Padres Get to Mikolas in the 4th, Padres Bullpen Silences Hot Bats, Cards Drop Game-Two 4-2
Matt Strahm, a left-handed reliever, would start tonight’s game for Andy Green in an evening the Padres bullpen would try and piece together a win. Miles Mikolas looked like he was going to throw a typical Mikolas-like start, but the 4th inning bad luck plagued the start for the Lizard King. Let’s run down the recap for game 65.
Mikolas looked in complete control from opening pitch, striking out four Padres in the first two innings, throwing 25 pitches. After retiring Jankowski and Hosmer on 3 pitches, Pírela would hit a single to RF bringing in Renfroe. Renfroe would be the first strikeout of four in-a-row, all coming on absolute junk, which means the ridiculous curveball was thrown. Mikolas struck out the side in the 2nd, getting Spangenberg looking at the hook, Galvis swinging at the hook, and Margot swinging at the hook in the dirt. Unfortunately, the bats wouldn’t produce the run support, or hit(s), that Mikolas needed. Mikolas would breeze through his third inning of work, retiring the side in order. Harrison Bader would make a sliding catch down the RF line to putout Ellis to begin the inning.
Matt Strahm threw a perfect three innings, making a start that the Padres rotation needed. Strahm would only need to throw 36 pitches to get through three innings, striking out four (Carp, Pham, Muñoz, & Mikolas).
The Padres offense would pick up all the runs they needed to win tonight in the 4th inning, plating three. Hosmer opened the inning smacking a leadoff HR on the first pitch curveball from Mikolas, taking it to Freese’s landing in CF. Mikolas bounced back with two quick outs on Pírela and Renfroe. Then the two out Padres rally started, as Spangenberg would be the first of four consecutive hits, a single off the body of Mikolas. Galvis singled to CF and Margot would reach on an infield single to Carp, loading the bases for A.J. Ellis. Ellis would poke a two-run single into RF, scoring Spangenberg and Galvis. Bader came up throwing a rope to the plate trying to nail Galvis, who would sneak under the tag of Molina to give the Padres a 3-0 lead.
Sidewinder, Adam Cimber, would come in to relieve Strahm, throwing three scoreless innings, taking us to the 7th inning with a 3-0 Padres lead. Cimber would sit down the first six he faced in order, striking out two (Carp and Cafecíto). Pham was robbed of a single from SS, Freddy Galvis.
Mikolas would throw two 1-2-3 innings in the 6th and 7th, ending his night with only one unlucky inning, which ultimately decided tonight’s outcome. Mikolas picked up his fifth and final strikeout of the game in the 5th, getting Hosmer on a foul-tip changeup, trapped and caught on Yadi’s leg.
Harrison Bader got the Cardinals in the hit column leading off the bottom of the 6th with an infield single to third base. Bader was scooting down the line, running 31 feet per/second according to Statcast. The first hit was erased just like that, as Muñoz grounded into a 4-6-3 double-play, bringing in the pinch-hitter, Dexter Fowler. Fowler struck out on three pitches from the soft-tossing righty.
Mike Mayers and Jordan Hicks would work the final three innings for Matheny tonight, Mayers allowing a run in the 7th. Margot led the inning off with a double to LF and Ellis would move him over to third on a 5-3 sac-bunt. Villanueva would grab a bat and pinch-hit for Cimber, hitting an RBI groundout to Muñoz, scoring Margot to make it 4-0 Friars.
The Cardinals would push across two runs in the bottom half off newly entered reliever, Craig Stammen. Carp and Pham started the inning with back-to-back singles and Cafecíto would fly out to RF, bringing in Swags. Swags would rip an RBI single, taking it to LF, scoring Carp, Pham moving up to third. Yadi would chop an RBI groundout down to Spangenberg at third, scoring Pham to make it a 4-2 ballgame. Jedd Trap House Gyorko came up with two outs representing the tying run, striking out on a slider from Stammen. I guess Jedd can’t trap every game against his former squad.
Jordan Hicks: Hicks is going to get his own section of bragging from me. What he did in the 8th and 9th inning is freaking unbelievable. Remember back in April and early May when he “couldn’t” get strikeouts? Well, yeah, I think that has been thrown out the window. Partly because how far his slider has came along since Opening Day. The spin is getting tighter and the spin is increasing, becoming a truly lethal weapon for Hicks moving forward. Hicks would strikeout the side in order in the 8th inning. My man @cardinalsgifs put up a tremendous thread of all three strikeouts, I advise you check it out because my words won’t do it justice, that’s just a fact. Hicks got Hosmer on a 101 mph sinker on the outside, Pírela on a filthy, and I mean FILTHY slider. Hicks then ended the inning getting Renfroe looking at a front door slider, taking only 12 pitches to record all three strikeouts. With Matheny double-switching for Gyorko after his 7th inning at-bat, this allowed Hicks to throw multiple innings. Now, I know some people aren’t thrilled with him throwing back-to-back innings, but he looked like he was on a whole other universe. And after the game we found out, from Matheny, that three relievers were unavailable tonight. So let’s be angry about something else, like going (4-4) the first 8 games of the easiest 9-game stretch of the season. Hicks ended his evening striking out Margot in the 9th on three pitches, getting him to look silly at a slider on the outer half.
Brad Hand came in to shut the door in the bottom of the 9th, securing his 20th save of the season, striking out Yadi to end the game on a slider low and inside.
Luke Weaver (3-5, 4.35) looks to get the Cardinals a series win tomorrow evening as he will be countered with the soft-tossing lefty, Eric Lauer* (2-4, 6.64). If you don’t remember the first meeting the Cardinals had vs Lauer this year, check out the game 36 recap. It’s promising. First pitch 7:15 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 65 is in the book
by Stew // @StewStilez