Cards Fall 2-1 In Lucky Number Thirteen Despite Great Pitching
Another extra inning affair was in store for the Birds tonight, their eighth extra inning game of the young season. Michael Wacha and Tyson Ross were both pretty darn good too. Heck, both bullpens were lights out also. The Padres ‘pen would toss 7 scoreless innings from the top of the 7th until the end of the game. The Cardinals ‘pen would throw 6 innings, using seven different relievers, giving up the winning run in the bottom of the 13th.
Tyson Ross began the evening walking two batters in the 1st, Pham and Ozuna, before stranding them on base on a screaming line drive off the bat of Gyorko. Wacha began his evening giving up a leadoff single to Jankowski, the second night in-a-row Jankowski singled into LF to start the game. After advancing to third base, Jankowski would be stranded as Cordero was blown away from a high heater from Wacha.
The Cardinals 6-8 hitters in the lineup would combine to go (2-17). Fowler’s cold streak just won’t shake him as the RF would go (0-6), being robbed of an RBI base hit by Jankowski in the 11th.
The Padres would strike first in this contest due to poor defense from the Cards in the bottom of the 2nd. Raffy Lopez would beat out an infield single with one out. With Freddy Galvis batting, Greg Garcia would make a phenomenal diving stop to his left, robbing Galvis of an RBI single. Unfortunately, Cafecíto would throw the ball to third on the play, trying to get Lopez advancing an extra 90 feet. Cafecíto would short hop Gyorko and Gyorko couldn’t knock it down, forcing Lopez home to make it 1-0 Padres. That was Cafecíto’s 6th error over at first base this season.
The Cardinals would put together their first two hits of the night in the top of the 3rd. DeJong and Cafecíto would hit back-to-back, two out, singles before being stranded on an Ozuna fly out to CF.
Michael Wacha and the Cardinals pen would dominate the rest of the way, until the dreaded 13th. In fact, the Padres wouldn’t get another hit until the bottom of the 9th off Bud Norris.
After going down 1-2-3 in the 4th and the 5th, the Cardinals would strike for their first run in the 6th on a Cafecíto double down the third base line. Cafecíto making up for his fielding miscue. DeJong would come around to score on the play after being hit by a pitch to start the inning. Cafecíto would be stranded at second, as Swags, Trap House, & Dex failed to even move him up another 90 feet. The Ozuna at bat might have been the most costly of the game, hear me out. A runner on second base with nobody out is a golden opportunity to just move the runner up an extra base. Don’t press, don’t try and do too much, unfortunately, Ozuna has been trying to do too much a large portion of 2018. Ozuna would pop out to second base, failing to do his job.
Pauly D kept a good night’s work rolling along in the bottom half of the 6th, robbing Pírela of a single up the middle. DeJong would range to his left, diving to snag the liner before it reached the OF grass. DeJong’s range has always been above average at SS, but I think he looks even more comfortable this year. Maybe that’s a tribute to Jose Oquendo, actually it probably is.
The Cards just couldn’t chip in and play fundamental baseball the next two innings, finally forcing the Padres to go to their bullpen. The strong point of this Padre team, their bullpen. Stammen and Yates would work the 7th & 8th, working around leadoff singles. Francisco Peña would dribble an infield single to start the 7th, only to be stranded where he stand. (insert Stew’s shocked face) The top of the 8th was even more devastating. After DeJong lined his second hit of the evening into RF, Cafecíto would ground into a twin killing, 5-4-3 on the double-play. Ozuna would single into CF and Gyorko would follow with a walk, bringing in the slumping Dexter Fowler. Yates would strikeout Fowler, escaping the light jam.
Jordan Hicks worked the first inning of relief from the Cards bullpen tonight, working a quick, 8 pitch, 1-2-3 frame. Hicks possesses my favorite slider in all of baseball right now. And he showed it, whipping out Villanueva on a devastating slider low and outside, scrapping the dirt.
Greg Holland found himself in another high leverage type situation. Holland was called upon for the bottom of the 8th. Holland would face Margot, Szczur (PH), Jankowski, & Hosmer. After retiring the first two, Jankowski would walk to bring in a threat in Eric Hosmer. Hosmer would get under a ball, I think most fans at the game thought it was a HR, and fly out to Fowler, stranding Jankowski.
