Weaver Continues Dominance, Cardinals Strike for 4 Run 6th, Beat Reds 5-3
Luke Weaver would be given an early 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning tonight with the help from his battery mate, Yadier Molina. Yadi would hit his 5th HR of the season, taking Tyler Mahle deep to RCF.
Jose Martínez reached on a single before the Yadi blast, but was caught stealing second base. Another base running blunder, this one luckily didn’t come back to bite us. That’s because of a guy named, Luke Weaver.
Weaver was in complete control of the entire Reds order through the first 4 innings. Weaver would strikeout 5 and walk 1 during the first 4 frames, before allowing his first base hit in the 5th inning. And that hit, may not have been a hit after all. Devin Mesoraco looked to have possibly been out by a hair on a diving stop from Paul DeJong. Matheny would challenge the call, and the single stood as called on the field. Weaver wouldn’t let that effect him, retiring the next three batters he faced. Weaver had everything working tonight. His secondary pitches had good sharp movement, most notably, the curveball.
The Cardinals bats would spot Weaver 4 more runs in the top half of the 6th. The inning would start with 4 straight hits. Dexter Fowler got the inning started driving a 2-1 fastball from Mahle into the seats in RF for a solo HR. Tommy Pham then hit a single, his second of the night, into RF and Carpenter followed suit, driving a double to RF. Marcell “Swags” Ozuna had 2 runners in scoring position waiting for him with his 11-game hitting streak on the line. He would drill an RBI single, scoring Pham, in the hole between SS & 3B. This extended his hit streak to 12 games.
Yadi would get his chance to add more RBI’s by his name in the box score. Coming to the plate with Carp on third and Ozuna on second, Yadi would deliver with a huge 2-RBI single over Peraza’s head into LF.
Luke Weaver would see his night come to an end after allowing a 2-run HR to Mesoraco with nobody out in the 7th. He ended the night with the final line of: (6 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 BB, 7 k’s)
The bullpen would come in and hold onto the win for Weaver, working 3 innings. Matt Bowman would strikeout 2 of the 4 Reds batters (Ervin & Gosselin) he faced coming in relief for Weaver.
The 8th inning belonged to Tyler Lyons and it wasn’t the cleanest performance he’s ever turned in. Lyons would allow a leadoff walk to Billy Hamilton, the third time Hamilton had been on base tonight. Peraza would bunt Hamilton over to second base for Joey Votto. Votto would take the southpaw to LF for an RBI single on a fantastic piece of hitting. With the Cardinals lead suddenly shrunk to two at 5-3, Matheny called upon Dominic Leone to record the final out. Leone got that out in one of the least likely ways, a pickoff. Leone caught Votto napping at first base, snagging his second pickoff on the year.
With the 9th inning looming and only a 2 run lead, we all wondered who Matheny would turn to for the save opportunity. Would it be Holland? Hicks? Norris? I think everyone was expecting him to go with Holland, but with Holland’s command through his first two outings, he decided to go with Norris. Bud Norris would continue to do Bud Norris things in 2018, striking out the side in the 9th, earning his 2nd save.
It wouldn’t come easy, though. Norris would strikeout Mesoraco to begin the inning. He then proceeded to give up a bloop single to Duvall and a walk to Ervin. The winning run now stepped to the plate with only 1 out. Norris buckled down, snagging two quick strikeouts to end the Reds threat.
The Cardinals would hold on to win 5-3, winning their second straight game moving to (7-7).
Miles Mikolas (1-0, 6.00) will look to improve the Cardinals win streak to three as he takes the ball against Brandon Finnegan, making his season debut.