With Weaver Still Shaky, Cards Jump on Harvey Early with Three HR’s, Escape With 7-6 Win in 10 Innings
The Cardinals got their first look at Matt Harvey sporting his new Cincinnati Reds uniform tonight, getting on the board early. The Dark Knight, we still refer to him as that, right? Anyways, Harvey would retire Carp and Pham to begin the evening, getting Carp to fly out to Winker and Pham striking out looking on an outside fastball. Then, with a 1-0 count, Cafecíto would take a slider from Harvey to RF, sneaking it over the wall in the corner for a solo HR, making it 1-0 Cardinals.
Luke Weaver would toe the rubber for the Cardinals tonight, rocking the alternate navy blue caps, which need to make a full time comeback. Weaver, who’s (3-0) in his career vs CIN, would retire the Reds in order in the bottom of the 1st on three fly ball outs, one to each separate OF’er. Pham would make a spectacular catch for the 2nd out off the bat of Barnhart, breaking towards the LCF gap, banging up against the wall in front of the Cardinals bullpen to make the catch.
The Cardinals would add on another run in the top of the 2nd. A solo HR, how predictable, love it. After Harvey set down Molina and Fowler to start the inning, Yairo Muñoz would swing at Harvey’s first pitch slider, also, barely sneaking it over the wall in LF. The ball actually scraped the top of the wall before bouncing over for Muñoz 3rd HR of the season, making it 2-0 Redbirds.
The Reds cut the Cardinals deficit in half in the bottom of the 2nd, making Weaver work, throwing 25 pitches, picking up two strikeouts in the inning. After striking out Gennett on a 96 mph fastball, Suàrez and Winker would pick up back-to-back singles, bringing in Peraza. With runners on the corners, Peraza would ground into a fielder’s choice, 4-6 on the play, driving in Suàrez to make it 2-1. Harvey, batting in the eight spot, would walk to put two on for Billy Hamilton. Hamilton would be the second strikeout victim of the inning, swinging at a 94 mph fastball from Weaver to end the inning.
The Cardinals padded their lead even more in the top of the 3rd, adding three, making it 5-1. Matt Carpenter, leadoff guy, drew a walk, then Pham blistered a rocket up the middle on the first pitch to put the first two guys on base for the hottest hitter in the Cards lineup, Cafecíto. Cafecíto would unload on a Harvey changeup, up in the zone for his second HR of the game, a three run blast, sending it to deep LCF (408 feet, 108 mph exit velocity). Harvey bounced back, retiring the next three, picking up strikeouts of Ozuna and Molina.
Weaver would give one back to the Reds in the bottom of the 3rd. Schebler opened the inning getting jammed on a fastball, dropping it into LF for a base hit. Weaver then got an important double-play off the bat of Barnhart, 4-6-3 on the putout. With two away, Weaver would walk the dangerous Joey Votto. Unfortunately, Votto actually has good protection behind him for once, Scooter Gennett hit an RBI double in the LCF gap, scoring Votto from first to make it 5-2 Cardinals. Weaver ended the inning striking out Suàrez on a changeup in the dirt.
Weaver showed off his defense the following inning in the bottom of the 4th. After Peraza reached base with a one out single. Matt Harvey would hit a weak grounder to the left of the mound and Weaver would sprint for it and give it an all out dive, getting back up to his feet quickly and beating Harvey to the bag for the out. The best 1-unassisted play I’ve ever put down in a scorebook. With Peraza on second base, Billy Hamilton would slice a ball to shallow LF to a perfectly positioned Swags Ozuna for the final out.
The Reds made things interesting in the bottom of the 5th. With Luke Weaver struggling to throw strikes consistently, the Reds took advantage of it, but not to the fullest. Schebler (4-6) would leadoff the inning with a single and be retired on a Barnhart fielder’s choice, 1-6 on the play. Weaver fielded the ball off the bat and it looked like the umpire got in his line of sight and Weaver lost sight of Muñoz and the bag, throwing it wide, still getting the lead runner. Tommy Pham would rob Joey Votto for the second out of the inning, sprinting in laying out for the catch. Scooter Gennett then ripped a single into CF and Suàrez walked to load the bases for Winker. Weaver would walk his second consecutive batter, his fourth of the game, making it 5-3 Cardinals. Peraza flew out to Fowler to end the inning.