Andy Green would go with his closer in a tie, 1-1, game in the 9th inning. Hand would collect two big strikeouts, both looking. (Peña & Bader) Mike Matheny would do the same with his bullpen in the bottom of the 9th, going with his closer Bud Norris. After the inning started with a Pírela single and a walk to Cordero, Norris would buckle down and strikeout the side. Spangenberg would pinch hit for Villanueva with nobody out, Villanueva is (0-36) his last 36 at bats and also had a tough collision running into the wall in foul territory down the third base line. Spangenberg would try and bunt, instead of taking a crack at it with nobody out, only to fail. Spangenberg would foul tip his third bunt attempt for Norris’ first strikeout of the inning. Norris then struck out Lopez (back door slider) and Galvis (high heat 95 mph) to strand the winning run on base.
Tuivailala and Cecil* would work the 10th inning. Tui got to work quick, striking out his first batter, Margot, on three pitches. Then, pinch-hitter, Asuaje and Jankowski would earn back-to-back singles to bring in Hosmer. With Cecil warmed and ready in the ‘pen and the lefty coming up, Matheny would turn to his lone LHP. Cecil would get Hosmer to chase after a high curveball, putting it in play to Gyorko at third. Gyorko would step on the bag at third and fire it over to first for the inning ending 5-3, double-play.
Gyorko got things started in the top of the 11th with a base hit to CF. This is the moment I was talking about earlier, where Dexter gets robbed of a potential game-winning base hit from Padres RF, Travis Jankowski. This is completely off subject, but Jankowski fits the San Diego vibe perfectly with his surfer locks. The guy is also an outstanding right fielder, to say the least. Greg Garcia would knock a two out single into RF, moving Gyorko up to third base. With Cecil’s spot coming up, the Cardinals would pinch-hit Kolten Wong. Garcia would move up to second on defensive indifference, putting two runners in scoring position. Wong would put up a good battle before flying out to Jankowski, sending us to the bottom of the 11th.
This is when John Brebbia comes in throwing straight filth to the first four batters he’d face. Brebbia would come in to pitch against the heart of the Padres lineup (Pírela, Cordero, & Spangenberg) and strikeout the side in order. The nastiest strikeout coming on Cordero, a back door slider that would catch the outer part of the plate.
Cafecíto would string together an infield single with two outs in the 12th, trying to be the deciding run in the late contest. But Freddy Galvis kept being the defensive wizard he is at SS, robbing Swags Ozuna of a single to LF, getting the force out of Cafecíto at second base.
Brebbia would go back to work for his second consecutive inning, starting this inning off with his 4th straight strikeout. Brebbia would get Lopez on three pitches, before tying him up on a 94 mph heater in on the hands for a strikeout. Galvis would ground out to Garcia, who would range deep to his left again, into the RF grass to retire the speedy Galvis. Margot then flew out to Pham, sending us to lucky (not so lucky) number 13.
Side-armer, Austin Cimber, would pitch the 13th, leaving Andy Green with only two left-handed relievers in his bullpen. Cimber got some help from home plate umpire, Manny Gonzalez, his first batter facing Gyorko. Gonzalez would ring Gyorko up on a pitch that didn’t even look to touch the outside part of the plate. Fowler and Peña followed, both producing weak contact. Fowler popped out to third and Peña grounded out, 2-3, on a slow tapper in front of the plate.
This is where Matheny would Matheny, and believe me, I hate saying that. With Mayers, Bowman, Gregerson, & Gant (although Gant wasn’t listed in the pen on FSMW’s broadcast for some odd reason) still in the ‘pen, Matheny would try and roll the dice one for inning with Brebbia. (Mayers was ready in the ‘pen fwiw) Brebbia would start the inning off with back-to-back free passes to pinch-hitter, AJ Ellis and leadoff man Travis Jankowski. Matheny figured it was time to turn to Mayers, two batters too late, with extra relievers in his bullpen. Mayers would throw one pitch, as Hosmer would rip it down the RF line for a walk-off single, scoring pinch-runner, Jordan Lyles.
The Cardinals are now (4-4) in extra inning contests and (8-6) in one run games.
The Cardinals will make a move Sunday, as Adam Wainwright will be coming off the DL to start. After Brebbia threw 43 pitches and was stretched for a third inning he never completed, I’d assume it will be at his expense. Mayers and Gant will have to remain as extra insurance in case things don’t go well with Waino.
With that being said, Adam Wainwright (1-2, 3.45) will get the ball in the series finale against lefty, Clayton Richard* (1-5, 5.72). First pitch 3:10 c/t.
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Game 37 is 'In the Books'
Courtesy of Stew's Scorebook