Jack Flaherty vs Brad Keller. A treat for game one of the I-70 series.
Keller was coming into the game without allowing an earned run in his first three starts, a total of 17.2 scoreless. Flaherty on the other hand would have a ~65 pitch count, only throwing 41 his last time out during the DH at Wrigley.
And Flaherty sure would make the most of his pitches, cruising through 5 innings, allowing just two base runners, a two-out double by Meibrys Viloria in the top of the 3rd and Alex Gordon reaching via a throwing error from Brad Miller at 3B in the 5th.
Viloria would move up to 3B on a wild pitch, flipping the lineup over to Merrifield at the top. Flaherty would strand the first of six Royals runners, getting Merrifield to get on top of a pitch, grounding out to DeJong.
Flaherty would keep his pitch count low per inning, the 3rd being his most stressful frame.
1st inning- 11 pitches (1-2-3)
2nd inning- 8 pitches (1-2-3)
3rd inning- 17 pitches
4th inning- 15 pitches (1-2-3)
5th inning- 13 pitches
Flaherty’s command was pinpoint on his entire repertoire. It was easily the best he’s looked all season, which isn’t saying much since we haven’t gotten the luxury to watch him pitch on a normal schedule quiet yet. His slider was particularly on point tonight, painting it anywhere he pleased. It’ll be nice to see his next start, as he should be close to a full pitch limit.
Flaherty’s line: 5IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 0bb/ 3 k’s
Alex Reyes would come in for the 6th and wouldn’t have it, trying to work in back to back games. Reyes would get his first batter, Viloria, on a fly ball to Carlson in LF. From then, Merrifield would reach on a throwing error from DeJong, Dozier would walk, and Soler would crush a 3-run shot to LF (109.1mph exit velocity, 443 feet).
Gomber (1.2IP, 2 k’s) and Woodford (2IP) would work the final 3.2 scoreless innings from the Cards pen.
Bats come to life
Brad Keller would have to kiss his scoreless streak goodbye in the very 1st inning of this contest, struggling with his command. Keller would allow three base runners on without giving up a hit. Edman and Goldy would draw walks and Carp would get hit by a pitch. Pauly Deez would get the chance to break things open with a bases loaded situation, lining a sac-fly to Dozier in RF to score Edman to make it 1-0.
The Cardinals would make some noise in the 3rd and 4th innings to no avail. Miller and Goldschmidt would keep their bats hot, knocking back-to-back singles off Keller in the 3rd before Carp (strikeout) and DeJong (popped out) would end the threat.
Carlson would deliver a nice piece of hitting with two down in the bottom of the 4th, beating the shift with a nice slapped single into LF (97.3mph exit velocity, .470 xBA).
The big innings would be the 5th, 6th, and 7th, as the Cardinals would add on 8 more runs. The first seven batters would all reach base: (Edman single, Miller single, Goldy infield single, Carp walk, DeJong 2-run double, Yadi HBP, Dex 2-run double).
Miller and Goldy kept doing the mashing in the 6th, as Miller got things started with a leadoff single vs Chance Adams making his season debut.
With Goldy at the dish and ahead in the count 3-1, he was searching for a fastball. And he freakin’ got it. Launching his 3rd HR of the season into the Royals pen in LCF (111.3mph exit velocity, 418 feet) to make it 8-3 Cards.
Harrison Bader kept the feast going on Adams, knocking a two-out double off the top of the wall in LCF in the bottom of the 7th. Bader was about an inch away from his 3rd HR in three days. With the double, Bader’s last five hits are all for extra bases (3 doubles, 2 HRs).
Tommy Edman would drive him in with an RBI single into RF, his 9th RBI of the season to make it 9-3 Cards.
Uncle Charlie (2-0, 2.00) gets the ball in game two tomorrow night. Waino will be opposed by the Dark Knight, veteran Matt Harvey (0-1, 9.00). First pitch is set for 7:15pm c/t.