Updated: May 20, 2018
A Michael Wacha start that began with a an hour and thirty-six minute rain delay, of course, got off on the right foot for the Cardinals.
Wacha, who didn’t get loose until after the delay, breezed through the 1st inning, throwing 10 pitches. Wacha retired the side in order, striking out Herrera on an excellent curveball low and in the dirt.
The offense looked like they were in position to push across a 1st inning run on Jake Arrieta. Tommy Pham began the night with a leadoff walk and Carpenter would move him up to second base on an opposite field single to LF. Carp got a sinker on the outer half from Arrieta and guided the ball to LF.
Then, just with a blink of an eye, Cafecíto smoked a ground ball to Hernandez at second base for a 4-6-3 double-play. Ozuna would ground out to Florimón at SS on the first pitch of his at bat, stranding yet another runner on base for the Cardinals. Let’s just say it hasn’t been pretty the past few weeks.
Wacha’s off-speed pitches looked to be in mid-game form early on in this contest. Wacha threw a filthy changeup to cleanup hitter, Carlos Santana, for his second strikeout to start the 2nd inning. Jorge Alfaro reached base hitting a one out double down the RF line, into the corner. Wacha threw Nick Williams a cutter first pitch, forcing the right fielder to line out to Wong at second. The inning ended on a weak pop out to Carpenter in foul territory off the bat of Florimón.
The Cardinals got the leadoff runner to reach base for their second consecutive inning, in an odd fashion, to say the least.
Gyorko would work a nine pitch at bat against Arrieta, striking out on a pitch in the dirt that got behind Alfaro. But it wouldn’t matter, as many at bats haven’t recently, as Fowler would swing at the first pitch he saw, grounding into a 4-6-3 double-play. The second in two innings for the Cardinals brutal offense.
Arrieta kicked off the top of the 3rd with a single into LF. Wacha then got his ground ball, unfortunately with the quick leadoff hitter, Cesar Hernandez, running down the first base line. Hernandez would reach on the fielder’s choice.
The changeup kept getting prettier, as Wacha would break out a beauty in on the hands of Rhys Hoskins for his third strikeout. Oh, the curveball kept getting prettier as well. Wacha would throw the same exact curveball in the dirt to Herrera that he threw him in the first inning, striking him out for the second time. Literally identical pitches, it was amazing.
Francisco Peña kept his bat hot, leading off the bottom of the 3rd with a line drive single to CF. After the hit, Peña is (5-7) his last 7 at bats. Michael Wacha then executed a good sac-bunt, 3-4 on the put out, bringing in Mr. Steal Yo Girl.
Tommy Pham would come through, ripping an RBI double to RF, hustling out of the box for the extra base to set himself up in scoring position. Carpenter would battle with an eight pitch at bat, grounding out to Santana, moving Pham to third base. Cafecíto would make up for his rally killing double-play in the 1st, blooping a ball into shallow RF, driving in Pham.
Arrieta got a ground ball off the bat of Ozuna that should’ve ended the inning, instead Kingery would commit a throwing error, as the ball went into the Cardinals dugout allowing runners to move up an extra base.
Trap House Gyorko was trapping hard, coming through with a huge two out, 2 RBI single into LF, scoring Cafecíto and Ozuna. With Fowler batting, Arrieta would throw a wild pitch, allowing Gyorko to move into scoring position. Fowler reached base after drawing a seven pitch walk, getting the Phillies bullpen up and moving early. The inning ended with the Cardinals on top, 4-0.
“He caught the right raindrop, it was bigger than the other ones.” Tim McCarver was firing on all cylinders tonight in the booth.
This epic (if that’s what you call it) call coming leading off the top of the 4th inning. Carlos Santana would rip a ball to deep RF, sending Dex back to the warning track in front of the Cardinals bullpen, robbing the first baseman of extra bases.
