over his right eye, covering up the stitches he received for his face-plant slide in Miami. Worth noting, before Harry’s HR, Muñoz was taken out of the game for Adolis García after he appeared to injure his wrist on a swing.
Chasen Shreve worked the 6th inning tonight, as the lefty made it a clean one. Shreve would strikeout Bonifacio on a fastball for the second out, before Phillips lined his second single of the night into CF. Shreve ended the inning getting Mondesi to fly out to Harry.
With Sparkman still in the game, presumably running on fumes at this point, would give up back-to-back doubles to Yadi and Cafecíto to start the 7th. Café’s RBI double scored Yadi, giving him 65 RBI’s on the season, tied with Carp for the team lead. Yost went to his pen after the doubles, turning to right-hander, Jason Adam. Adam came in and picked up back-to-back k’s of Swags and Pauly Deez, both falling victim to a crispy looking curveball. Cafecíto would be stranded on 2B as Adam got Trap House to fly out to Herrera.
Daniel Poncedeleon would eat up the final 3 innings of the night, his first appearance since 08/01 vs COL. After getting O’Hearn to fly out to García, Ponce would struggle locating pitches, walking two in-a-row (Merrifield and Herrera). But no need to fret, Ponce would induce his first of two huge double-play balls, getting Perez to ground into a 6-4-3 twin killing.
JAG picked up his first career MLB hit with one out in the 8th, blooping a single into no man’s land in CF. But as Al said, it’ll go down as a line drive in the scorebook, and that’s the damn truth. Adam stranded García after his base-knock, striking out Harry and Carp with his curveball.
Poncedeleon would perform another Houdini act in the bottom of the 8th. After getting the leadoff man, Dozier to pop out to Jedd, Duda and Bonifacio would pick up back-to-back hits, Bonifacio’s being a double into LF to put two runners in scoring position. Brett Phillips then hit a soft-liner back to Ponce on the mound, and what a sigh of relief, because I hate seeing that type of play with Ponce pitching. On the 10th pitch of the inning, Mondesi would pop out to Peña, who took over as a defensive replacement for Yadi, in foul territory.
Brandon Maurer threw the final inning for the Royals, giving up a leadoff single into LF off the bat of Peña. Cafecíto then drew a free pass to bring in Swags. Maurer struck out the side, picking up three in-a-row, getting Swags, Pauly Deez, and Trap House all to go down on the slider.
Poncedeleon would get the final three outs for the Cardinals, picking up his first career save. O’Hearn drew a leadoff walk before Ponce recorded his second double-play, getting Merrifield 5-4-3 on the play. Herrera was the final out of the night, striking out on a cutter from Ponce to seal the 7-0 victory. With the win, the Cardinals now move to 6 games over (.500) and their winning streak now sits at W3.
Jack Flaherty (5-6, 3.27) aims to make it five-straight series wins for the Redbirds tonight, as he is matched up against the lefty, Danny Duffy (7-10, 4.70). First pitch 6:15 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!Game 116 is in the booksby Stew/@StewStilez