The Cardinals opened a 7-game homestand tonight, welcoming the Reds to town for 3 this weekend and the Pirates on Monday for a 4 gamer, with a doubleheader on Tuesday. Andre Pallante would get his second career big league start under his belt, his first at Busch, and boy was he fantastic.
Pallante would struggle with his command a bit to open the 1st up, after picking up two quick strikeouts to begin his evening. Pallante would fan the opening batter of the game, Friedl, on three pitches, ending him with a 97mph heater. After a Drury single, Pallante would do the same to Pham, getting him to whiff on a center-cut slide piece. Then things got dicey quick, as Pallante would issue back-to-back free passes to Votto and Farmer to load the bases. Pallante would end the inning on his 24th offering, getting Reynolds to line out to freshly activated, Dylan Carlson.
The Cardinals would push across their only two runs of the game with two outs in the bottom of the 1st, a tale as old as time really. Goldy would work a walk vs Castillo, extending his on-base streak to 46 consecutive games, bringing up Arenado. Nolan would single to RF, beating a shifted infield, and Goldy would move up to 3B, but an errant back pick throw from Aquino in RF to Votto to try and catch Nado sleeping proved costly, as the ball got away from Votto and allowed Goldy to score and Nado to move into scoring position. Prince Sex would have the same luck next at bat, roping a ball to Drury at the hot corner, who would then let his throw get away from him and behind Votto, allowing Nado to score from 2B and Prince to move into scoring position himself. The inning would end after Castillo would get Carlson on a 97mph heater after a Donovan HBP.
Pallante would cruise thru his final 4.1IP, racking up 2 more k’s, getting a huge inning ending DP on Farmer to end the 3rd, while being super economical with his pitch count, not throwing more than 16 pitches in an inning after the laboring 1st.
Cabrera, Gio, & Helsley would work the final 3.1IP scoreless, as Helsley would pick up his 4th save, blowing away Aquino with a 100mph heater to end it at 2-0.
With the win, and another Brewers L, the Cardinals now sit in 1st place in the NLC.
Uncle Charlie (5-4, 2.73) takes the mound tomorrow afternoon, matching up with the highly touted flamethrower, Hunter Greene (3-7, 5.40). First pitch is scheduled for 1:15pm c/t.
Photo from cover courtesy @Carlos & José