Matt Carpenter, Leadoff Guy, Comes up Huge in Cardinals 7-6 Comeback Win
Luke Weaver took the mound tonight looking to avenge his recent command issues. Weaver would labor over his 5 innings of work tonight, while the offense would give him two runs of support, both on solo HR’s, surprise-surprise.
Offense through first 5 innings: The Cardinals offense would get their second look at Phillies starter, Vince Velasquez. The bats would only get 3 hits through the first 5 innings, as Velasquez racked up 7 strikeouts in that span. Tommy Pham would steal some more girlfriends in Philly tonight, launching his 12th HR of the season on a hanging breaking pitch, taking it to LF to tie it 1-1 at the time. Kolten Wong would lead the top of the 5th off with a solo shot of his own, taking it to RF, barely clearing the wall by a few feet to cut the Phillies deficit to 3-2.
Luke Weaver didn’t start tonight’s game how he would’ve liked, walking the leadoff batter, César Hernández. Hoskins followed with a single to LF, bringing in Odúbel Herrera. Herrera, for the second night in-a-row, showed bunt with two runners on and nobody out. Expect this time, he actually got the bunt down, sacrificing himself 5-3 on the putout. Carlos Santana would hit an RBI groundout to Wong, bringing in Hernández to make it 1-0 Phillies. Weaver then walked Altherr, his second of the inning. Weaver ended his inning on the 30th pitch, a strikeout of Kingery looking at a fastball. Weaver would toss an 18 pitch 2nd inning, sitting down the first two he faced on groundouts (Alfaro & Velasquez). Weaver then walked his third batter, J.P. Crawford, to bring up the top of the lineup. Weaver got Hernández to fly out to Ozuna to end the inning, stranding Crawford. After Weaver struck out Hoskins looking, Odúbel Herrera would take him deep in the bottom of the 3rd, swinging at the first pitch curveball, golfing it over the wall in RF, making it 2-1 Phillies. Weaver ended his inning with his third strikeout, getting Altherr looking at a fastball.
The Phillies would open up the bottom of the 4th with back-to-back singles to RF off the bats of Kingery and Alfaro. Velasquez would sacrifice them over on a bunt to Weaver. Weaver then drilled Crawford with a pitch to load the bases for the top of the order. With Hernández batting, Weaver would walk in a run to make it 3-1 Phillies. Weaver got Hoskins to pop out to Muñoz for an infield fly rule and then struck out Herrera looking on a fastball to end the inning.
Carlos Santana opened up the bottom of the 5th with a solo HR, taking a 1-2 fastball from Weaver to RF, making it 4-2 Phils. Weaver would escape the inning after Altherr and Kingery reached base, still with nobody out. Alfaro would pop out to Cafecíto. Following the big first out, Weaver would induce an inning ending double-play ball, getting Velasquez to hit into a 6-3 DP.
Weaver’s final line: (5 IP, 6 hits, 4r/4er, 4 bb, 4 k’s, 99 pitches)
The sixth inning was boring on both sides, so we will skip that, but Brebbia was excellent!
Four Run 7th:
With Velasquez still on the bump, the Cardinals would try and piece together a late comeback. Velasquez struck out his 8th Cardinal to begin the inning, getting Fowler on a fastball. Muñoz and Wong would reach base next, Muñoz hitting a single to LF and Wong getting HBP. This would end Velasquez’s night, as Tommy Hunter would come in for relief.
Hunter would face a pinch-hitter, Greg Garcia, to begin this outing, getting him to fly out to Hoskins in LF. With two outs and a 1-0 count, Matt Carpenter, leadoff guy, would rope a 2-run double into the RCF gap, tying the game at 4-4. Tommy Pham followed that up with an infield single up the middle. Cafecíto delivered next, swinging at the first pitch fastball from Hunter, taking it to CF for a 2-run double of his own, his 43rd and 44th RBI, to give the Cardinals a 6-4 lead.
Velasquez’s final line: (6.1 IP, 4 hits, 4r/4er, 3 bb, 8 k’s, 97 pitches)
Fresh off the 10-day DL, Greg Holland would find himself entering late in a two run ballgame. I don’t know who this guy was, but it definitely wasn’t the Greg Holland we’ve been used to.
Holland would throw a 13 pitch, 1-2-3, inning, striking out the final two batters he faced (Altherr & Kingery) both on filthy sliders. I don’t want to get my hopes up, but he looked the best he has all season tonight.
Phillies Tie it up:
The Phillies would make things interesting in the bottom of the 8th. Austin Gomber would come in relief of Holland, striking out the first batter he faced (Alfaro) on a 95 mph fastball. Valentín worked a walk next and Franco followed with pop out to Carp at 1B. Hernández then ripped a single through the right side of the infield, bringing in a power threat in Rhys Hoskins. Matheny would go to his young, flame-throwing right-hander, Jordan Hicks. Hoskins would win the battle, taking a sinker to the RCF gap to drive in two runs to tie the game, 6-6. Hicks would get Herrera to tap a slider in the dirt back to him for the final out, taking us to the 9th.
The Phillies would turn to their most reliable option out of their bullpen for the top of the 9th, Seranthony Domínguez. The hard throwing righty would strikeout the first two of the inning (Wong & Gyorko) on fastballs, brining up Carp.
On an 0-2 pitch, Carp would take a 98 mph fastball from Domínguez over the wall in RF, tucking it behind the foul pole, giving the Cardinals a 7-6 lead. Jordan Hicks remained in the game for the bottom of the 9th, finishing off the Phillies in order, recording his 3rd major league win. Hicks would strikeout Altherr and Knapp (pinch-hitting) to end the game, getting them both on the blazing sinker.
In other news, Miles Mikolas shaved his mustache and I don’t know what to do with myself. Michael Wacha (8-2, 3.24) will look to get a series win for the Cardinals tomorrow afternoon against Jake Arrieta (5-5, 3.33). First pitch 12:05 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 71 is in the books