Game 4 @ Marlins
With the Cardinals starting pitching only pitching 12 innings the first three games, compared to the bullpens 13, they really needed a solid outing from Ponce de Leon tonight. He came through.
Marlins left-handed starter, Trevor Rogers, on the other hand wouldn’t. Rogers would open the top of the 1st inning giving up four walks, two straight to begin the game on just eight pitches to Edman and Goldy.
After getting Arenado to fly out to Marte in CF, Rogers went back to losing the zone, walking DeJong to load the bases for O’Neill. Rogers threw a wild pitch allowing Edman and Goldy to move up a base during the DeJong at bat, and much didn’t change during the O’Neill at bat, as him and Alfaro weren’t on the same page as a passed ball would allow Edman to cross the plate to make it 1-0 Cardinals.
Rogers would eventually get O’Neill looking at 96mph gas, bringing up Yadi with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Yadi would be first pitch swinging (classic) and take Rogers deep to CF off the wall for a two-run double to give the Birds an early 3-0 lead without Ponce taking the mound yet.
Yadi would be stranded on 2nd after Carlson would work a walk and Dean would strike out for the first of three times, swinging and missing at a Rogers 96mph heater.
Ponce and Rogers would basically shut down the bats from this point forward.
Ponce would only allow 3 hits through his 5 innings of work, hitting Marte with a fastball twice. Thank God it wasn’t Castellanos.
Ponce was just shoving fastballs down the Marlins hitters throats, throwing 89.2% fastballs (5 being cutters). He threw no curves and only 5 changeups.
The three hits Ponce would surrender would be two singles off the bat of Aguilar and Sierra (pinch-hit bunt single), and a Brian Anderson double to the RCF gap in the bottom of the 4th.
The Cardinals would add another run to their lead to leadoff the 5th vs newly entered reliever, John Curtiss. Tommy BD Edman, and you know what the BD is for, would send his 1st HR down into the RF corner on the third down and in slider he saw from Curtiss to make it 4-0.
The Fish would get that run back in the bottom half of the inning, as Berti drew a leadoff walk and the aforementioned Sierra pinch-hit bunt single put two runners on quickly.
Dickerson would then groundout to the Goldy on the right side, advancing both runners to 3rd and 2nd for Marte. Marte would send a sac-fly to Carlson in CF to score Berti to make it a 4-1 game.
That’s where this game would stay, as Ponce would end his night after 5IP, 3 hits, 1ER, bb, 3 k’s.
Hicks, Gio (2 innings), and Reyes would shut things down the 6th-9th innings, allowing two hits while striking out 3.
Hicks would work a 1-2-3 6th inning (13 pitches/ 8 strikes), running his sinker up to 100mph a few times. He’d get Anderson to strikeout on it for the second out of the inning, in fact.
Gio would get innings 7 and 8, an out away from two 1-2-3 innings himself. An Aguilar single to RF would stop that, but Gio would get Duvall next to end the 8th, swinging and missing at a high fastball. The at bat of Gio’s appearance had to be his strikeout of Berti in the the 7th, freezing him on a 95mph heater.
Reyes would need only 13 pitches to retire the Marlins in the bottom of the 9th, getting two quick fly outs on Anderson and Rojas before allowing a two-out single to Alfaro. Reyes would end the game getting Berti to ground out to DeJong who would get the force at 2B with Edman covering for the final out and Reyes first save of the season.
Johnny G takes the ball tomorrow in his first start, facing off against a former friend and Cardinal, Sandy Alcantara (0-0, 0.00). First pitch from loanDepot park (ewwwww) is 5:40pm c/t.