Behind an excellent Mikolas, the Cardinals completed their second sweep of the Reds today, winning 9-2.
With that, let’s talk about The Lizard King’s day:
Mikolas entered today’s start averaging 14 pitches per inning, the best rate in the NL for qualified starters.
He stayed on the same course today, pounding the strike zone. Mikolas would breeze through 7 innings, only throwing 85 pitches. (67 strikes)
Mikolas would throw more than 14 pitches in only two innings, the 2nd & 6th, throwing 16 both inning. That’s consistency and efficiency, and it’s getting better with every start.
The only trouble Mikolas found himself in today was in the 6th inning.
Reds leadoff man, Jose Peraza, would reach base on a throwing error from Matt Carpenter.
Jesse Winker would make the most of the error, lining a ball over a leaping Dexter Fowler’s head for an RBI double.
Joey Votto cashed in next, grounding a ball back to Mikolas, deflecting off his hand past DeJong into LF for an RBI single. This cut the Redbirds lead to 3-2.
Mikolas found a quick groove, retiring the next three batters (Gennett, Schebler, Mesoraco) he faced in order, setting down Mesoraco on strikes for the second time on the afternoon.
Mikolas came back out on the mound for the 7th, making the most of it with an 11 pitch inning. After striking Blandino out looking, Mikolas would be blessed with an insane play from Kolten Wong.
Wong would range up the middle and backhand a grounder from pinch-hitter, Gosselin, and throw him out while off balance and on the run, for the second out of the inning.
Mikolas’ pitch count per inning tonight: (13, 16, 8, 10, 12, 16, 11)
The lineup was thumping today, accounting for a total of 9 runs on 12 hits.
Yadier Molina would stay hot from the 2-spot in the lineup, going (3-4) with an RBI.
Yadi is (5-7) on the year batting 2nd, with two extra base hits and two RBI’s.
Yadi got his day started following a Carpenter groundout, with a single up the middle.
Cafecíto (1-5) would get his only hit of the of the game in the first inning, a double down the the third base.
With Yadi on 3rd and Cafecíto on 2nd, Dex would walk, bringing up Pauly D with the base loaded.
The young Reds starter, would get the 5-4-3 double play on DeJong, stranding the bases loaded.
Kolten Wong wanted to join the 2018 HR club today, as the second baseman got a fastball high and inside and took it to RF for a solo HR, giving the Cards an early 1-0.
The Cardinals would add two more runs in the 3rd.
Carpenter and Yadi would both come around to score.
Carp walked to leadoff the inning and Yadi shot a ball into the OF for back-to-back baserunners.
Fowler would drive in Carp from third on an infield single back to pitcher, Luis Castillo.
DeJong (2-5) kept the line moving, hitting a single to CF, loading the bases for Cardinals OF prospect, Tyler O’Neill. This was O’Neill’s first major league start.
O’Neill took a Castillo pitch inside to LF that was deep enough to drive in Yadi, making it 3-0 Cardinals, with Mikolas grooving.
O’Neill lined into some bad luck later in the afternoon in the bottom of the 5th.
With Fowler on third base and only one out, O’Neill would lace a ball (101mph off the bat) to Blandino down at the hot-corner for an unassisted double-play.
The Cardinals would add three huge insurance runs with 2 outs in the 7th with some help from the scorching hot, Pauly D.
With Yadi on second, after a double, and Fowler on first, after a walk, DeJong would get a 1-2 breaking pitch from Quackenbush and crush it into the Reds bullpen, making it 6-2.
The Cardinals would strike for three runs again in the 8th inning.
With a struggling Quackenbush still on the mound, the Cardinals took advantage.
Wong (1-3) opened the inning with a walk and he would advance to third base on a Harrison Bader (2-4) single (108mph off the bat).
With the pitchers spot due up, Greg Garcia would grab some lumber and drive a 2-RBI double in the LCF gap, pushing the lead to 8-2.
Jared Hughes would come in relief and stop the bleeding.
Jedd Gyorko, who replaced Carpenter at third base in the 8th, greeted Hughes with a single to RF and advance to second on a wild pitch.
With two runners in scoring position and nobody out, Yadier Molina would drive in his 16th RBI of the season on a sac-fly to CF.
Norris & Holland:
Norris and Holland would work the final two innings of today’s sweep. Throwing two scoreless, allowing no hits and striking out one.
Norris would pitch the 8th, facing the top of the Reds order, retiring them on 8 pitches.
Norris earned his 18th strikeout of the season, only pitching 11.1 inning thus far.
Greg Holland would make an appearance today, this time in the 9th inning, although not a save/high leverage situation, Holland’s command looked miles better than what we’ve seen so far.
Holland would have an easy 1-2-3 inning starting it off by striking out Gennett looking. Schebler and Mesoraco were the final casualties, as Mesoraco popped out to Gyorko to secure the 9-2 sweep for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals (13-8) are now (7-0) on the year vs Cincinnati (3-18).
Monday is an off-day for the team before they welcome in the Mets (14-6) for a three-game series starting Tuesday night.
Luke Weaver (2-1, 4.22) was announced as Tuesday’s starter today by manager, Mike Matheny. Weaver will be countered by LHP, Steven Matz (1-1, 4.42).
Adam Wainwright was placed on the 10-day DL today with right elbow inflammation.
John Brebbia was recalled from Memphis, going the bullpen again.