Miles Mikolas put together another masterful performance tonight, being a thorn in the side of Royals hitters from pitch 1 to pitch 109. Mikolas was so locked in that he didn’t give up a hit after the 3rd inning.
Jon Jay was the leadoff batter this evening, which has absolutely nothing to do with anything, I just thought that was pretty neat.
Mikolas greeted Jay with a low curveball, striking him out, the first of nine for Mikolas. The curveball was the same, sharp, breaking hook. It was literally “falling off the table.”
Mikolas got the next hitter, another ex-Cub, Jorge Soler to strikeout on some high cheese at 97 mph. Moustakas and Perez would hit back-to-back singles, trying to get on the board first. Mikolas battled back to strikeout the side, getting Merrifield on a 96 mph heater.
Matt Carpenter (3-4, double, HR, RBI) picked up right where he left off, hitting a one out double to the RF gap in the bottom of the 1st.
Mikolas made quick work of things in the 2nd inning, retiring the side in order on eight pitches. Cy would strikeout Alex Gordon looking on a 96 mph cheeseball up and in on the hands.
Ian Kennedy, batting for the first time in 2018, had a nice first at bat, hitting a leadoff single to RF starting the 3rd inning. Jon Jay then did the classic Jon Jay, and dropped a little backhand tennis swing into LF for a single.
Mikolas answered, inducing a huge 5-4-3 double-play off the bat of Soler.
The Cardinals bats would put together an early two-out rally in the bottom of the 3rd, plating 4 runs. Carp got things started, doing his best Jon Jay impression, dumping a single the opposite way. Cafecíto followed with a single up the middle to bring in Ozuna. Ozuna (2-3, RBI) looked like he figured a thing or two out with his swing tonight, ripping a ball into RF for an RBI single, scoring Carp.
Tyler O’Neill delivered the thump, for the third consecutive day in-a-row, blasting an absolutely TOWERING (37° launch angle, 106 mph, 388 feet) shot to the Cardinals bullpen in RF. The kid is making more than a compelling case to be in the everyday lineup for Mike Matheny.
Mikolas tossed his quickest inning of the night in the top of the 4th, escaping throwing only seven pitches. Mikolas began the inning striking out Perez looking at a 96 mph fastball right down the pipe. After hitting Merrifield with a pitch, Mikolas would roll up his second double-play of his outing. Mikolas got Dozier to roll over the first pitch slider to Greg Garcia at SS, who would start the 6-4-3 double-play. Merrifield was the last baserunner for the Royals until Moustakas walked in the 9th inning.
Ian Kennedy didn’t miss many bats tonight, but one he did miss was Tommy Pham’s. Pham would strikeout in all three at bats vs Kennedy, and all four in the game. Pham is (0-8) his last 8 at bats with 6 straight strikeouts.
After recording the inning ending double-play in the 4th, Mikolas would set down 14 in-a-row, adding four more strikeouts. My favorite strikeout of the game had to be his strikeout of Soler in the top of the 9th.
Mikolas threw three straight curveballs to Soler, making him look foolish. How he made him look that bad on the same pitch, that late in the game, is beyond me. But this Mikolas signing is making the Cardinals FO look like the geniuses they are.
Tyler O’Neill’s night wasn’t over. With two outs in the bottom of the 5th, O’Neill would rip a double down the LF line, scoring Ozuna who singled.
Greg Garcia led the bottom of the 6th with a single to LF put would be lifted for pinch-runner, Yairo Muñoz. Garcia left the game due to a lower back tightness.
Matt Carpenter would cap off the night for the Cardinals offense leading off the bottom of the 7th with a solo HR down the RF line. First pitch swinging to be exact. You gotta love what you see from Carp right now, he’s really locked in.
Mikolas would secure the CGSO, throwing 109 pitches, striking out nine.
(9 IP, 4 H, 0 runs, 9 K, 1 BB, 93 game score )