Mikolas Pitches into the 7th, Infield Singles, Errors, and Lackluster Offense Prove Costly in 5-1 Clunker
Through the first 6 innings of this game, you got that feeling that the first run scored was going to win the game. Mikolas held the Braves to only 4 hits, 3 of which were infield singles, through the first 6 frames.
The Cardinals flashed some leather defensively in the top of the 1st, getting a sliding grab from Pham to rob Ender Inciarte of a leadoff base-hit. After a rare, two out walk, Nick Markakis would line out to Wong, who leaped up to take away a hit from the Braves RF.
Tyler Flowers recorded the first hit of the game for Atlanta, hitting an infield single off the finger tips of Mikolas to open up the top of the 2nd. Mikolas turned that around, inducing a quick 6-4-3 double-play ball. Mikolas then retired Camargo on a grounder to Garcia, ending his inning on 11 pitches.
The bats would force Julio Teheran to throw 43 pitches through his first two innings of work, managing only one hit, a double into LF off the bat of The Brah, Harrison Bader.
Teheran would work around back-to-back walks to start the game to Carp and Garcia, retiring the next three in-a-row to escape the early inning jam.
The 3rd inning zoomed by, as only 11 pitches were thrown to combine all 6 outs. Mikolas would work a 6 pitch inning, giving up a leadoff single to Dansby Swanson. Teheran sacrificed him to second, and Inciarte and Albies would be retired quickly to end the inning.
Julio Teheran would one up The Lizard King, tossing 5 pitches. Teheran retired Carp, Garcia, and Cafecíto all on fly balls to Inciarte.
The 4th inning was more of the same from both starters, matching each other with quick 1-2-3 innings.
Mikolas picked up his first strikeout of the game to end the 4th, getting Flowers looking at a curveball.
Teheran would again, one up Mikolas, retiring the side in order on 11 pitches. Swags and Yadi both grounded out to Swanson and Pham, for the second consecutive at bat, lined out to deep RF. I mention Pham’s fly out because his recent cold-stretch has been plagued with ground outs to the left side of the infield, this was a positive sight to see and one that will get him going moving forward.
Camargo would get the second infield single of the night for the Braves in the 5th inning, getting stranded after two groundouts off the bats of Swanson and Teheran.
Teheran would strikeout the Cardinals in order in the bottom half. Getting Wong, Bader, and Mikolas on 13 pitches. Both pitchers were grooving.
The Lizard King worked around his first sight of trouble in the top of the 6th, stranding two runners in scoring position. After getting Inciarte and Albies quick, Freeman would dribble an infield single down the 3B line, of course win a shifted infield. Markakis then reached on a throwing error from Garcia, who spiked a ball into the ground throwing it to Cafecíto, who isn’t gonna bail out many guys, let’s be honest. Cafecíto has to make that play. Mikolas then got Flowers, who appeared to be injured, to fly out to Swags to end the inning.
Carp, leadoff guy, lined a single into CF to begin the bottom half, only to watch the n
ext three batters do nothing. But hey, Greg Garcia moved him up to second on a ground out, the small things.
This is where the wheels fall off.
Mikolas started his 7th inning getting Acuña to ground out to Garcia. The next three followed with singles, loading the bases, ending the night for Mikolas. Yes, one of those singles was an infield single. The Braves had 10 hits and 5 were infield singles, baseball is strange.
Camargo, Swanson, and Santana (pinch-hitting) would all get one out singles, forcing Matheny’s hand, making him go to the lefty, Austin Gomber. Gomber would face Inciarte and only throw one pitch, a curveball that got away from him, hitting Inciarte in the top of the batting helmet, scoring Camargo. Mike Mayers was summoned immediately, dancing his way out of the bases loaded jam. Mayers got Albies to strikeout on a slider in the dirt and followed that getting Freeman to ground out to Wong.
Mikolas final line: (6.1 IP, 7 hits, 1R/1ER, 1 BB, 1K, 94 pitches)
Teheran final line: (6 IP, 2 hits, 0R/0ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 88 pitches)
With the veteran reliever Peter Moylan in, Pham would work a one out walk, forcing Snitker to go with a lefty, Jesse Biddle. Biddle did his job, getting Wong and Bader to fly out.
Jordan Hicks and Greg Holland would combine to throw the 8th inning. Hicks looked a bit off tonight, walking Markakis and then hitting Suzuki with a two strike pitch, putting the first two runners on. Hicks backed that up with a strikeout of Acuña on a 100 mph 4-seam fastball, a pitch we rarely see. Camargo would put the nail in the coffin, drilling a 2-RBI double to LF, scoring Markakis and Suzuki. Suzuki would score after Ozuna bobbled the ball, although he probably would’ve scored regardless.
Holland would come in for the final two outs, but not before Swanson would line an RBI single into RF. Bader would try and throw out Camargo at the plate, but he didn’t stand a chance and ultimately airmailed the throw home over Yadi, allowing Swanson to advance all the way to third. Holland then picked up back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning, getting Flaherty (pinch-hitting) and Inciarte on some sharp breaking balls.
The Cardinals would try and pull out some 9th inning magic, loading the bases with only one out. Swags and Yadi would get back-to-back singles and Pham would draw a walk. Snitker, now facing a save situation, turned to Winkler for the save. Winkler got Wong to ground into a, 4-6, fielder’s choice, scoring Swags. Winkler would end the game striking out Bader, securing the save and the 5-1 win for the Braves.
Luke Weaver (4-6, 4.59) gets the ball in game-two, facing off against the lefty, Max Fried* (0-2, 4.09). The Braves will have to make a roster move before tonight’s game to activate Fried.
First pitch from Busch Stadium at 6:15 c/t.
Game 80 is "in the books"
Thanks for reading, cheers!