Cardinals Battle Back, O’Neill Hits First Career HR, Cards Fall Short 7-6 to Phillies
John Gant and his hairless skull would take the mound to battle with the Phillies this afternoon. The Phillies would plate the first run of the game in the 1st inning, taking advantage of a Jedd Gyorko error, playing shortstop for the injured Paul DeJong. Hoskins would reach on the throwing error and advance to second base with only one out. Gant would win an eight pitch battle against Herrera, striking him out on the vulcan change. Carlos Santana would come through with two outs for the Phillies, ripping a single into RF, scoring Hoskins making it 1-0 Phillies.
Gant kept his changeup grooving to start the 2nd, getting back-to-back strikeouts on Williams and Kingery before Knapp lined out to O’Neill in RF.
The Cardinals offense meanwhile, was hitless, who’s surprised? Okay, maybe I should stop with these offense jokes.
Gant, again, earned two strikeouts on his changeup in the 3rd inning, getting Eflin and Hoskins, with Hernandez on second after a walk and steal. Odúbel Herrera then extended his on-base streak to 45 games, drilling a 2-run HR to RF, extending the Phillies lead to 3-0.
I don’t think I can put into words how good Gant’s changeup was today, Gant earned another strikeout on the vulcan in the 4th inning, striking out Williams.
The Cardinals would tie things up in the bottom of the 4th, getting the inning started on a Pham single to LF, stealing second base with Carpenter batting. Carp would draw a walk, brining in Cafecíto. Ozuna then brought in the first run for the Cardinals on a fielder’s choice error from first baseman, Carlos Santana, who threw the ball into LF trying to get Carp at second. Jedd Gyorko would continue his trappin’ ways, driving a 2 RBI single into LF, tying the game 3-3, bringing the Cardinals an added jolt.
Gant’s 5th inning started off on the right foot, before quickly going south in a jiffy. After striking out Knapp on high cheese, the next three Phillies would reach base to load the bases. Eflin and Hernandez would get back-to-back singles before walking Hoskins. Cecil was called upon to try and sort out this mess, and he did a decently good job. Cecil would get the much needed ground ball, but it wouldn’t be hit nearly hard enough to turn two. Wong fed Gyorko, covering second, who committed a throwing error on the throw to first. Two runs would score on the costly mistake, making it 5-3 Phillies.
Dexter Fowler, pinch-hitting for Cecil, would start the bottom of the 5th with a bloop double to LF, dropping in on a diving Hoskins attempt. Pham flew out to RF, moving Fowler up another 90 feet to third. Carp earned a one out walk before Cafecíto drove in Fowler on a sac-fly to RF, bringing the Cardinals within one run, 5-4.
Sam Tuivailala kept building on his strong, last few, outings. Snagging two quick strikeouts on fantastic hooks, in a quick 1-2-3 inning.
Tyler O’Neill would crack his way into the 2018 HR column, and I called it, fwiw. With 2 outs in the bottom of the 6th, O’Neill would crush (392 feet, 105 mph) a solo bomb to LF, again tying the game, this time at 5-5. Steve “the Red” Baron followed O’Neill’s HR with his first career hit, a single to LF.
Jordan Hicks, what more is there even to say about this kid? He topped his fastest pitch of 2018, again, throwing three pitches in-a-row to Herrera at (102, 102, & 103 mph) getting him to groundout to first to end the inning. Hicks induced three ground balls in the inning.
The Cardinals would grab the lead in the bottom of the 7th. Pham would reach with an infield single and move to second on a throwing error from Kingery. Carp, who’s heating up if you haven’t noticed, drove an RBI double to RF. Carp would be thrown out at home on an Ozuna fielder’s choice, ending the threat to add more insurance runs, which were much needed today.
Greg Holland’s struggles continued today. After recording two quick outs, the second a strikeout of Altherr on a slider low on the outer half. Holland then walked Nick Williams and proceeded to give up an RBI triple to Kingery, tying the game at 6-6. Jorge Alfaro pinch-hit for Knapp, hitting an infield single up the middle, scoring Kingery to give the Phillies a 7-6 lead.
Seranthony Domínguez shut the Cardinals bats down the last two innings for his first save, holding them hitless, striking out two.
Jack Flaherty (0-1, 2.87) will search for his first career win tomorrow afternoon against Aaron Nola (6-1, 1.99). First pitch 1:15 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 43 is 'in the books'
by Stew // @StewStilez