Gant Delivers 7 Innings of One Hit Ball, Carp and Swags Pace Offense in 4-0 Win vs Tribe
With many fans in Cardinal nation wanting Dakota Hudson to get the start Monday, which would have required some roster shuffling, they’d get the best start of John Gant’s Cardinal career instead.
John Gant’s Night Pt. I:
Gant finally started his night after an hour and twenty-one minute rain delay. Kind of ironic, given the fact this should’ve been a Michael Wacha start. Gant began the evening with back-to-back, 13 pitch, scoreless frames, striking out Brantley for the second out in the 1st. Gant mowed through Brantley on three pitches, sitting down the LF on a fastball looking. Josè Ramírez would work a two out walk, getting stranded on first after Encarnacion would fly out to Bader.
The Indians would get their only hit off Gant in the 2nd, a two out infield single off the third base bag from Yan Gomes. Gant then got Tyler Naquin to ground out to Wong on the first pitch, ending the inning.
Gant opened up the 3rd inning with a strikeout of his counterpart, Mike Clevinger, getting him to swing and miss at a curveball. Gant then got Francisco Lindor to pop out to Garcia, jamming the flashy Indians SS in on the hands with a groovy, two-seam fastball. Michael Brantley would work a walk, the only downside to Gant’s start tonight, as he walked 5. Josè Ramírez would ground out to Cafecíto to end the inning, still tied 0-0.
The Offense; Innings 1-3:
Matt Carpenter, leadoff guy, kicked things off with a double off the CF wall for the Cardinals this evening. Greg Garcia, for whatever reason, decided to bunt, and Carp decided to run on contact. Carp would get thrown out at 3B by Gomes, wasting a golden opportunity. Cafecíto would be the first of four Clevinger strikeout victims, going down on a fastball to bring in Swags. Swags (2-4) would smack his first hit of the night, a single into CF, advancing Garcia to 3B. Clevinger would skate around trouble getting Molina to strikeout looking at a slider up in the zone. Harrison “The Brah” Bader would hit a one out single to LF after a Fowler strikeout, opening the bottom of the 2nd. Edwin Encarnacion and Lindor would team up to end the inning, turning a wicked double-play on Wong. Let’s just put it mildly, Francisco Lindor is good at baseball. Carp, leadoff guy, would drill his second base-hit of the evening, hitting a one out single into CF. Garcia drew a walk, putting two on for the slumping, Cafecíto. Martínez would fly out to RF for the second out, bringing in Swags. Swags would deliver a clutch 2-run double to CF, connecting on the first pitch delivery from Clevinger, scoring Carp and Garcia to make it 2-0 Cardinals after 3.
John Gant’s Night Pt. II:
Gant would cruise through the 4th-7th innings, working his longest inning in the 4th. Gant would walk two more in the 4th, stranding Kipnis and Gomes on base after getting Naquin to strikeout on the vulcan-change. Gant turned in back-to-back, 1-2-3 innings, in the 5th and 6th, picking up his fourth and final strikeout, getting Clevinger on a two-seamer to start the 5th inning. Gant got Lindor and Brantley to ground out, needing only 8 pitches to get through the inning.
It wouldn’t take him much longer to get through the 6th, tossing 13 pitches, retiring the side in order. Jason Kipnis would lead off the top of the 7th with a walk, Gant’s fifth of the night. But no worries, Gant would induce the much needed, 5-4-3 double-play ball, retiring Yan Gomes. Gant ended his night getting Naquin to line out sharply to Carp at the hot corner.
Gant’s Final Line: (7 IP, 1 hit, 0r/0er, 5 bb, 4 k’s, 97 pitches, 74 game score)
Late Inning Runs & Bullpen:
The Cardinals would plate an insurance run in the bottom of the 6th inning, getting to newly entered reliever, Zach McAllister. Dex would rip a one out single to LF, advancing to second base on a wild pitch, eventually coming around to score on an RBI single from Kolten Wong, a double into LF, making it 3-0.
Jordan Hicks would take things over for Gant in the 8th, tossing a scoreless frame of work. Hicks made quick work of the first two batters he faced, getting Guyer (pinch-hitting) to ground out to Gyorko and Lindor swinging at a devastating slider down and in on the hands. Seriously, Lindor got over powered by Hicks the entirety of this at bat, he stood zero chance. Michael Brantley drew a walk and Ramírez extended the inning with a single to CF. Hicks would end the potential threat getting Encarnacion to ground out to Garcia.
The Cardinals would plate one more run in the bottom of the 8th. Yadi got things started with a one out double into the LF corner, moving over to 3B on a Fowler ground out to 1B. Harrison Bader would slowly hit an RBI infield single to the right side, scoring Molina for the 4-0 lead. Bader wasted no time swiping second either, his first steal since 05/31, and his 7th of the year.
With the lead being at 4 and it not being a save situation, Austin Gomber would be summoned to throw the 9th. Davis (pinch-hitting) and Kipnis would greet the LHP with back-to-back singles, making it a save situation suddenly. Bud Norris would come in to clean up the mess and do so successfully for his 15th save of the season. Norris got Gomes to strikeout on a perfectly located fastball on the outer half, then ended the game getting Naquin to line into a double play to Garcia at SS.
The Cardinals winning streak is now at 3, go crazy! Also, with the 4-0 shoutout tonight, that gives the Cardinals their 5th shutout of the season.
Carlos Martínez (3-4, 3.24) doesn’t have an easy test tomorrow evening as he gets the pleasure to battle against a perennial Cy Young candidate, Corey Kluber (11-3, 2.10). First pitch 7:15 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 77 is in the books