The Reds kept chipping away at the Cardinals lead, adding another run in the bottom of the 6th. After laboring in the 5th, at 90 pitches, Matheny would stick with Weaver to open up the inning. Weaver gave up a leadoff walk in a ten pitch at bat against pinch-hitter, Blandino. Matheny would go to Gomber with the next five batters being either left-handed or switch hitters. Gomber would allow a walk to Billy Hamilton to put runners on first and second for the top of the order. Gomber would throw a beautiful curveball and get Schebler to ground into a huge 4-6-3 double-play. Gomber allowed his second walk of the inning to Barnhart bringing in Joey Votto. Votto made the walk hurt, hitting an RBI single into RF, scoring Blandino from third. Tucker Barnhart would run the Reds out of the inning with Gennett at the plate. Barnhart was caught in no man’s land after a pitch to Gennett and decided trying to advance to third was a good idea, Yadi reminded him he was wrong real quick, sniping the ball down to Carp for the out. This was the first runner caught stealing for the Cardinals this season, finally!
The Cardinals would add a run in the 7th off reliever, Michael Lorenzen. Lorenzen would give up a leadoff walk to Kolten Wong, bringing up Harrison Bader who entered as part of a double-switch in the 6th, replacing Fowler in RF. Bader grounded out to Peraza and Wong moved up to second. With Carp at the dish, Lorenzen would throw a wild pitch and Wong read it perfectly, advancing to third. Carp then lined a single into RCF, making it 6-4 Cardinals, his 22nd RBI on the year.
Gomber, Tui, & Hicks would combine to throw the next 2 innings, and the trio was up for the challenge. Gomber was left in for Gennett to leadoff the bottom of the 7th, striking him out looking on a 93 mph fastball, high and outside. Tui was called upon for the final two outs of the 7th, getting Suàrez and Winker. Muñoz would retire Suàrez with a dandy of a play for the second out of the inning. Tui got Winker to fly out to Ozuna to end the inning, getting his two outs on 4 pitches.
The Cardinals did the thing in the top of the 8th. That thing where the leadoff man gets to third base and they don’t bring him in. Remember when that happened with Wong in the bottom of the 9th a couple years ago? I think it was even a pinch-hit triple, but don’t quote me. Well Ozuna led the inning off stroking a triple out to CF, missing a leaping Billy Hamilton. (Insert terrible “swag” joke.) Lorenzen retired Yadi, Gyorko, and Muñoz in order next. Yadi grounded out to SS with the infield in, a solid play made from Peraza. Gyorko, also added in a double-switch in the 7th, got his first at bat and popped out in foul territory to Suàrez at third. Muñoz ended the inning grounding out softly to Lorenzen, stranding Ozuna.
We all know how Jordan Hicks did in the bottom of the 8th, the same Jordan Hicks it’s been all year. Hicks worked a 1-2-3 inning, getting Peraza to ground out to Gyorko. Then Hicks got Duvall looking at a 101 mph sinker low in the zone for the second out. Hicks ended the inning getting the speedster, Billy Hamilton, to ground out to Carp at first.
Enter Bud Norris.
Insert 36 minute rain delay.
After the delay, Norris, who warmed up before the delay, would go back out to try for his 13th save. Schebler led the inning off with a double to the LCF gap. Barnhart would come up, representing the tying run. Norris struck him out on his nasty cutter on the outside part of the plate for the first out. Votto then hit an opposite field RBI single, getting lifted for a pinch-runner, Brandon Dixon. Norris worked a huge strikeout of Gennett for the second out on 95 mph fastball. Suàrez kept the inning alive hitting a single to LF and Winker delivered the blow to tie it at 6-6, ripping a single off Jedd’s glove for an RBI single.
The Cardinals would take the lead in the 10th off the Reds closer, Iglesias. Garcia, pinch-hitting for Bud Norris, popped out to Suàrez. Ozuna reached base with a walk and Yadi would poke his classic single into RF. Jedd Trap House Gyorko then lived up to his name, trapping after hours at the Great American Ball Park, ripping an RBI single into LF for the 7-6 lead.
John Brebbia would come in and close the door to earn his 2nd save of the season. But it wasn’t easy. Brebbia would toss 18 pitches, stranding two runners on base. The Reds would pinch-hit with their last bench player, back-up catcher, Casali. Brebbia earned a big first out getting Casali to pop out to Muñoz. Hamilton was next, as he flew out to his counterpart Pham for the second out. Schebler kept being a pest, ripping a double to RF. After working the count to 3-1, Matheny elected to intentionally walk Barnhart to bring in Dixon, who pinch-ran for Votto in the 9th. Brebbia ended the night getting Dixon swinging on a nasty slider, securing the 7-6 win.
Michael Wacha (7-1, 2.41) will look to keep the Cardinals on their winning ways as he takes on an exciting young, Dominican, righty, Luis Castillo (4-6, 5.64). First pitch 3:10 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 61 is in the book
by Stew // @StewStilez