An afternoon, Facebook only, no Yadier Molina baseball game. I’m sure we were all jumping for joy. With that being said, Adam Wainwright turned in a fine afternoon of work today, and that is something to be somewhat optimistic about in today’s 3-2 loss.
Adam Wainwright would get the ball for the Redbirds in the rubber game of the series. A three man bench, due to the Molina suspension, and a taxed bullpen, would mean Waino would have to eat some innings this afternoon.
He did just that. Typical Wainwright things, mixing in different pitches with a variety of ranging velocities.
Waino would give up two solo HR’s to Pérez (2nd inning) and Thames. (3rd inning) Thames HR barely snuck over the RF wall, tipping off a leaping Harrison Bader’s glove.
Outside of that, he really limited the damage and escaped a couple of tough situations. The first coming in the 4th inning following a one out single up the middle from Domingo Santana. Waino would induce a huge 5-4-3 double-play ball of Hernan Pérez.
The second coming an inning later. After starting the inning by giving up back-to-back hits to Arcia and Bandy to put runners at second and third. Waino would strikeout his counterpart looking and then force Villar to groundout to first base, bringing home a run. With one run in and another runner on third, Waino would be greeted by Eric Thames. Waino won the battle, forcing Thames to pop out to Kolten Wong.
With two outs in the bottom of the 5th inning, the Cardinals got back-to-back singles from Bader and Peña.
Wainwright would bat for himself in this situation given the short bench and taxed bullpen arms, to no avail. Wainwright would strikeout looking to take us to the 6th.
The Cardinals would push across their first run of the game in the bottom of the 6th.
Matt Carpenter would groundout to first base scoring Greg Garcia, who doubled to RF to leadoff the inning.
Wainwright would go back out on the mound for his last inning of work, trailing 3-1, with a decent pitch count and great command. Dan Jennings would threaten to score another run, being stranded on third base after his 2-out double to LF.
Wainwright would turn in a final line of (7 innings, 8 hits, 3 earned, 0 BB, 4 k’s)
Lyons and Holland would work the 8th and 9th, pitching two scoreless frames.
It was interesting seeing how Holland would look this time out. After offering a leadoff walk to Santana, you couldn’t help but think about that first appearance.
He would settle in quickly after that walk, gaining a quick confidence with his pitch command. Pérez would fly out to RF and Arcia would follow that grounding into a 6-4-3 double-play to take us to the bottom of the 9th.
Tommy Pham would make things interesting, sending the first pitch FB from Hader over the wall in LCF for a solo HR. Counsell would leave Hader in one more batter, the lefty, Matt Carpenter. Hader would do his job, tallying his 3rd strikeout of the outing.
Matt Albers would get the call to face Ozuna and Martínez, in a one run game.
Ozuna would poke (not a Facebook pun) a broken bat single into RF and Cafecíto would follow with an almost identical single to the one he had late last night.
With the tying run in scoring position, up came Wong. Albers would get the St. Louis second baseman to pop out, bringing up pinch-hitter Dexter Fowler.
Fowler would work the count to 2-2 before being struck out on a sinker from Albers.
The Cardinals drop their third series of the early season, with a flight to Cincinnati waiting.
Michael Wacha (1-1, 5.59) will get the ball in the first game of a four game series. He will be battling against Sal Romano (0-1, 5.73) tomorrow night from Great American Ballpark. How about a four game sweep? We are due a legit win streak.