Today was a weird day for Michael Wacha and the Cardinals in general. Wacha would struggle with his command thru his 5.2 innings of work, walking 8 Padres, while still remaining to strikeout 7. Wacha worked around the walks to the best of his capabilities, stranding 7 base runners.
The Padres would cash in and get on the board early, getting this rolling with a one out walk to Hosmer. Machado followed, battling Wacha, taking him the opposite way with a soft single to RF. Hunter Renfroe then ripped the first offering he saw from Wacha, ripping a double into the LF corner to bring in Hosmer to make it 1-0 Padres. With runners now in scoring position, first base open, and only one out, things were looking dicey to say the least.
And Wacha continued the trend, walking his second of the inning, Cordero.
Wacha ended the inning next, inducing a huge inning ending double play ball off the bat of Myers.
Opposing Wacha would be Chris Paddack, a rookie right-hander with a wipeout change. Paddack would work himself into some deep counts, issuing four walks himself thru 3.2 innings of work.
After Wacha worked around two walks in the 2nd, the Cardinals would tie things up 1-1 in the bottom of inning.
Yadi led the inning off with a single into CF, and would advance to 3B on a Dexter Fowler base running mistake after an error on Ian Kinsler.
KoWo tied things up next, driving in his 7th RBI of the season on a sac fly to Myers in LF.
Wacha walked the first two he faced to start the 3rd (Machado & Renfroe). Machado would swipe 2B with no throw from Yadi.
Wacha then added two more k’s to his line, striking out Cordero and Tatis Jr. on pretty changeups.
Wacha would deliver a quick 4th inning, working 1-2-3, inducing three ground outs.
The Cardinals would strand the bases loaded in the bottom of the 4th, after working three, two out, walks from Dex, KoWo, and Bader (who faced newly entered reliever Robert Stock).
With Wacha coming up in a 1-1 tie, with his pitch count climbing due to the walks, Mike Shildt wouldn’t pinch-hit for his pitcher, obviously wanting him to try and get thru 6.
This move would strand the bases loaded, as Wacha would strikeout swinging at a fastball from Paddack.
I guess the move paid off for the short time being, as Wacha would work a scoreless 5th inning, stranding Renfroe at 1B after a two out walk.
The Cards would get a big jolt of energy in the bottom of the inning. Leadoff Guy did his thing, ripping a liner thru the shift to RF, to bring Goldy up to bat.
Paddack would get two quick outs, getting Goldy to fly out to RF and DeJong to strikeout on a slider.
This is the moment I’ve been patiently waiting for to start the year, Swags first HR of the season.
Ozuna got a breaking pitch from Stock, pelting it 455 feet to Big Mac Land to give the Cards a lead of 3-1, making everyone in Big Mac Land instantly hungry, craving a nice juicy Big Mac. I’m sure Swags is wondering if he gets one too? Hmm.
Wacha wouldn’t make it out of the 6th, but he would leave recording two outs, which were two strikeouts.
Johnny G-Spot would relieve Wacha, inheriting two runners left on from Wacha (Tatis Jr. double, Reyes walk).
Gant forced Kinsler to pop out to Goldy for the final out, preserving the lead at 3-1.
Dex led off the bottom of the 6th, lining a double into the RF corner. Unfortunately, the Cards wouldn’t cash in to bring him into score, as KoWo struck out, Bader moved him to 3B with a sac bunt, and O’Neill (took over for Swags in the 6th inning) popped out to Tatis Jr. to end the inning.
The Padres would snatch this win from the jaws of defeat starting in the 7th, getting one back as Hoser hit a leadoff oppo taco shot on a Gant changeup that was left belt high.
But the wheels really fell off in the 8th when Miller entered from the pen. Miller would be plagued by twos, allowing two walks, giving up two 2-run HRs after each walk. Hedges hit the first to give the Padres the slight one run advantage at 4-3. Machado hit the nail in the coffin, lining one right over the LF wall, hitting the ads behind the wall to make it 6-3 Padres.
The Cards put a semi-rally together in the bottom of the 8th, put would come up short, plating only a run to make it a 6-4 deficit.
Stammen was brought in from the pen, giving up back to back hits to Dex and KoWo to get things started. Dex blooped a single into shallow LCF, and KoWo took a double down the RF line, getting touched by a young fan for a ground rule double. Stammen got a big first out, getting Harry to strikeout on a sinker.
Prince Sex O’Neill then tapped a slow bouncer to the left side of the infield, beating out a throw attempt from Machado, as Dex went on contact to come across to score to make it 6-4.
Stammen got outta hot water, striking out Carp looking at a sinker, and inducing a grounder on Goldy to second base after working a 3-2 count, representing the go-ahead run.
Dex capped off a solid day (minus the base running blunder) with a catch falling into the RF stands in foul territory on Tatis Jr.
Kirby Yates notched his 5th save of the season in the 9th, securing a 6-4 win and Padres series win.