Game 122 Recap vs Nationals
Weaver and defense struggle, winning streak snapped at 8 games with 5-4 loss to Nats
Luke Weaver never got it going tonight, laboring through 3.2 innings, giving up 7 hits, 4 runs/2 earned, walking one and picking up a strikeout.
Weaver has struggled with command, particularly his fastball. The Nats would get on the board early, as Turner hit a one out single to LF and Harper doubled down the 1B line (apparently it wasn’t foul?) for an RBI double. This play was weird because a fan interfered with the ball, so the play should’ve been dead, but I guess none of the four umpires saw that. So Turner scored and it was 1-0 Nats. Rendon and Soto ended the ending on fly balls, stranding Harper.
Weaver threw his best inning in the 2nd, getting the Nats 1-2-3 on 11 pitches, striking out Zimmerman on a heater to leadoff the inning. But Luke got smoked the next inning, and his counterpart, Tanner Roark, got things started with a single up the middle. After Eaton popped out, Turner knocked his second single into CF to put two on for Harper. Harper kept the line moving, lining a single into RF, loading the bases for Anthony Rendon. Guess what he did?
You probably guessed it, an RBI single into LF to make it 2-0 #Natitude. Weaver escaped the inning with no further damage, stranding the bases loaded, as he got Soto and Zimmerman to pop out.
On the flip side, Tanner Roark dominated the Cardinals bats through the first 5 innings, yielding a run on one hit, the kinda hit that gets you on the scoreboard, courtesy of Haaaaaaaarry Stitches Bader, who tagged a hanging breaking pitch for his 9th HR of the season (first career at Busch) to make it 2-1 Nats.
Weaver’s struggles followed him into the 4th, as he wouldn’t make it out of the inning. After two quick outs on Murphy and Wieters, Tanner Roark (again) would single into CF to bring in the top of the order. Eaton worked a walk, extending the inning to the speedy, Turner. Turner grounded a softy to Wong at 2B who fired over to Carpenter, who misplayed it, missing the catch for an error to load the bases for Harper, drawing the end to Weaver’s evening.
Tyson Ross relieved Weaver, tossing 3.1 important innings for Mike Shildt’s bullpen.
But Ross would get greeted rudely, as Bryce Harper would rip a two-run single into RF to make it 4-1 Nats. The Cardinals defense, which has been excellent as of late, definitely bit them in arse tonight, and it got worse from here, proceed with caution.
Oh, hey, the Cardinals would strand two base runners via walks in the 4th and 5th innings, thanks Mr. Canada and Haaaaaaaarry.
The Nats added another insurance run in the 5th, after two quick outs, imagine that, it’s the theme of the year.
Murphy got things started with a two out single to RF, bringing in Wieters who would draw a free pass. Tanner Roark, looking for his third hit of the night (LOL), smoked a ground ball to Wong up the middle, who committed a throwing error, rushing a throw to DeJong covering 2B from his backside. This loaded the bases for the top of the order.
And Adam Eaton had some mighty fine luck as well, tapping a soft grounder to the left side, forcing Ross to get off the mound and misplay the ball for the Cardinals third error of the night, scoring Murphy to make it 5-1 Nats. Wong made up for his play to end the inning, robbing Turner of a potential two-run single, diving to his left to take away the hit.
The Nats wouldn’t pick up another hit until the top of the 9th inning, as Tyson Ross only gave up a two out walk to Soto in the 6th.
The Cardinals rallied back to make things interesting in the bottom of the 6th, scoring 3 runs to come within one, 5-4. O’Neill got things started with a one-out double to CF, legging out a routine single for extra-bases. Swags then flew out to deep CF for the second out to bring in Pauly Deez. Pauly would rip an RBI single into CF, scoring O’Neill the sex god to make it 5-2.
Kolten Wong kept the two-out rally chugging, slapping an RBI double to LCF, scoring Pauly Deez to make it 5-3. Haaaaaaaarry’s speed played a huge part in the next run, as he would tap a slow grounder down the 3B line, forcing Rendon to rush his throw and throw it away for an error. Wong would come around to score easily on the play, as Bader moved into scoring position, taking 2B. The rally ended as Greg Garcia swung at the first offering, flying out to Harper.
Both teams would go down quietly in the 7th and 8th innings, as Pauly Deez made a fantastic play to rob Mark Reynolds (pinch-hitting) of a two-out single to end the 7th inning. Tyson Ross worked an 8 pitch, 1-2-3 inning, inducing 3 groundouts.
Justin Miller would come in relief for Roark tonight, allowing a leadoff walk to Wisdom (pinch-hitting) to begin the inning. Miller then worked two fly outs to Harper in CF off the bat of Carp and Yadi. Miller followed that up with his first strikeout of the night, getting O’Neill on a fastball.
The 8th inning was big for one reason, confidence for Brett Cecil who has struggled since becoming a Cardinal, there’s no easy way to put it. Cecil would work a 1-2-3 inning in his first action since being activated off the DL, striking out Eaton on a cutter to begin the inning, or at least that’s what game day was tracking it as. Cecil ended his inning after 11 pitches, getting Turner to fly out, and Harper to ground out. Cecil confidence boost should be rising.
Miller cut right through the 4-6 hitters in the bottom of the 8th, picking up his 2nd k on DeJong, getting him to go down on a fastball.
Mike Mayers would throw the 9th inning for the pen, working around a little self inflicted trouble. Rendon would rip a leadoff single into LF to get the inning started. Mayers then got a huge first out, as Soto struck out looking at a slider to bring in Zimmerman, who would work a walk. Mayers picked up a huge second out next, getting away with two hanging sliders in the at-bat, striking out Murphy on the aforementioned slider. Mayers long inning ended on his 29th pitch, as Wieters popped out to Garcia.
The Cardinals would try and buy some of that two out magic they’ve had this year off newly entered reliever, Koda Glover. Glover would get two quick outs, bringing in Cafecíto (pinch-hitting), who’s career numbers pinch-hitting are absurdly great. Cafecíto lined a two-out single to RF, bringing in the winning run in Matt Carpenter. John Gant would pinch-run for Cafecíto at 1B. Carpenter would put together a nice plate appearance, earning a walk to bring in Yadi.
Yadi, as we all know, loves swinging on the first pitch, and the trend continued tonight, as he swung at the first pitch fastball from Glover to fly out to Taylor in CF.
The 5-4 loss snaps an 8-game winning streak, as the Nats leave town salving a four-game sweep that could have potentially ended their playoff hopes.
Matt Carpenter, leadoff guy, extended his on-base streak tonight, reaching base in 34 consecutive games.
Yadi the goat also extended his record, starting in his 24th consecutive game behind the plate.
The Cardinals (66-56) welcome the Brewers (68-55) to town tomorrow evening for a three-game weekend series.
Jack Flaherty (6-6, 3.22) looks to start a new winning streak for the Birds tomorrow as he is countered against Freddy Peralta (5-3, 4.47).
First pitch 7:15 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!