Cardinals finish off sweep of Dodgers with comeback 3-1 win behind a dominate Flaherty, O’Neill & Pauly Deez power up late to keep the Birds soaring
Well, here we are again, another late night, another late night win, the last dramatically late evening of the season. Which means, another brief, kick-ass recap. So let’s get it going, because I feel like I’ve been on the verge of getting fired from my job all week.
Basically all you need to know is the two best rookie pitchers in the NL, Jack Flaherty and Walker Buehler, entertained us with one of the best pitching duels of the season. To fast-forward this recap, let’s discuss the quick paced first 5 innings in a nutshell, there was 2 hits (both from Cardinals), 15 strikeouts, and only 4 runners LOB.
Walker Buehler yielded 2 hits thru his first 5 frames, striking out 4 while retiring the side in order the 1st and 2nd innings. Harry Bader drew a leadoff walk to open the top of the 3rd, going from 1st to 3rd on a Muñoz (activated from the DL today) base-hit into RF. Muñoz would be thrown out trying to take 2B on the play, 9-5-4 on the putout. Buehler then struck out Flaherty and Carp to end the inning, bringing him up to 6 total.
Jedd Trap House Gyorko (3-4) delivered a two-out infield single in the 4th, after Cafecíto was robbed of a single from Dozier at 2B, diving to his left and gunning it to Muncy for the out. Jedd was stranded on first after Pauly Deez popped out to Machado. Buehler returned to the mound with a 9-pitch, 1-2-3, 5th inning, getting two groundouts on Wong and Muñoz.
Jack Flaherty on the other hand carried a no-no through the first 5.1 innings, striking out 10 Dodgers before giving up the solo dinger to Joc Pederson. Flaherty recorded 3, 1-2-3 innings thru his 6 innings of work, also striking out the side in 2 of those 3 innings. Every pitch was beyond exceptional tonight for Flaherty, the slider, the changeup, the fastball, it was all clicking. For example, of his 10 strikeouts, 6 came on the slider, 2 came on the fastball, 1 came on the changeup, and the other coming on the knuckle-curve.
Yadi Molina worked a two-out walk in the 6th, still with Buehler in the game. Buehler put an end to the two-out rally before it took shape, striking out his 8th batter, getting Cafecíto looking on a suspect outside fastball.
Joc Pederson broke up Flaherty’s no-hit bid with one out in the 6th, ripping a solo HR to break the 0-0 tie. Flaherty put the HR in the review, getting Turner and Machado to end his evening dominating, but yet, trailing 1-0.
Flaherty’s final line: (6IP, 1 hit, 1r/1er, 2 bb, 10 k’s, 101 pitches, 71 game score)
The Cardinals tried to break the groove Buehler was in to start the 7th, as Trap House ripped a double off Machado’s glove to bring in Pauly Deez, who would strikeout for the second time. Wong smoked a grounder to Dozier at 2B, advancing Jedd to 3B. Machado ended the inning taking away an RBI bloop-single from Haaaaaaaarry. Thankfully this ended the night for Buehler.
Brett Cecil, fresh mohawk and all, worked a perfect 7th inning for the pen, his third scoreless outing upon returning from the DL. Kolten Wong, of course, got things started by taking away a leadoff single from Bellinger, diving to his left to take away the hit. Cecil ended his night on his 15th pitch, getting Dozier and Taylor (pinch-hitting) to fly out.
Scott Alexander* came in to relieve Buehler tonight, serving up a solo HR to pinch-hitter, Tyler O’Neill, with one out in the inning, tying things up at 1-1. O’Neill easily making up for his odd night an evening ago with one simple swing of the bat.
Dakota Hudson came in to throw the 8th inning, a role that’s becoming routine for the hard throwing sinker baller. After Grandal grounded out to KoWo to begin the inning, Puig lined a single into CF, and Kemp (pinch-hitting) reached on a throwing error from Trap House, putting runners on with only one out. Matt Carpenter would save the game next, diving to his right to take away an RBI single from Joc Pederson, both runners moving into scoring position for the scarecrow, Justin Turner. Turner drew a walk to load the bases for Machado, you nervous yet? Hudson induced Machado to roll over an outside slider, grounding out to DeJong to end the threat, game still locked at 1-1.
The Cardinals apparently broke Kenley Jansen, as they would strike again off the Dodgers closer, taking the lead on a two-run BLAST from Pauly freakin’ Deez. After Trap House lined his third hit of the game into LF, Pauly Deez would rip a high cutter offering to deep LCF for the 3-1 Cards lead.
With Bud Norris pitching back-to-back games, throwing 39 pitches over the past two days, Jordan Hicks would be summoned to close things out for the Cardinals bullpen, searching for his 5th save of the season. And my oh my would he get that 5th save, it almost looked too easy, like a breeze. Hicks straight mowed down Bellinger, Dozier, and Taylor all looking at blazing sinkers, securing the #happyflight and sweep for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals (71-57) have an off-day tomorrow, as they head into Denver, Colorado to take on the Rockies (69-57) for a three-game weekend series. The Lizard King (13-3, 2.80) gets things going in game-one, taking on the young righty, Antonio Senzatela (4-3, 4.47). First pitch from the beautiful Coors Field 7:40 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 128 is in the books