Wacha delivers 6 shutout innings, as a 3 run 6th proves to be the difference in 4-1 series opening win
Not gonna lie. I felt a little uneasy coming into tonight’s Wacha start. It just seemed unnecessary to throw him back in the rotation after a two inning scoreless relief outing his last time out. Especially with Helsley (recalled today for Waino IL move) and Ponce de Leon (recalled yesterday) up in the bigs. But, often times baseball goes out of its way to prove to you how wrong and dumb you are. I was proved this by Wacha’s outing this evening, he looked simplified and balanced.
Wacha absolutely cruised thru his first 5 frames, here’s what his pitches by inning looked like:
1st – 10 pitches
2nd – 11 pitches
3rd – 13 pitches
4th – 8 pitches
5th – 11 pitches
The Marlins would scatter around 5 hits thru those innings, picking up three singles (one an inning) the 1st-3rd. The first two singles were erased with double plays. The third was erased after Wacha picked off Alfaro on 2B, having Muñoz sneak behind him on the play. A heads up play from Wacha and Jive, both.
Sandy Alcantara was lighting it up his first three innings, striking out 4, giving up one hit, a single to Ozuna. But the 4th inning was a little different story, as Ozuna raked a double into LF to get things started with already one out. After Wong struck out for the second out, Muñoz would come up looking for his 2nd rbi of the season, and Jive cashed in, ripping a double down the LF line to score Swags to make it 1-0.
The Cards would run Sandy from the game in the 6th, getting things started with a lined single to CF off the bat of Goldy. Swags would reach base for the third time, walking to bring up KoWo with two runners on. KoWo would place a perfect bunt down the 3B line, causing Alfaro to rush his throw to 1B, overshooting Cooper for a throwing error that allowed Goldy and Swags to score to make it a 3-0 game. Wong was originally given a single but the official scorer decided to take that hit away, boooooooo.
Haaaaaaarry Bader would drive in Wong with a deep sac-fly to Ramirez, who made an incredible catch, to make it 4-0 Birds.
Brice and Chen* held the Cards hitless the rest of the way out of the Marlins pen.
After getting thru 6 shutout innings on 75 pitches, Shildt would turn to G-Spot Gant out of the pen. A move that allows Wacha to ease his way back into the rotation. Ramirez greeted Gant with a double to lead off the inning, getting brought in to score after back to back ground outs, Alfaro with the rbi ground out to Wong. After giving up the leadoff double to Ramirez, Gant would retire the next 6 in order.
Jordan Hicks picked up his 13th save, flashing some pure filth with that beautiful slider of his. Ask Ramirez how much fun he had facing it. Or Prado. They never stood a chance. Dakota Hudson (4-3, 3.70) looks to keep his string of good starts rolling tomorrow night, as Elieser Hernandez (0-0, 9.00) will he called up to start for the Marlins. First pitch 6:10pm c/t.