Cardinals End Four-Game Skid as Bats Explode Early with Four Run 1st, Tsunami Finds His Groove in 6-3 Win
The Cardinals bats came to life in the 1st inning vs Robbie Ray, plating four runs for Carlos Martínez before he even took the mound. Part of me wonders if Mozeliak’s comments sparked a little fire for these guys. By the way, yesterday was a weird day for all of us on Cards Twitter, I think we are all glad it’s behind us now.
Matt Carpenter, leadoff guy, smacked the first pitch of the game from Ray down the RF line into the corner for a double. Tommy Pham drew a walk and Tyler O’Neill, newly recalled for Fowler, who is on paternity leave, lined a single into LF to load the bases for Swags Ozuna. Ozuna would get rung up on a low fastball from home plate umpire, Andy Fletcher.
Yadi then flared a 2-run single into shallow RF, scoring Carp and Pham to make it 2-0. Trap House Gyorko got in on the action, hitting an RBI single into CF, scoring O’Neill. Yairo Muñoz then drove an RBI double to deep RF, over Jay’s head, scoring Yadi. Gyorko would be thrown out at home on the play, 9-4-2 on the putout and Muñoz would advance to third. Robbie Ray would finally put an end to the monster inning, getting Wong to ground out to Goldschmidt with the Cardinals on top 4-0.
Carlos Martínez would run into a little blip of his own in the bottom of the 1st, as the first three D-backs would reach base. Jon Jay got things started with a line drive down to Gyorko at 3B, who almost made a great play, for an infield single. With Goldschmidt batting, Tsunami would throw a wild pitch and Jay would take second. Goldschmidt (4-4) then lined his first of four singles into RF, bringing in Jake Lamb. Lamb connected for an RBI single to RF, scoring Jay to make it 4-1 Cardinals.
Tsunami buckled down from then on, retiring the next 7 he faced. Tsunami picked up his first of seven strikeouts on David Peralta, getting the LF’er to swing at the slider. The slider was a big pitch for Carlos tonight.
Tsunami even got in on the offensive action, leading off the top of the 2nd with a ground-rule double to RCF. Robbie Ray then got back-to-back k’s of Carp and Pham to bring in O’Neill, who flew out to CF, stranding Carlos at second.
Carlos had three quick innings ahead of him, as he worked a 1-2-3 2nd inning, ending the inning with back-to-back k’s of Ahmed and Ray, both going down on the slider. Ahmed was caught looking on a beauty of a front door slider, and I have to admit, front door sliders are easily my weakness.
Robbie Ray found his groove too, working two consecutive 1-2-3 innings on 23 pitches. Ray picked up his 4th and 5th k’s of the evening in the 4th, getting Muñoz on a slider and Tsunami on a fastball. At this point we were all probably thinking, “the Cardinals offense is doing that thing again.”
Carlos traded scoreless innings in the 3rd and 4th to match Ray, also picking up his 5th strikeout to end the bottom of the 4th. Carlos got Jay to swing at an excellent slider for the first out in the 3rd, and Goldschmidt followed that with his second single of the night, into LF. Tsunami then induced a 3-6-1 double-play ball off the bat of Jake Lamb, getting the 3B to swing at the first offering, ending the inning. Carlos then worked around a one out triple in the 4th, off the bat of David Peralta. Peralta lined a ball into the RCF gap and it rolled all the way to the 413 marker, as he stumbled around the bases to make it all the way to third. Carlos got Descalso to pop up to Gyorko, working in on his hands with the cutter, a legitimate weapon for him vs left-handed batters. Peralta would be left stranded as Carlos picked up his 5th punch out, blowing a heater by Murphy to end the 4th.
Tommy Pham would pick up a one out single in the top of the 5th, but Ray would pick up back-to-back strikeouts on O’Neill and Swags to end the inning. The D-backs would plate a run in their half, cutting into the 4-1 deficit. Ahmed would work a leadoff walk, honestly probably should’ve been rung up for a strikeout, and Ray would sac him over with a bunt. Jay then grounded out to Gyorko, keeping Ahmed at second, not allowing him to move up the extra base. But, that didn’t matter because Paul Goldschmidt exists, and he drove an RBI single to CF, scoring Ahmed to make it 4-2 Cardinals. Kolten Wong ended the inning robbing Lamb of a base-hit, ranging deep to his left onto the OF grass.
The Cardinals would run Ray from this game after 7 pitches in the top of the 6th. Yadi and Trap House went back-to-back with solo taters to make it 6-2 Cardinals. Yadi sent his to deep LF and Trap House lined his barely over the wall in RF. Andrew Chafin would come in relief, getting three ground ball outs to end the inning.
Carlos would work his final inning in the 6th, beginning and ending his inning with a strikeout. AJ Pollock, activated off the DL before tonight’s game, struck out swinging on a fastball. Peralta would fly out to Pham and Descalso would work a two out walk. Carlos then recorded his seventh and final strikeout of the game, getting Murphy on the fastball for the second time.
Tsunami’s final line: (6IP, 6 hits, 2r/2er, 2 bb, 7 k’s, 96 pitches)
Mike Mayers would work the 7th inning for the bullpen, needing only 12 pitches and a sick double-play ball to end the inning. After Marte lined a one out single to CF, Mayers induced a 6-4-3 double-play on Jay, and Wong had an absolutely filthy turn, but what’s new?
Greg Holland was tasked with the 8th inning, as Goldschmidt welcomed him to the game with his fourth single of the night. Lamb grounded into a 4-6 fielder’s choice and Pollock followed doing the same. Expect on Pollock’s play, Wong would attempt to throw him out at 1B for the double-play, sending a wild one past Carp for an error. Peralta would cash in on the mistake, hitting an RBI single to RF to make it 6-3 Cardinals. Holland then got Chris Owings (pinch-hitting) to fly out to the warning track in LF, breathing a deep sigh of relief I’m sure.
Bud Norris would retire the side in order in the bottom of the 9th to pick up his 16th save of the season. Murphy would fly out to RF, Ahmed would strikeout on the cutter, and Marte would ground out to SS to end the game. With the win, the Cardinals snap a four-game losing streak.
Jack Flaherty (3-3, 2.92) gets the ball in game-two from the desert, as he will be going against the veteran, Zack Greinke (8-5, 3.41). First pitch 8:40 c/t (darn you west coast baseball).
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 83 is in the books