Cardinals Offense Plays HR Derby, Cafecíto Has Career Night, Pounce Reds 13-4
The Cardinals battled through some adversity Thursday night at Great American Ball Park. A back and forth fight early on with the lack of the shutdown inning, the Cardinals didn’t hold on securely until the 6th inning.
We will start with the bats in this recap. Totaling 13 runs on 12 hits, they were a force to be reckoned with tonight against, virtually, any Reds pitcher.
Jose “Cafecíto” Martínez was the key contributor tonight. When isn’t this guy locked in? Martínez would go (4-5) with a HR, two doubles, single, walk, & 6 RBI. Martínez would absolutely obliterate (114mph off the bat) a Zack Weiss fastball to LF to leadoff the 7th inning.
Following the Martínez bombski, Yadi would do the same. Smashing the Weiss pitch, sending it deep to LCF. (438 feet) Worth mentioning, this was the major league debut for Zack Weiss and it did get worse. Weiss would walk the next two Cardinals batters, DeJong and Wong. Price was forced to go to his bullpen, for the fourth time in the game. This time Tanner Rainey would get the nod. And he would follow in the footsteps of Zack Weiss, walking the first three batters (Garcia, Fowler, Pham) he faced, two would bring home runs.
Carpenter then hit a sac fly to CF making it 10-4 Cardinals. Cafecíto would strike again, driving in Fowler and Pham with an RBI double to RF on a play that probably should have been ruled an error or Phillip Ervin. The Reds did commit 3 errors tonight, to be fair, there were many more. The Cardinals hit four HR’s as a team tonight.
Ozuna (1-6) would be first, unloading on Sal Romano to deep LCF. (110mph, 416 feet) DeJong (1-5) would add his 4th HR of the year taking Austin Brice to the second deck in LF. (110mph, 464 feet) And as mentioned earlier, Martínez & Yadi would add back-to-back bombs to leadoff the 7th inning.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals walked 11 times as a team tonight, only striking out 8 times. (Chad Pennington accounted for one of the 8.)
Pitching & Defense:
Michael Wacha struggled early on, the 1st and 3rd innings in particular. Wacha opened the game walking speed demon, Billy Hamilton, followed by a double to Jose Peraza. Winker would line a base hit to LF, scoring Hamilton and Peraza. The ball took a funny hop and rolled up Ozuna’s glove and past him for an error, allowing Peraza to come home easily. Wacha would shut down the next 6 in the Reds order, striking out two.
But then more trouble came for Wacha in the 3rd inning. Hamilton and Peraza would both start the inning with singles and Adam Duvall would later walk to load the bases for Cardinal killer, Scooter Gennett.
Gennett would come through hitting a single up the middle, playing two. After that, the Reds wouldn’t manage a hit until the 7th. Wacha would settle in nicely for the 4th and 5th, completing 1-2-3 innings.
Wacha’s night ended with the final line of: (5 innings, 5 hits, 4 runs/3 earned, 3 BB, 5 K’s)
John Brebbia would get the 6th inning of work, and it was very important that it be a shutdown inning. The Cardinals blew two leads already in this game, a third would be a punch in the gut. The baby faced Brebbia retired the side, striking out Ervin & Blandino.
Mike Mayers found himself pitching the final three innings of the lopsided affair, earning the save. He also had a plate appearance, and walked. Yeah, Mike Mayers walked before Marcell Ozuna, just like we all predicted.
The Cardinals flashed some leather tonight as well. Marcell “Swags” Ozuna climbed the LF wall in foul territory to steal a ball from the stands. It definitely has to be one of the best catches in baseball so far this season. Tommy Pham would end this blowout with an exclamation point, robbing Peraza of extra bases with a smooth diving catch, sealing the 13-4 victory for the Cardinals.
Tomorrow, Luke Weaver (1-0, 1.59) will look to continue his early season dominance as he matches up against Tyler Mahle. (1-1, 4.22)