José Berrios, who I have to admit, is probably my favorite non-Cardinal player in all of baseball, got the game underway with a quick, 11 pitch, 1st inning.
Berrios set down the top of the Cards lineup in order, striking out Matt Carpenter on three straight fastballs.
Jack Flaherty would take to the mound for his third start of the season with the big club. Flaherty would work a little more than Berrios his first inning, throwing 21 pitches, while stranding Dozier on first after a one out walk.
Flaherty also made Eddie Rosario look silly on a backdoor bender, before ending the inning on an Escobar fly out to Pham. Pham covered some decent ground on the put out.
Berrios would throw his first off-speed pitch of his outing in the top of the 2nd, his 15th pitch of the game, for strike one to Trap House Gyorko. Gyorko would work a deep count but strikeout on an outside fastball.
Flaherty started getting a feel for his slider in the bottom of the 2nd, the first pitch strike to Buxton was mesmerizing.
Flaherty would retire the Twins in order on 10 pitches.
This one had the early vibe of an ole school pitcher’s duel. And I’m fine with that and all, but this offense doesn’t need to find itself in anymore of those games. They need to breakout. Because this two hit stuff, isn’t gonna win many games.
And Harrison Bader got the scoring going in the top of the 3rd, leading off with a flare up the middle for a single.
Bader moved up to second on a 1-3 force out of Kolten Wong.
Carson Kelly then welcomed himself into the 2018 RBI club, knocking a single up the middle, scoring Bader from second to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.
The Twins tried answering back in the bottom half of the 3rd, starting the frame with their first hit, a single to RF from Adrianza.
But Jack Flaherty had other plans, picking off Adrianza with an exceptional move.
Flaherty broke out that sexy slider again to strikeout Wilson, having him swinging at air.
Flaherty’s inning ended on his third punch out, repeatedly throwing fastballs in on Joe Mauer’s hands before sending him packing.
Berrios established a feel for his curveball in the top of the 4th, earning back-to-back strikeouts of Cafecíto and Ozuna.
A consistent offense is just so hard to establish with this team.
Flaherty’s 4th inning would start with two outs on only 4 pitches, retiring Dozier and Rosario before Escobar lined a single into CF. Kepler would give Flaherty a good battle, fighting 10 pitches, popping out to Carpenter in foul territory.
Berrios continued his early inning dominance, allowing only two more base runners to reach.
DeJong would draw a leadoff walk to start the 5th and found himself stranded where he stand, shocking right?
From that point, Berrios would set down ten in-a-row, adding five more strikeouts to his line, finishing the evening with 10.
This was the third time this season the Cardinals let a starting pitcher record at least 10 strikeouts, the second game in-a-row too. (Richard*)
The only other time the Cardinals let a starter strike them out 10 times this year came on Opening Day in New York vs Noah Syndergaard.
Cafecíto looked to have extra bases with two outs in the top of the 6th, only to be robbed on an excellent catch from RF, Max Kepler.
Flaherty was an out away from escaping the 6th inning jam, and his night, before Escobar flared a bloop RBI single into CF, tying the game 1-1.
The two out rally started with a Brian Dozier infield single followed by back-to-back singles from Rosario and Escobar.
Matheny let Flaherty try and wiggle his way out of the inning, which I believe was the correct decision. Baseball, man, baseball.
Cecil got the last out of the 6th, forcing Kepler to fly out to Bader.
Cecil remained in the game, starting the bottom of the 7th against Logan Morrison.
Morrison would rip a double into RF, ending Cecil’s appearance.
Then Luke Gregerson happened, the 2018 version of Gregerson.
Buxton greeted Gregerson with a bunt, making Gregerson field it off the mound and throw the ball past Carpenter into foul territory in RF for an error, scoring Morrison.
Gregerson let Buxton move up to third on a wild pitch before Bobby Wilson delivered the dagger.
Wilson unloaded on Gregerson for a two run bomb, making the Twins lead 4-1.
Sam Tuivailala would clean up the last 1.2 innings, recording two strikeouts on Rosario and Escobar. Tui’s fastball looked dialed in tonight, both strikeouts coming via the high heat.
Addison Reed and Fernando Rodney would finish the silent Cardinals offense off for a 4-1 win, holding them to 2 total hits, stranding only three.
Miles Mikolas (5-0, 2.51) looks to continue his fantastic season and to turn the Cardinals fortunes around against former Redbird hurler, Lance Lynn (1-3, 7.34).
First pitch 12:10 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 39 is 'in the books'
by Stew // @StewStilez