Wacha Exits Early with Oblique Strain, Yadi’s Two HR’s not Enough, Fall to Phillies 4-3
Wacha’s day was cut short due to a left oblique strain suffered with 2 outs in the bottom of the 4th. Wacha’s velocity on his fastball was dipping inning to inning, causing concern for Maddux and the medical team. After walking Rhys Hoskins with two down in the bottom of the 4th, Wacha would motion out the medical staff and take himself out of the game, being relieved for Mike Mayers. The injury bug just won’t stop attacking this team. Up to that point, it wasn’t that pretty for Wacha.
The Phillies would score a run in the bottom of the 1st, on a Carlos Santana sac-fly to RF, scoring Hoskins. Hoskins and Herrera would reach on back-to-back hits, a single and double, before Santana would bring in Hoskins. Kingery would line out to Garcia at SS to end the inning on 14 pitches.
Nick Williams greeted Wacha with a leadoff single to LF to begin the bottom of the 2nd. Wacha then retired the next three in order. Carp would take away a base hit from Franco for the first out of the inning, diving to rob his counterpart. Alfaro followed that up whiffing at a Wacha changeup, his first strikeout of the game. Arrieta ended the inning hitting a fly ball to CF.
The 3rd inning is where things started to get noticeably concerning for Wacha. After starting the inning retiring the leadoff man, Hernández, on a ground ball to Wong, the next two (Hoskins & Herrera) would reach with singles, bringing in the cleanup man, Carlos Santana. Wacha would work around Santana, giving him the unintentional-intentional walk to load the bases for Kingery. Kingery would be Wacha’s second strikeout victim, fanning on changeup. Wacha stranded the bases loaded getting Williams to ground out softly to Garcia at SS, throwing 29 pitches in the inning.
Wacha started the 4th inning getting Franco to ground out to Carp at 3B, his 6th groundout to 3B in the series. Alfaro then reached base on a throwing error from Carp, bringing in Arrieta, who would fly out to Pham for the second out.
Cesár Hernández then got a 1-2 changeup to his liking, ripping it over the wall in RF for a 2-run HR, making it 3-1 Phillies. Hoskins would draw a walk, and Wacha would motion for the training staff, ending his day. Mike Mayers would come in relief for Wacha, getting drilled with a line shot off the bat of Herrera upon entering. Wong would field the deflection and make a great play to get the speedy Phillies CF for the final out.
Wacha’s final line: (3.2 IP, 6 hits, 3r/1er, 2 bb, 2 k’s, 75 pitches)
Cardinals Offense vs Arrieta:
Jake Arrieta gave fits to the lineup all afternoon through his 6 innings of work, striking out 5, giving up only 4 hits.
Yadier Molina (2-3) was the entire offense against Arrieta this afternoon, taking him deep twice for 3 RBI’s. Yadi got the Cardinals on the board to leadoff the top of the 2nd, swinging at the first pitch sinker from Arrieta, taking it deep to LF to tie the game 1-1. This was the Cardinals first hit of the game, and they wouldn’t get another one until Greg Garcia led off the top of the 5th with a single the opposite way to LF. Garcia would be stranded, as Arrieta would record his 5th and final strikeout of the afternoon, getting Wacha looking at a sinker. The Cardinals would put together a little two out rally in the 6th inning, starting with a Swags Ozuna single to CF. With Yadi batting, Ozuna would advance to 2B on a wild pitch from Arrieta. With a full count, Yadi would guide the Arrieta slider to RCF, sneaking it over the wall for a 2-run shot, tying the game 3-3.
Arrieta’s final line: (6 IP, 4 hits, 3r/3er, 2 bb, 5 k’s, 92 pitches)
Bullpen Pt. I:
After getting the final out in the bottom of the 4th, Mayers would remain in the game for the 5th and strikeout the side in order. Mayers got Santana on a high 96 mph heater, Kingery on the same pitch, and followed that getting Williams on a slider down and in on the hands.
Brett Cecil would come in to throw the bottom of the 6th in a tie game, a scary sight for a Cardinals fans. But Cecil shut us up today, and his knuckle curve looked fantastic, it’s the pitch he needs the best of moving forward. Cecil started his night getting Franco to fly out to Ozuna. Alfaro followed that up with a double to Fowler in RF. Cecil then picked up two huge strikeouts, getting them back-to-back. Cecil got Altherr (pinch-hitting) on the aforementioned, knuckle curve, down in the zone. Cecil then struck out the switch-hitting, Hernández, looking at a sinker that was painted on the inside corner.
The Cherry on Top:
Sam Tuivailala would come in to pitch the 7th inning for the Cardinals and give up the go ahead and winning HR to the new Cardinal killer, Odúbel Herrera. Tui would strikeout Hoskins on a blazing 98 mph fastball to start his outing before being greeted with the monster HR from the Phillies CF. Santana would lineout to Fowler for the second out and Kingery followed it up with an infield single.
Carp would end the inning on a beauty of a barehand play, taking away an infield single from Nick Williams. Cafecíto’s hand was caught up with Williams on the play at first, causing for more chaos and concern for Cardinals fans. (Apparently Cafecíto was okay because he led off the top of the 8th with a single to CF.)
Bullpen Pt. II:
Greg Holland would work for the second consecutive day, having an identical outing from his performance a night ago when he threw a scoreless inning, striking out two. The slider looks to have gained sharpness to it, while his fastball command is in better control. Holland would strikeout Franco to begin his afternoon, on a perfect slider on the outer half. Alfaro then grounded out to Garcia for the second out. Holland ended his outing striking out Walding (pinch-hitting) looking at a beautiful backdoor slider.
The Final Act:
Jedd Gyorko would pinch-hit for the Cardinals in the top of the 9th with one out, trailing 4-3, facing Arano. Trap House would connect on a ball, sending it deep to LCF, missing an amazing attempt from Herrera to get a double. Gabe Kapler would go to a lefty, Adam Morgan, for the final two outs. Morgan would face Carp and get him to pop out to Franco in foul territory. Tommy Pham grounded out to Kingery to end the game, with the Phillies hanging on to win 4-3. The Phillies won the season series vs the Cardinals (4-3).
The Cardinals (38-34) travel to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers (43-30) for a four-game weekend series. Carlos Martínez (3-3, 2.73) will get things started for the Cardinals, who are desperately searching for a series win. The Crew will counter with Brent Suter* (7-4, 4.30). First pitch from Miller Park is 7:10 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 72 is in the books