Cardinals sweep the Royals to conclude the I-70 series, extending their win streak to five straight with 8-2 victory
Thank God for whiteout. No seriously, thank God for whiteout. Just as I finished writing my notes on Luke Weaver in my scorebook, he gets scratched from his start with a cut on a finger. Tyson Ross would make the spot start on short notice, also making his Cardinals debut. Definitely not the easiest task at hand, even against a 35 win team.
Countering Ross today was right-hander, Jakob Junis. Junis had the strikeout pitch working today, fanning eight Cardinals batters, six coming via the slider. Junis opened the afternoon with a 14-pitch, 1-2-3 inning, striking out Carp and Yadi before getting Cafecíto to fly out to Merrifield in CF.
Ross would knock off some rust in his 1st inning, having not pitched since 08/03 at Wrigley field. Ross made a nifty play to record his first out in a Redbirds uniform, gloving a Merrifield grounder back to him on the mound and tossing it to Patrick Wisdom making his major league debut, playing 1B. The next four Royals would reach base: Gordon walked, Perez singled to LF, Duda walked to load the bases, Herrera reached base on a Wisdom fielding error, Gordon scoring on the misplay to make it 1-0 Royals. Ross ended his tough 1st inning on his 28th pitch, getting Bonifacio to ground into a 5-4-3 double-play.
Junis would add a couple more strikeouts to his line in the 2nd inning. Junis would strikeout Swags and Trap House on sliders for the first two outs, hitting Pauly Deez with a pitch in between the strikeouts. (The first of four Cardinals HBP today, this comes back into play later) Junis ended the inning on his 23rd pitch, getting Garcia to ground out to his counterpart, Rosell Herrera at 2B.
Tyson Ross, after limiting damage in the first inning, tossed an 11-pitch inning, retiring the Royals in order while picking up his first two strikeouts to end the inning. Junis might have a great slider, but Ross certainly possesses a good one too. After getting Dozier to ground out to Trap House, Ross would strikeout Escobar and Butera on sliders.
The Cardinals would use some of that two-out rally magic to tie things up in the top of 3rd. Junis opened the inning with his 5th k, getting Bader to swing and miss at a slider. Patrick Wisdom then stepped in the box for the first time in his major league career, dribbling an infield single to the right side. Junis then struck out Carp for the second time tonight, getting the DH to swing and miss at a fastball. Yadi was then hit by a fastball up and in, bringing in Cafecíto. Cafecíto wouldn’t let this inning go to waste, lining an RBI single into CF to score Wisdom to tie it up 1-1. Swags lined out to Duda at 1B on the first pitch slider offering from Junis to end the inning.
That two-out thing, went against the Cardinals literally a half-inning later, as the Royals would regain the lead 2-1. Ross would record two quick ground outs on Merrifield and Gordon before giving up a double to Perez into RF. Cafecíto would attempt to slide for the grab, missing it as it bounced by him into the stands for a ground-rule double. Duda drove in Salvy with an RBI single to CF, but Haaaaaaaarry would make it interesting. Bader came up with the hose, beating Salvy to the plate, but the Royals backstop would avoid the tag from Yadi, sneaking his right hand in for the 2-1 Royals lead. Haaaaaaaarry would get another opportunity for an OF assist a batter later. Herrera singled a ball to CF and Duda would get the wave home on a ball that Bader picked up in shallow CF. Haaaaaaaarry fired it to Yadi, beating Duda by a million steps for the final out.
Junis would blank the Cards over the 4th-6th innings and Ross returned the favor blanking the Royals through those innings. Carp, leadoff guy, delivered the only hit for the Cards during those three innings, lining a single the opposite direction to LF.
Tyson Ross retired the final 9 Royals he faced, picking up two more strikeouts along the way. Dozier and Herrera would both go down looking at a slider offering from Ross. The final three innings from Ross were all 10-pitch innings to take things to the 7th.
Jason Hammel would come in to pitch the 7th inning for Ned Yost, blowing the game, classic Royals bullpen. Hammel wouldn’t even record an out. Trap House would single to LF, Garcia would hit an infield single, Bader walked to load the bases, and Wisdom hit an RBI single in his debut to tie it up 2-2. With Carp coming to bat with the bases loaded, Yost would turn to a lefty, going with Tim Hill. Hill would get his only man, getting Carp to bounce into a 3-2 fielder’s choice. Kevin McCarthy would come in to try and record the final two outs of the 7th, getting greeted right away with an RBI double to RF off the bat of Yadi, scoring Bader and Wisdom. McCarthy induced a 5-4-3 double-play on Cafecíto to end the inning with the Cardinals now on top 4-2.
The Cardinals would add 4 more runs over the final two innings: Greg Garcia RBI double to score Swags, Swags RBI double to score Carp after he was hit by a pitch, & Pauly Deez smacking a two-run bomb to LF off Peralta to make it 8-2.
Mayers, Hicks, Webb, and Norris would close things out the final three innings for the Cardinals pen. Mayers retired the Royals in order on 11 pitches in the 7th, striking out Bonifacio on a slider to open the inning. Jordan Hicks would throw a 14-pitch 8th inning, blowing away Perez with some hard cheese to end the inning. Tyler Webb started the 9th for the Cards, striking out the first two he faced, getting Duda to go down looking at a fastball and Herrera to whiff at a slider offering. With a two strike count on Bonifacio, Webb would hit him in the back with a soft-tossed fastball, obviously sending a message. Webb would be tossed immediately by home plate ump, Adam Hamari. And boy, it was a load of shit. I have never been so heated in an 8-2 game that the Cardinals were winning. Shildt wasn’t a happy guy either, getting in his two cents, voicing his displeasure. There were no warning issued for the four Cardinals batters hit, why does Webb get tossed? Bud Norris, who wasn’t warming at the time, would come in for the final out after needing 7 minutes or so to warm up. Norris would strikeout Dozier looking on a two-seam fastball to earn the weekend SWEEP!!!!!
With the win the Cardinals (63-55) have won five straight games and head home on a #happyflight to take on the Nationals (60-58) for a four-game set. Max Scherzer also won’t pitch in the series, amazing luck.
The Lizard King (12-3, 2.74) gets the ball rolling in game-one vs the lefty, Tommy Milone (1-1, 5.50). First pitch from the beautiful Busch Stadium 7:10 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 118 is in the books