Flaherty Dominant, Three HR’s Power Cardinals Past Padres 5-2
Jack Flaherty was excellent this evening, working five 1-2-3 innings, striking out six Padres. The bats stayed hot, in particular Cafecíto and Swags Ozuna. Matheny managed the bullpen to a tee, hat tip to you Mr. Matheny. With all that being said, let’s break down tonight’s 5-2 victory over the Padres.
We are gonna start this recap talking about Jack Flaherty, of course, because he was exceptional. Flaherty would make quick work in the 1st inning, setting the Padres down in order on 12 pitches. Flaherty would run into his trouble in the 2nd inning, having to work his way out of trouble, running his pitch count up to 38 through two innings. Flaherty began the inning with his first strikeout, getting Reyes on a 95 mph fastball up in the zone. Spangenberg and Villanueva would collect back-to-back hits, Spangenberg corking a laser over the wall in RF to the right of the Cardinals bullpen for the 1-0 Padres lead. Villanueva would rip a ball off the LF wall, being held to a single on a great play from Ozuna, playing it perfectly off the wall. Ozuna was playing the next batter, Freddy Galvis perfectly, too, recording the second out of the inning. Lopez then ripped a two out single to RF, the last Padre hit until Jankowski in the 8th inning. Flaherty ended the inning getting his counterpart, Jordan Lyles to groundout to Carp.
The Cardinals bats remained hot tonight, in particular Cafecíto and Swags, combining to go (5-8) with 2 HR’s and 4 RBI’s. But, the offense would strand four base runners through the first two innings, all four reaching base via a single, two of the infield variety (Molina & Muñoz). With two outs in the bottom of the 1st, Cafecíto, Ozuna, & Yadi would pick up singles to load the bases for Gyorko, who would fly out to Renfroe in LF. After Flaherty worked his second 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd, collecting two more strikeouts, the offense would put a couple runs on the board. Flaherty would end the inning with back-to-back strikeouts on Hosmer and Renfroe, getting Hosmer on a nasty slider in on the hands and Renfroe with the high cheese.
Tommy Pham would begin the bottom of the 3rd ripping a base hit to CF, bringing up Cafecíto. Cafecíto would keep his bat steaming hot, smacking a 2-run HR to CF, finding the hands of a young Cardinals fan. Cafecíto (3-4) was absolutely smoking the ball tonight, all three hits leaving the bat over 100+ mph. The ball looks like a beachball to him right now. Lyles would retire the next three in order, taking us to the 4th with the Cardinals on top 2-1.
Flaherty was in the middle of a groove, retiring 14 Padres in-a-row. Flaherty would toss three straight perfect innings, picking up a strikeout in each, bringing his total to six. The 4th-6th inning, Flaherty would throw 11 pitches in each inning.
In the bottom of the 5th, the Cardinals would add two more runs to their total, coming courtesy of Swags. After Cafecíto hit a one out single to RF, Ozuna would crush a hanging breaking ball from Lyles, sending it over the Padres bullpen, making it 4-1 Cardinals. This was Ozuna’s fourth HR in June, a sign the bat is heating up, among the million other signs.
Jedd Trap House Gyorko, who had yet to trap at the plate tonight, decided to start trapping in the field tonight. Leading off the top of the 6th, Jedd would rob Jankowski of an infield single, making a nice play with a throw on the run to get the quick-footed CF’er.
Flaherty would allow his first base runner since the 2nd inning, allowing a one out, 4 pitch, walk to Spangenberg in the 7th. With Flaherty at 98 pitches (58 strikes), Matheny would lift him for Brebbia, who’s been throwing the ball well as of late. Brebbia would walk the first two he faced, loading the bases full of Padres, all reaching from walks. Brebbia was lacking with his fastball command but his slider seemed to be up to par. Brebbia would go with what was working, striking out the next two batters (Lopez & Pírela) on sliders to end the inning.
After the 23 pitch outing from Brebbia, Matheny would turn to the young lefty, Austin Gomber. Gomber would get the chance to face two lefties, Jankowski and Hosmer. Jankowski would spray a single the opposite way and Gomber would get Hosmer to roll over a grounder to Carp at first. With two right-handed bats coming up next, Matheny would turn to his pen again, this time going with Tui. It seems as if Matheny is resorting to Gomber as a LOOGY, which isn’t right, but it is working right now so no complaints. With Renfroe batting, Tui would throw a wild pitch to the backstop, allowing Jankowski to move up to third base. Renfroe would hit an RBI groundout to Carp, making it 4-2. Tui ended the inning getting Reyes to swing and miss at a filthy slider.
Trap House decided he was gonna wait until the bottom of the 8th to trap at the dish, blasting a solo HR to deep LF over the Friars pen, making it 5-2 Redbirds. Jedd really loves playing his old squad doesn’t he?
Bud Norris would come in to snag his 13th save of the season, throwing 20 pitches to earn it. Kolten Wong robbed Spangenberg of a hit to begin the inning, sliding to his left into the hole, throwing Spangenberg out at first. Villanueva was hit by a pitch on the left elbow next, bringing in the smooth fielding SS, Freddy Galvis. Galvis would groundout to Carp, moving Villanueva into scoring position. Norris ended the night striking out Lopez on a nasty slider down and in the dirt for the 5-2 Cardinals win.
Notes: Daniel Poncedeleon’s contract was selected today, getting called up to fill a spot in the bullpen. Luke Voit was the corresponding move, getting sent back down to AAA Memphis. The Cardinals have made 81 MLB transactions since Opening Day (03/29).
Miles Mikolas (7-1, 2.27) gets the ball in game two tomorrow evening, battling against reliever Matt Strahm* (1-2, 3.07). So, tomorrow should be interesting to say the least. First pitch from Busch is at 7:15 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 64 is in the book
by Stew // @StewStilez