Flaherty delivers 4th consecutive QS for the rotation, bats break out with 4 HRs and 14 hits, Cards derail Braves 14-3
Captain Jack did not disappoint this evening at SunTrust Park, but I’m sure getting spotted a three run lead before even toeing the rubber helped a bit, too.
Opposite of Flaherty tonight was Mike Foltynewicz, and the Cardinals made him work his tail off in the 1st inning, throwing nearly 30 pitches.
Leadoff Guy drew a walk and Deez would drop a bloop single into shallow LF after a Goldy strikeout.
Swags would step in the box, looking to break out of the little slump he’s in, and man, did he do just that.
Swags got a hanging breaking pitch from Folty, sending a towering 3-run blast over the LF wall to give the Birds an early 3-0 lead.
Jack had the cruise control on from the start, showing really good life on his fastball, honestly maybe the best his fastball has looked all season.
The breaking pitches were sharp, but the command issues/deep counts trend continued, as he walked 5 batters thru his 6 innings.
Flaherty struck out Acuña Jr. and Freeman on heaters in the 1st, needing only 13 pitches to complete the inning.
After the offense went 1-2-3 in the top half of the 2nd, Flaherty would deliver a leadoff walk to Donaldson to bring up Markakis.
Markakis would smoke the hardest hit ball of the game (107.8mph) (.550 xBA), right up the middle to a perfectly positioned DeJong. Deez would step on 2B and fire to Goldy for the quick double play to bring up Albies.
Jack ended his inning on the 15th pitch, getting Albies to fly out to Swags.
Cafecíto added an rbi single with two outs in the top of the 3rd, driving in Goldy from 2B to make it 4-0.
And after Flaherty delivered another scoreless inning, stranding Inciarte on 2B after a one out walk, Dex would leadoff the 4th with a bomb to RF.
Dex teed off on Folty, hitting the ball 408 ft with an exit velo of 106.5mph, giving the Cards a 5-0 cushion.
Guess what Jack did in the bottom of the 4th? Yup, another 1-2-3 inning on 15 pitches, striking out Freeman for the second time, this time on a slider down and in on the hands.
The 5th inning is when the Cards blew the tops off the Braves, plating 6 runs to take an 11-0 lead.
Folty would surrender back-to-back one out walks to Deez and Swags (wut the?) before striking out Café for the second out.
But Yadi made sure Folty wouldn’t get off the hook, sending him to the deepest part of the park in CF for the second 3-run shot of the game. Yadi got a pitch up and out over the plate and just pelted it to CF to break open the flood gates, his 150th career HR to boot.
Biddle would come in to relieve Folty, and things weren’t the easiest for him, either. Dex, KoWo, Jack, and Leadoff Guy all collected two out hits, Flaherty and Carp delivering rbi knocks. Flaherty dropped a bloop rbi single to score Dex. Carp’s at bat was weird because he seemed to foul a “wild pitch” that allowed KoWo to score, but the play was not reviewable (and the ball definitely hit the bat). Carp then shot an rbi double over Camargo’s head in LF to score Flaherty to make it 11-0.
The Braves finally got to Jack in the 5th, getting another free pass to leadoff the inning, this time to Markakis. After striking out Albies on a slider, McCann would collect the first base hit of the game for Atlanta, beating the shift with an excuse me swing on a slowly hit ball down to the 3B area. Camargo then blooped a single into RF to load the bases for Culberson (pinch-hitting), who hit an rbi single to LF to put the Braves on the board 11-1.
Acuña then worked a bases loaded walk for his 24th rbi of the season and Swanson hit a sac-fly to Café to score Camargo to make it 11-3.
Matt Joyce would pinch-hit for Freeman and be the fifth strikeout victim of Flaherty’s, whiffing at a slider for the final out.
Gallegos (2 k’s), Leone (2 k’s), and Gregerson (1 k) would throw the final three innings from the pen tonight, not allowing a hit or run. The only base runner or the Braves the final three innings was Donaldson after a two out walk from Leone, who proceeded to strikeout Markakis looking at a painted cutter.
KoWo added another 3-run bomb for insurance purposes, because why not? KoWo even did the thing vs a LHP in the veteran Venters, drilling a two-strike hanging breaking pitch to RF to make it a 14-3 Cards advantage (416 ft, 103.5mph).
Gregerson flashed some buck nasty with his slider to end the game, making Albies and Camargo look a little stoooooopid as I like to say.
Michael Wacha Flocka (3-0, 5.35) looks to continue the quality start streak tomorrow night, matching up against one of my personal favorites to watch, Mike Soroka (3-1, 1.21). First pitch 6:20pm c/t.
To all the twitter fam at the game, enjoy it and bring home the dubs!!!!!!!