The Cardinals took the field this afternoon in search of a 3-game sweep of the White Sox in a two day period. Dakota Hudson would get the ball in his second start of the season, facing off against the veteran lefty, Dallas Keuchel.
After sweeping yesterday’s DH, and cashing in with two big 4-run innings in each game, the bats were kept at bay by Keuchel.
Through Keuchel’s first 5 innings, he would only allow one base hit, a two out single from Dylan Carlson into LF in the 2nd.
Carlson would showcase a beautiful piece of hitting on the cutter in on his hands, bringing his hands in to allow the barrel to reach the pitch. In fact, Carlson would register the hardest hit batted ball of the game vs Keuchel to leadoff the top of the 5th inning, lining it to Jiménez in LF. Jiménez had him played perfectly, as the ball had an xBA of .840. Kuechel would collect just one strikeout, getting Matt Carpenter on three straight sinkers in the same location at 89mph to end the 4th inning.
The White Sox bats would get off to an early start against Hudson, who had some shaky command as he worked a typical slow-type of Hudson inning. 23 pitches seemed like an hour. But escaping it with just 1 run was a huge win, honestly.
Tim Anderson started things off with a single to RF before stealing 2B. Hud would bounce back with two huge outs, getting Moncada to fly out to Dex and Grandal to strikeout on three pitches, getting him on a nice backed up curve. Abreu followed working a walk after being down in the count 0-2. Eloy Jiménez followed that up with an RBI double into the LF corner to score Anderson to make it 1-0 Sox. Hudson escaped trouble getting Encarnación to fly out to Carlson, playing CF today (starting a game at all three OF spots this weekend).
Hudson would settle in himself after that rough 1st, retiring 10 consecutive batters including the Encarnación flyout to end the 1st (5 groundouts, 3 flyouts, 2 k’s). That would be the end of Hudson’s day after throwing just 55 pitches in 4 innings (4IP, 2 hits, 1ER, 1bb/3k’s).
Roel Ramirez would relieve Hud in the bottom of the 5th and make history, except not the good history. After what started out as a promising outing, getting Robert to strikeout on a slider, the next seven White Sox batters would reach base vs Ramirez before chasing him from the game.
Mazara would single, Mendick followed with a single (caught stealing with Anderson batting), Anderson would walk (advance to 2B on wild pitch), Moncada 3-run bomb, Grandal solo bomb, Abreu solo bomb, Jiménez solo bomb. You read that right, back-to-back-to-back-to-back homers. Quite possibly the worst imaginable debut ever. I feel bad for Roel and hope he’s given the opportunity to bounce back.
Seth Elledge would come in to make his major league debut, searching for the final out of the 5th inning. Elledge would get Encarnación on three pitches, three straight sliders, getting Edwin looking. But the damage was done as the Sox now had a commanding 7-0 lead.
Matt Carpenter would make sure the Birds got a couple runs on the board in the top of the 6th. John Nogowski, making his major league debut (one of 4 debuts for STL today), would single to LF beating the shift. KoWo followed that with a single of his own to RF to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Tommy Edman would then ground into a 5-4 fielder’s choice, beating the double play, but Nogowski for some reason didn’t go home on the play. Goldy came up next and would tap a slow roller to the right side, right to Abreu. Abreu would go home to Grandal to get Nogowski coming down the line to score. Prince Sex kept his good plate discipline rolling along, working a walk to load the bases for the bases loaded maniac, Carp Daddy.
Carp cashed in, beating the shift himself, drilling a two-run single into RF to make it 7-2 Sox. That would end Keuchel’s day (5.2IP, 4 hits, 2ER, 2bb/ 1 k’s), as Cordero would come in for the final out.
Cordero would get Carlson to fly out sharply to Robert to CF, stranding two runners on.
Elledge kept rolling along for two more innings, flashing a sweet 2SFB touching 94-95mph consistently. Knizner would throw out his second base stealer for the first out in the 6th, getting Robert who reached on catcher’s interference.
Elledge would strikeout the side on 13 pitches in the 7th inning, facing the top of the Sox order. Anderson would get some 94mph heat, Moncada looked straight foolish on a back foot slider, and Grandal got some 94mph heat to end the frame, ending Elledge’s debut (2.1IP, 0 hits, 0ER, 0bb/ 5k’s).
Rob Kaminsky would be the 4th and final major league debut for the Cards today, getting to finish the day for the pen taking the 8th inning. What a fantastic story and path to the big leagues for Mr. Kaminsky (insert Cards won the trade joke).
Kaminsky would retire the side in order on just 8 pitches, getting the heart of the Sox order. Abreu would groundout to Miller (taking over for Edman in the 8th), Jiménez would get called out on a high slider barely clipping the zone, and Encarnación would groundout to Carp.
That’s where things would end, as the Sox would avoid getting swept with a 7-2 victory. The Cardinals will now get in their rented cars and head to Wrigley for a 5 game series in 3 days with the Cubs (DH on Monday/Wednesday).
Kwang Hyun-Kim* (0-0, 9.00) gets the ball in the first game for the Cardinals, as he takes on Kyle Hendricks (3-1, 3.08), who always seems to give Cardinals hitters a fit.
Game two is possibly gonna be Austin Gomber* (0-0, 0.00), who is supposed to be activated from the 10-day IL tomorrow. Starters for both teams are still TBD right now for game two. Game one first pitch scheduled for 4:15pm c/t and game two will follow about 45 minutes later.