Cardinals Fall to Phillies 6-5 in an Odd, but Typical Fashion
Usually when you strikeout 19 times as a team collectively, you don’t expect to be in the ballgame, let alone a prime position to get a win.
Nick Pivetta had the Cardinals offense searching all night long, working 7.1 innings, striking out 13 along the way. The Cardinals offense would account for 2 runs off the Phillies starter, also their only 2 hits through 7 innings, solo HR’s from Carp and Yadi.
Carp’s HR was the first of the season in which he took it the opposite direction, also a rarity for his career. Take a look at this spray chart from my dude @NChill17.
Yadi’s bomb was also an opposite field shot, stroking an 0-2 fastball over the wall in RCF that, at the time, cut the Phillies lead in half. Yadi (3-4) also broke a major league record tonight with most games caught (1,757) for a single team. Molina, on a historic night, was also a triple away from the cycle.
But, in the midst of all that offense (yes I’m kidding), Nick Pivetta was carving up the Redbirds lineup with a nasty curveball. 8 of his 13 strikeouts would come via the hook.
Miles Mikolas countered Pivetta tonight and his evening didn’t get started how he would of liked, allowing four 1st inning runs. In fact, Miles wouldn’t record an out until his 25th pitch of the game, as the first four Phillies reached base. Hernández singled to RF, Hoskins walked, Herrera hit a 3-run bomb to RF, and Santana singled to RF. Mikolas bounced back to get Franco and Williams before Knapp flared an RBI single into shallow LF, making it 4-0 Phillies after an inning.
I would talk about the Cardinals offense right here, but I’m afraid I’ve covered the offense through the first 7 innings pretty well.
Mikolas would settle in nicely after the rough 1st frame, throwing four more innings, allowing only 2 hits. The first was a leadoff double to Crawford in the bottom of the 2nd. Hernández would move Crawford over on a ground out to Cafecíto, fresh off the paternity list for the birth of his daughter. Hoskins then flew out to Pham in shallow CF and Herrera grounded out to Cafecíto to end the inning, working around the leadoff double from Crawford.
Mikolas would have his best inning in the 4th, striking out the side in 19 pitches. Mikolas got Knapp on a 2-seamer, Pivetta looking at a bender, and Crawford whiffing at a slider. Mikolas last inning of work came in an 11 pitch, scoreless, 5th inning.
Mikolas’ final line: (5 IP, 6 hits, 4r/4er, 1 bb, 3 k’s, 88 pitches, 2 runs of support) sorry I felt the need to add the last stat.
The Cardinals bullpen, coming off 4 scoreless innings in last night’s win, would come in and hold the Phillies scoreless over the next 4 innings as well. In fact, the Phillies wouldn’t get a hit through the next 4 innings facing Mayers (2 IP), Tui (1 IP), and Norris (1 IP).
Mayers looked the best he has this year tonight, in my opinion. The life on his fastball reminded me of that spring training fastball that everyone apparently fell in love with for some odd reason. If his slider developed, he’d be a damn good bullpen piece. Mayers worked a 13 pitch 6th inning, striking out the last two (Knapp & Pivetta) both on the blazing fastball. Mayers picked up where he left off in the bottom of the 7th, striking out Crawford looking at the 4-seamer.
The Cardinals would run Pivetta from this game with one out in the 8th. Muñoz flew out to Herrera to begin the inning and Garcia (pinch-hitting) and Carp would follow that up with back-to-back hits, Carp’s double was inches away from tying this game up at 4-4.
Pivetta’s final line: (7.1 IP, 4 hits, 2r/2er, 1 bb, 13 k’s, 108 pitches)
Ramos came in relief for Pivetta with the tying run on 2nd base in Carp. Ramos showed his devastating slider off, striking out Pham and Cafecíto, stranding Garcia and Carp on base. Tui would work a scoreless 8th inning, inducing a 5-4-3 double-play on Franco after giving up a leadoff walk to Santana. Tui would strikeout Altherr looking with the slider to end the inning, taking us to the 9th inning.
The Phillies, in search of who their closer will be, turned to Arano for the save situation tonight. Arano would strikeout Swags with a slider for the first out. Yadi would connect for a single, dropping it into LF. Trap House then ripped a double over Crawford’s head at 3B, putting runners on third and second with the go ahead run at the plate. Arano would get Bader to strikeout on a slider on a full count, bringing in Muñoz for the final hope. Muñoz would strikeout.
But. It. Wasn’t. Over.
The ball would get away from Knapp and scoot all the way to the backstop for a wild pitch, scoring Molina to make it 4-3 Phillies. Arano would be lifted for a lefty, Adam Morgan, who would get to face the pinch-hitter, Kolten Wong. A lefty/lefty matchup with the game on the line, guess who came through? Kolten Wong. Wong would hit an RBI single up the middle to tie the game 4-4.
After Bud Norris worked a scoreless bottom of the 9th, Tommy Mr. Steal Yo Girl Pham, stole some more gf’s in Philly, blasting a solo shot to deep LF to give the Cardinals a temporary 5-4 lead.
Matheny would turn to his best friend in Matt Bowman for the save opportunity in the bottom of the 10th, what could possibly go wrong? Hoskins started the inning off with a single to LF. Herrera would hit a chopper back to Bowman, who looked at second before throwing over to first to barely beat, the head first sliding, Herrera. For whatever reason, Matheny elected to put the winning run on base freely, like with the intentional walk where you don’t throw any pitches freely. Bowman would record a huge strikeout for the second out, getting Valentín to swing at a high two-seamer. Altherr, who came in as a defensive replacement for the injured Williams in RF, struck for the winning blow. Altherr would hit a walk-off double to LF. Ozuna would be caught in no-man’s land and attempt to make a diving catch, only to have the ball bounce in front of him and roll past him all the way to the wall, for the 6-5 Phillies heartbreaking win. Ozuna had a 4% catch probability on the play, a play in which he has to keep the ball in front of him no matter what. But maybe we shouldn’t put the winning run on base freely anymore, that might be a good start.
Luke Weaver (3-6, 4.52) gets the ball tomorrow night vs Vince Velasquez (5-7, 4.74). First pitch at 6:05 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 70 is in the books