Alfaro would work a walk and be retired on a comebacker to Wacha on the mound off the bat of Nick Williams, 1-6 on the fielder’s choice. Kolten Wong flashed the leather ending the inning, ranging far to his right to field a ball tipped off the glove of Michael Wacha, throwing out Kingery at first.
Arrieta’s night ended after three innings, as he would be relieved by Drew Hutchison. The Cardinals would add on to their four run advantage. Getting things started with a Francisco Peña double down the LF line. What has gotten into this guy? Goodness. Wacha, again, had the opportunity to sacrifice a runner over, successfully doing so and reaching base himself on a fielding error from Hernandez, covering the bag at first base. With Pham batting, Hutchison would throw a wild pitch, bringing Peña across the plate to draw the Cardinals lead to 5-0.
Pham would draw his second free base of the evening to put two runners on for Carp. Carp smoked a ball to Santana at first, only to line into an unassisted double-play. Cafecíto & Swags would keep the inning alive, Cafecíto with an infield single up the middle and Swags with a walk, loading the bases for Gyorko. Hutchison escaped the bases loaded mess getting Gyorko to groundout to Valentín at third.
Wacha started the 5th inning with back-to-back strikeouts on that wonderful changeup he possesses. The Phillies would then put together a little two out rally of their own. Hernandez would reach on an infield single, Hoskins walked, with Herrera batting, Wacha would throw a wild pitch putting both runners in scoring position. Herrera would single to CF, driving in two and extending his on base streak to 44 games, making it 5-2 Cardinals. Wacha escaped the inning getting Santana to ground out (108 mph off the bat) to Wong in the shift.
If Mike Matheny doesn’t like the idea of shifting, I’m sure he liked it there.
Francisco Peña took over the show tonight, smacking a solo bomb (417 feet) into the Phillies bullpen. Peña got a second pitch slider to his liking and didn’t waste it, bringing him a triple away from the cycle. This is back-to-back three hit nights for Peña, my jaw is on the floor.
Wacha went back out for his last inning of work in the 6th, starting the frame off with a strikeout of Knapp on, you guessed it, the changeup. Nick Williams would break his bat on a cutter in on his hands, grounding out for the second out and Hutchison would hit for himself, getting rung up on an inside fastball for Wacha’s eighth strikeout.
The Cardinals would pad the lead more in the bottom of the 6th, getting things started with a Pham single to LF. Pham moved to second on an error from Hutchison on an attempted pickoff move. With Carp batting, Hutchison would throw a wild pitch, moving Pham to third.
Carp would keep producing good swings, smoking a ball (105 mph) into RF for an RBI single. That’s when Cafecíto added insult to injury, smashing a hanging slider to the grass patch in CF for a 2-run tater, extending the Redbirds lead to 9-2.
John Brebbia would come in, giving up a solo HR to Hernandez into the Cards pen.
Kolten Wong would hit the third HR of the night for the Cardinals, a solo shot to RF (103 mph, 394 feet).
Tyler O’Neill, called up today, would get his first at bat of the game after being a defensive replacement, taking over in LF. O’Neill collected his first career base-hit down the third base line for a single. Tommy Pham then reached base for the fifth time on the night, lining a base hit off the pitcher, Ríos.
Cafecíto cashed in with runners on base again, driving in two more with a double to RF, making it 5 RBI’s on the night.
With a 12-3 deficit, the Phillies would pitch their SS, Florimón, and he was pretty damn awesome honestly. Florimón was hitting around 90 mph on the radar gun and worked an extremely quick pace, retiring the side in order.
He would even hit a solo HR in the top of the 9th, technically as a pitcher, off Mike Mayers.
That was the end of the excitement from this one, with the Cardinals producing 15 hits and 12 runs for a win.
John Gant (1-1, 4.15) will get the start tomorrow against Zach Eflin (1-0, 0.71).
First pitch 1:15 c/t.
Game 42 is 'in the books'
by Stew // @StewStilez