Be honest. You saw Dakota Hudson vs Mike Soroka as the pitching matchup and you felt like there was no chance. Seriously. We all did.
Soroka, coming into the start tonight sporting a dazzling 1.01 ERA, dipped his ERA under 0.80 heading into the 4th tonight, that’s when the Cards decided to put up a little fight.
Soroka worked around a pair of singles, one from Goldy in the 1st and the other from The Ghost of the Leadoff Guy in the 2nd. Both base knocks beat the shift too.
But that would all go for not, as Soroka would need only 23 pitches (18 strikes) to zoom thru the first 3 sets, adding a couple k’s along the way.
Hudson worked pretty quick and efficiently tonight, too. Hud would need 6 pitches to complete a 1-2-3 1st. Deez and KoWo flashed the leather on back-to-back plays to end the inning, Deez ranging far up the middle to his left to take away a single from Swanson and KoWo diving in the OF grass to his left to snag a liner off the bat of Freeman.
But the Braves would plate a run on Hud in the 2nd, still working a quick inning at 12 pitches, surrendering 2 hits and an IBB to Albies after falling behind 2-0 with 1B open and two outs.
Donaldson would single into LF to begin the inning, getting moved over to 2B after Markakis tapped a slow grounder to Goldy.
The hottest hitter on the planet, Austin Riley, then ripped an rbi double into LF to score Donaldson to make it 1-0.
Swanson would pick up a one out single in the top of the 3rd and Freeman would work a free pass to follow, bringing up Donaldson. Hud ended the inning with a 6-4-3 twin killing, keeping Deez busy at SS with his 4th assist in 3 innings. Deez would have 9 assists tonight. (8 coming when Hud was in the game)
The 4th inning was another breeze for Hud, needing just 11 pitches, while working around a leadoff single to Markakis. Hud immediately rolled up another 6-4-3 DP, this one off the bat of Riley, before getting Flowers to ground out to Deez to end the inning.
Goldy led off the bottom of the 4th, and he would get on in an unconventional way, taking 1B on catcher’s interference by Flowers. Soroka would strikeout Deez and get Swags to ground out to Donaldson, bringing in Carp with two outs and Goldy in scoring position.
Carp delivered, this time going the other way to LF for an rbi single, tying the game 1-1.
After a quick 1-2-3, 10 pitch 5th from Hud, the Cards would take a slim lead on Soroka in the bottom half.
Yadi led the inning off with a single to LF, but KoWo and Hud would go down quickly to flip things to the top of the order.
Dex would get HBP for the second time in as many games, extending the inning to Goldy. And you know Goldy wasn’t gonna let this opportunity slip outta his hands, sending an rbi single into RF to plate the chugging Yadi from 2B, Cards back on top 2-1.
Hud’s best inning of work came in the 6th, retiring the side in order on 13 pitches, picking up his first and only two strikeouts of the evening.
Swanson would fly out to Cafecíto for the first out, the first fly ball out of the night with Hud pitching. Freeman (slider) and Donaldson (sinker) would both go down looking to end the inning.
Hud would come back out for the 7th, allowing a leadoff double the opposite way to Markakis. Riley would come up next, flying out to Café for the first out, drawing the end of the line for Hud.
(6.1IP, 5 hits, 2er, 2 bb, 2 k’s, 74 pitches)
Tsunami would come in for relief, serving up back-to-back rbi doubles to Flowers and Albies, giving the Braves the lead right back, now at 3-2.
Swarzak would toss a perfect 7th for the Braves pen, picking up two k’s on Wong and Dex.
Andrew Miller got the 8th inning, working around a one out walk to Donaldson by getting Markakis to line into a 3U DP, he absolutely smoked the ball down to Goldy.
Dan Winkler, who has been one of the best Braves relievers this season, got the 8th inning. And it prolly didn’t go as planned for him, as the first 5 Cardinals would reach base safely.
Goldy tapped an infield single, Deez beat out a 4-6-3 DP with great hustle down the line (the call was originally a double play, but it was reversed after it was reviewed), Swags singled to RF, Carp beat the shift sending his second single of the night to LF (scoring Deez), and TRAP HOUSE (pinch-hitting for Miller) was in business. Jedd CRUSHED (435 ft) his first HR of the season to deep LCF, a 3run shot to put the Cards up 6-3.
Jordan Hicks would come in for his 5th appearance in May, and boy, how I’ve missed watching him in a save situation.
Hicks made it look as easy as he always does, needing 12 pitches to set the Braves down in order for his 10th save. Riley would fly out to Swags, Flowers chopped a slow grounder back to Hicks, and Albies grounded out to KoWo, ending the game for a 6-3 Cards comeback victory.
Jack Flaherty (4-3, 4.19) looks to give the Birds their first series win tonight in 6 series. Opposing Flaherty will be the veteran, Julio Teheran (3-4, 3.67). First pitch tonight 6:05pm c/t, as it’s the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast.