Cardinals Bats Struggle against Ray, Drop Home-Opener 3-1
Opening Day in St. Louis is second to none, the best day of the year hands down. However, last night was not what we had in mind.
The Cardinals bats could only muster 2 hits against Robbie Ray over his 6 innings pitched. During those 6 innings, Ray fanned 9 batters while also walking 5.
Yadier Molina was the only force of offense as he smacked an RBI double that just snuck past the 3rd base bag to remain fair, scoring Carpenter.
Yairo Muñoz found himself in the starting lineup vs the LHP at the expense of Kolten Wong and it didn’t particularly go his way. Muñoz (0-3) struggled swinging at two Robbie Ray pitches in the dirt that translated to strikeouts. But that wasn’t the worst of the offense, as there was a Golden Sombrero. (For both teams for that matter- Avila & DeJong) Pretty exciting offensive game, am I right?
Adam Wainwright drew the home-opener in place of the originally scheduled, Michael Wacha. Jack Flaherty gets the short-end of the stick, yet again. But this isn’t about who should be in the rotation and who shouldn’t be. Waino labored all night long, while also dealing with a decreased FB velocity inning-by-inning. (91.8, 89.4, 87.3, 86.2) When asked about the diminishing velocity after the game, Waino said it was intentional, apparently his command was struggling from my understanding of the comment. Which, is true. Waino only lasted 3.2 innings, throwing 89 pitches (50 strikes, 39 balls), while walking 4 (Dyson IBB), and striking out 3.
The IBB to Dyson in the 2nd inning was rather odd, in my opinion. And I’m sure I’m not alone thinking that. With one out, Descalso on third, and Owings on second, they gave Dyson a free pass with Robbie Ray on deck. Robbie Ray then lined a sac-fly to Pham to give Arizona the early 1-0 lead. One batter later, David Peralta hit an RBI single into RF scoring Owings to extend the Arizona lead to 2-0. It seemed like Waino was trying to pitch around the majority of D-back’s hitters last night. The Robbie Ray sac-fly is a perfect example. Waino fell behind 3-1 after throwing two curveballs and found himself in a situation where he had to make a hitters pitch.
The bullpen did its job last night working 5.1 scoreless innings. (Bowman, Sherriff*, Leone, Lyons*, Hicks) Bowman was called upon in the 4th to get the final out on Goldschmidt with runners on first and third, as he popped out to Carpenter. The most impressive work from the pen on the night case from Tyler Lyons in the 8th. Lyons would strike out the side (Dyson, Ryan Murphy, Marte) making quick work.
Cardinals bats went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 9th closing the book on the 2018 home-opener.
The Cardinals have an off-day today and will look forward to a great Michael Wacha start Saturday afternoon. Wacha (0-1, 7.71) has a tough task at hand as he will be battling against Zack Greinke. (0-0, 1.59)
Thanks for reading as always, cheers!
Stew // @StewStilez