Cards rock Rockies 7-5 in a contest with a million hits and a million runs, welcome to Player’s Weekend
Player’s Weekend officially got underway yesterday, so me, keeping score to every single game like a nerd, decided to use nicknames myself in my scorebook. I went with my own personal nicknames for Cards players, while using the Rockies actual given nicknames.
The Cardinals would get on the board first, exploding for 4 runs in the top of the 2nd off Senzatela. Senze cruised through the 1st inning, retiring the side on 9 pitches. But Prince O’Neill led the 2nd inning off with a bang, sending his 5th HR of the season to deep LF for the 1-0 lead. Trap House would draw a walk after Pauly Deez grounded to Ian Desmond. With KoWo at the plate, Shildt would put on a hit and run and it worked to perfection, as Wong singled into CF, as Trap advanced to 3B. Senze picked up a big second out, getting his first k on Haaaaaaaarry Bader to bring in the Lizard King. With the Liz King (Mik, lame nickname c’mon) batting, Shildt would start Wong at 1B, hoping he could get in a run down long enough to get Trap House in from 3B. Tony Wolters would misplay the ball, having it scoot behind him to the backstop, as Trap House came sliding across the plate head first to make it 2-0 Cards. A few pitches later, the Lizard King would drive in two more runs, crushing a two-run HR to deep RCF, making it 4-0 Cardinals. This was Mikolas’ 2nd HR of the season, traveling 426 feet, coming off the bat at 103 mph. Talk about Greg Garcia strength.
Mikolas would allow 6 hits, 2 an inning, through his first 3 innings tonight. Mikolas would strand Dahl and Arenado on 1st and 2nd after back-to-back singles to begin the bottom of the 1st. But Mikolas would fight back, ending the inning by picking up his first two k’s of the night, getting CarGo on a heater and Story on a lethal slider. For the second straight inning, the Rockies would pick up back-to-back one-out singles to put pressure on Mikolas. McMahon and Wolters would get on base for Senze, who would sac-bunt them both over, 1-4 on the play. Mikolas ended the inning getting Chuck Nazty to roll over a breaking pitch to KoWo, averting early damage after being given a 4 run lead. Dahl opened the bottom of the 3rd with a single to RF, bringing in MVP candidate, Nolan Arenado, who would be the Lizard King’s third strikeout victim of the evening, whiffing at a curveball. CarGo then delivered a single to CF, putting runners on the corners with one out for Story. And man, that devil magic is working on all sides of the baseball. Story would fly out to shallow RF, and Cafecíto would come in firing to the cut man, Carp, who then fired it to Trap House, who then relayed it to the plate for Yadi, who would tag out Dahl for the final out. This play reminded me of something the Cardinals would’ve done if Mathe...never mind.
The bats would come back for more in the 5th inning, still facing Senze. Yadi and Cafecíto opened the inning with back-to-back singles to bring in O’Neill. Prince O’Neill drove an RBI double to CF, on a ball that looked like it would be caught, so only Yadi would score to make it 5-0. After Pauly Deez flew out, Trap House cashed in with an RBI double into LF, bringing in Cafecíto. Bud Black had seen enough, and would relieve Senze for the lefty, Rusin. KoWo greeted Rusin with a sac-fly to LF, scoring O’Neill to extend the lead to 7-0.
After the long half inning, on top of making the final out of that half inning, the Lizard King looked worn down. 5 of the first 6 Rockies he faced to start the inning reached base. Parra (pinch-hitting) singled to CF, Blackmon crushed a curveball to RCF for a two-run HR (still not measured further than Mikolas’). Arenado, with one out, crushed his 31st HR of the year, a solo shot to LF to make it a 7-3 game now. CarGo and Story then smacked back-to-back singles to bring in Desmond, still with only one away. Dez would ground into a 5-4 fielder’s choice, as KoWo would spike the throw to Carp at 1B on the attempted double-play for his 6th error. CarGo scored on the play and Dez moved to 3B, and suddenly things got interesting at Coors. McMahon kept the line moving, blooping a ball into shallow LF for an RBI single, bringing the Rockies within two, 7-5. Chasen Sha-Reef would come in to record the final out, getting Wolters to fly out to Bader on the first pitch.
Bettis and Oberg would hold the Cards bats silent through the 6th and 7th, as the Cardinals would be set down in order both innings. Oberg’s slider wasn’t really fair to anyone tonight, striking out 3 through 2 innings, all with the slider.
Matt Holliday would pinch-hit for Bettis to leadoff the bottom of the 6th, dropping a single into CF. Blackmon then worked a walk, but Shreve got a huge first out getting Dahl to fly out to Haaaaaaaarry, who would get a terrible read/break on the ball and eventually stumble to his knees to hang on for the out. Enter Tsunami. Carlos was summoned from the pen to face Arenado and CarGo with both men representing the go-ahead run. Tsunami won his first battle, showing off his dazzling slider to Arenado for his first of three k’s. CarGo ended the threat, flying out to Bader. Tsunami went back to the mound for the 7th, retiring the side in order on 11 pitches, striking out Story and Desmond to start things off. Dez got a good taste of that Tsunami slider as well.
KoWo (3-3) was the final Cards hit tonight, lining his third hit into RF. With Bader batting, who by the way is taking the ball to RF an absurd amount in recent weeks (this was pointed out to me by @kyler416), would try a hit and run but the pitch from Oberg was so far off the plate Bader couldn’t make contact with it and KoWo would be thrown out trying to steal 2B. After Bader struck out, Big City would pinch-hit, his first at bat back in a Cards uniform. And of course he got on base, thank you baseball gods. Adams reached safely after Desmond misplayed a routine ground ball at 1B.
Jordan Hicks would get the 8th tonight, we will just refer to him as Mr. 103. After Wolter flew out, Hicks would walk LeMahieu (pinch-hitting) and followed that by giving up a single to Blackmon. Hicks picked up a huge strikeout next, getting Dahl to whiff at a 100 mph sinker that just dropped off the table, absolutely no chance. Hicks would be careful with Arenado, eventually walking him to load the bases for CarGo. Hicks escaped the bases loaded jam, getting CarGo to ground out to KoWo.
Bud Norris would come in for the chance of save #27, getting two quick outs on Story and Desmond. McMahon kept the game alive, lacing a double into LF, eventually moving to 3B on a wild pitch from the Budman. Iannetta drew a walk to put runners at the corners for LeMahieu, who represented the winning run. Bud would induce a 5-4 fielder’s choice to end the game, securing save #27 and most importantly a 7-5 Cardinals winner.
With the win, the Cardinals move to 15 games over (.500), and now hold the first WC spot by half a game.
Johnny G (5-5, 3.76) gets the ball in game-two this evening, as he’s countered by German Márquez (11-9, 4.42). First pitch 7:10 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 129 is in the books