Adam Wainwright would get the pleasure of starting his sixth Busch Stadium home opener this afternoon, battling for a strong 5 innings. Kolten Wong would make his return to Busch, getting the opportunity to take the first at bat back in the stadium with live fans at the game.
Yadi would by KoWo a little time for a nice standing ovation from the crowd. The first two pitches Waino delivered, Wong was battling teary eyes. Wong would get on after a four pitch walk, bringing up Hiura, searching for his first hit of the year.
Waino would get Hiura and Yelich to fly out to Carlson and O’Neill. Travis Shaw would beat the shift, singling into RF to extend the inning to Jackie Bradley, Jr., who would barely be plunked by a Waino cutter to put runners on 1st and 2nd for Lorenzo Cain.
This is where you knew things were gonna go the Cardinals way in one way or another. Cain would smoke a ball to deep LCF that got just before the wall and Dylan Carlson would take an excellent route, extending his glove out to make one of the craziest plays I’ve ever seen. Carlson literally saved three 1st inning runs with that play. Great route, great speed, and no fear with the wall lurking. The difference between 0-0 after the top of the 1st and 3-0 after the top of the 1st.
Tommy Edman would lead the game off for the Cards with a triple past a diving Yelich in LF, standing up cleanly on the play. Unfortunately, that would be the only Cardinals base hit vs Corbin Burnes the rest of his outing, which would last six innings.
And the Cardinals pulled the “classic Cardinals,” according to so many people. Which, what do you expect with a team that has swung and missed a lot vs a pitcher with the repertoire like Burnes?
Edman would get stranded at 3B, as Carpenter (starting at 1B today, batting 2nd for an injured Goldy) would be the first strikeout victim, swinging and missing at a 92mph change. Burnes would jam Nado getting him to pop out to Shaw in the infield and DeJong to fly out to Cain in CF.
The Brewers would plate the only run of the game in the top of the 3rd until the bottom of the 7th inning of this contest. Keston Hiura would leadoff the inning with a double into RF, sneaking beyond the grasp of a diving Justin Williams. With Yelich batting, Waino would try and pickoff Hiura at 2B, throwing the ball into CF and Carlson would misplay it himself, as the ball would sneak under his glove for the second error on the same play, allowing Hiura to come all the way around to make it 1-0 Brewers. After a Shaw single beating the shift into RF, Waino would get the next three batters, striking out Bradley on a curve, Cain getting robbed again, this time by a leaping Arenado, and Narváez would fly out to O’Neill in LF.
The bullpen would toss 4 scoreless frames in relief of Waino, as Helsley (6th) and Miller (7th) would get the first cracks outta it today.
Helsley still was dealing with a little command trouble in his outing, just really hasn’t put it all together yet. But regardless, was able to work around a one-out walk to Narváez by getting Urías to fly out and Burnes to strikeout on a fastball.
Miller would toss a 1-2-3 7th, needing 16 pitches to do so. Miller would get the top of the order, getting Wong to rollover a slider for a ground out to Edman. Nogowski (entered the game for Carp as part of double-switch in 7th) would make a nifty play on a foul pop up off the bat of Hiura, settling under it after a long run for the second out. Miller got the final out himself, fanning Yelich on a good slider off the outer part of the plate at 79mph.
This is where multiple rally beers were cracked and consumed, as Counsell would take out Burnes (6IP, 1 hit, 9 k’s) for Yardley and Wong for Robertson . A two-out rally to make it a little more fun!!
It all started with Yadi (of course) poking a first pitch breaking ball on the outside from Yardley into RF.
Dylan Carlson would break his .000 BABIP start to the year, lasering a ball into the RF corner for his 1st double of the year to put runners in scoring position for Williams with two away. After falling behind 2-0 in the count, the Brewers would elect to put him on free, loading the bases for O’Neill.
The Prince of Sex would let his speed play, and the decision to remove Wong for Robertson proved costly. O’Neill would ground a slow roller back up the middle, as Robertson would play it from the other side of the bag, eating it to force a 1-1 tie.
Nogo would fly out for the final out, taking things to the 8th inning.
After Gio worked a perfect 8th, striking out two on 13 pitches, Reyes would come in looking for his 3rd save of the season.
But before we get to the top of the 9th, let’s talk about Nado getting his pitch off Rasmussen in the 8th. Austin Dean would work a pinch-hit walk before Arenado’s spot was due up, and Nado wasted no time on the first delivery from Rasmussen, sending it over the wall in LF for a two-run bombski. Making the game 3-1. Nado hit the inside 97mph fastball 95.7mph and 373 feet for his 2nd HR and 5 RBI.
After that inning concluded, Alex Reyes would get the chance to shutdown the Brewers in the 9th, in search of his 3rd save.
Narváez greeted him by beating the shift, roping a single into LF to bring up Vogelbach (pinch-hitter). With Vogelbach at the dish, Reyes would deliver a wild pitch to move up Narváez to 2B. Vogelbach would ground out sharply to Edman at 2B, making a helluva diving stop to keep the runner at 3B. McKinney (pinch-hitting) wouldn’t stand a chance, whiffing at a low 90’s changeup, bringing up Daniel Robertson down to the games final out. Robertson would line a ball to Carlson in CF, ending the game for a 3-1 Cardinals victory. Reyes would earn his 3rd save, Gio would pick up his 2nd win.
Cardinals will enjoy an off-day tomorrow before handing the ball over to Carlos Martínez (0-1, 7.20) in game two on Saturday. Martínez will face off against Adrian Houser (0-1, 3.60), with first pitch scheduled for 1:15 at Busch Stadium.