Pham Breaks Out for 3 RBI’s, Yadi is Clutch, as the Lizard King Picks up his 9th Victory of ‘18
What a night it was; Independence Day, bats rattling 13 hits, Bud Light’s flowing through the veins, the Lizard King dressed in cowboy attire, and to cap it off, a huge series win vs a first place ball club.
Matt Carpenter, leadoff guy, followed suit for the third consecutive night, starting the game with a base-hit, this time a double off the first base bag that rolled into RF. And for the second consecutive night, the Cardinals would strand their leadoff guy on base.
Patrick Corbin got Pham to ground out sharply to the left side, not being able to advance Carp to third. Corbin went to his best pitch for the next two outs, getting Cafecíto and Swags to strikeout on the slider to end the inning.
The D-backs would make Mikolas work around danger his first inning of work, as Jay would hit a leadoff single to LF and Goldy would draw a walk. Mikolas then went in on the hands of Jake Lamb with a slider to induce an infield fly rule, getting him to pop out to Muñoz. David Peralta would battle for 7 pitches next, finally falling victim to the high cheese at 95 mph. Descalso would work a walk to load the bases for Marte, as he would line out softly to Muñoz to strand the bases juiced.
Over the next two innings, Corbin would throw 39 pitches, allowing no runs on one base-hit, a single to RF off the bat of the Lizard King, his second hit of the season, we all remember the first.
Mikolas on the other hand would only need 25 pitches to work through the 2nd and 3rd innings, allowing three singles, striking out two. Mikolas would end a 10 pitch 2nd inning by striking out Jay with a bender in the dirt, the second one he threw Jay in-a-row, this one a little further down in the zone.
The Lizard King would blow away Goldy to open up the bottom of the 3rd, throwing 3 pitches to earn the punch out on a 96 mph heater. Yairo Muñoz showed off his 3B skills next, taking away a base-hit from Jake Lamb. The Cardinals had a shift on the right-side of the infield for Lamb and Muñoz was the only defender on the left-side and he made a fine backhand stop and throw for the second out.
Peralta and Descalso followed that up with back-to-back two out singles. Ketel Marte would put good wood on a Mikolas fastball, sending it to deep CF, as Pham would get on his horse and range back to the warning track for the final out.
Patrick Corbin would mow through the Cardinals order in the 4th inning, giving up a two out double down the LF line to Harrison “the Harry” Bader. Corbin ended his inning on his 11th offering, getting Muñoz to ground out to Marte.
The D-backs would plate two runs for their starter in the bottom half, again, scoring both runs with two outs, shocker. Jarrod Dyson opened the inning with a leadoff walk. Mathis would fly out to Bader next and Corbin would sac-bunt him up to second base. Jon Jay came through next with the classic Jon Jay slap single to LF. Ozuna would field the ball, and come up throwing home as Dyson was being waved around third to score. Expect Dyson slipped, and Carp cut the throw off, and instead of holding onto the ball, he threw it over the head of Gyorko at second base. I guess he thought there was a chance to get Jay, even though it looked like Jay was already standing at second. The error was the 70th of the season for the Cardinals.
With first base open and two away, Mikolas would intentionally walk Goldy to bring in Lamb. Lamb would make the most of the error, lining an RBI single up the middle, scoring Jay to make it 2-0 D-backs.
The Cardinals would make sure and get one of those runs back in the top of the 5th. Corbin would set down Mikolas for his 4th strikeout of the night. Carp, leadoff guy, did his thing next, lining a sinking double into RF, his second two bagger of the night. This is when Tommy Pham went complete beast mode. Pham (3-5, 3 RBI) would rope an RBI single back up the middle to score Carp, making it 2-1 D-backs. Ozuna would strikeout to end the inning, stranding Pham on third.
Mikolas would work his most efficient inning in the bottom of the 5th, needing only 7 pitches to get back to the dugout. Descalso and Marte would fly out and Dyson would weakly ground out back to Mikolas.
Again, Corbin would keep matching Mikolas, needing only 10 pitches to get out of the top of the 6th. After Yadi opened the inning with an infield single, Trap House would ground back to Corbin, who started the 1-4-3 double-play. Corbin’s night ended on a strikeout, getting Bader swinging at the slider.
Mikolas would work his last inning in the bottom of the 6th, making sure to keep the score at 2-1. Mikolas would set down the first two (Mathis & Owings) to bring up the top of the order in Jon Jay. Jay would deliver his third single of the night, extending the inning to the always dangerous, Paul Goldschmidt. Goldy would get under the ball, sending it to LF for the final out.
Lizard King’s final line: (6 IP, 7 hits, 2r/2er, 4 bb, 3 k’s, 99 pitches)
The 5 run 7th:
With Corbin’s night through, Lovullo would turn to a trusted piece in his pen, Yoshihisa Hirano.
Yairo Muñoz didn’t care about that, as he led off the inning with a solo HR to the deep part of RCF, tying the game 2-2. The part of the park with the awesome pool, ya know? Tyler O’Neill would grab a bat and hit for Mikolas, reaching base safely on a fielding error from Marte. Carp would then tap a ball in front of the plate, like a swinging bunt so to say, moving O’Neill into scoring position with one out. Pham then did what he did back in the 5th, smoked a ball up the middle for an RBI single, scoring O’Neill to give the Cards a 3-2 lead. Cafecíto would fly out to Jay, bringing in Swags. Ozuna came through with a base-hit to LF, and Lovullo would make the move to ex-Cardinal reliever, Fernando Salas. Fun fact, Salas led the 2011 Cardinals in saves with 24.
Salas would come in and immediately offer a 3-run yak-shot to Yadi, swinging at the first offering. Yadi took the fastball over the RF wall to make it 6-2 Cardinals.
Greg Holland would get the 7th inning, and Matheny had a short leash for his reliever. Something we aren’t accustomed to seeing, love it. Holland would allow a leadoff walk to Lamb and Peralta followed with a single to RF. With two runners on, Matheny would turn to his young-gun, Jordan Hicks, who is lights out with inherited runners on base. Descalso would reach base on Carp’s second error of the contest, this one coming with Carp playing 1B. Carp would try and force the runner at second on a grounder, throwing a wild one past Muñoz at the bag, making it 6-3 Cardinals. Hicks didn’t let it effect him, as he induced a huge 6-4-3 double-play off the bat of Marte, scoring Peralta on the play to make it 6-4.
AJ Pollock, newly entered for the injured Dyson, would get drilled by a 104 mph sinker from Hicks. Hicks would end the inning getting Mathis looking at an outside slider, just catching the corner of the plate.
The Cardinals would add two insurance runs in the top of the 8th. Bader opened the inning with a single to CF and swiped his 8th base of the season with Muñoz batting. Salas would hit Muñoz with a pitch, ending his night, as Jorge De La Rosa would come in to finish the inning. Kolten Wong would lay down a perfect sac-bunt down the 3B line to move Muñoz over. Carp, leadoff guy, would cash in, driving the ball to RF for an RBI single. Tommy Pham kept his bat rolling, lining an RBI double down the RF line, scoring Muñoz to make it 8-4. Jordan Hicks would get his first career at bat, striking out, but he had some pretty good hacks.
Jordan Hicks would come back out for the bottom of the 8th, picking up two more strikeouts, working a 1-2-3 inning. Hicks would strike out Murphy on a slider to start the inning after throwing him four straight sinkers before giving him the filth. Jay would line out to Trap House at the hot corner for the second out. And Hicks would strikeout Goldy on a 101 mph sinker low and in on the hands.
Bud Norris would throw the final inning of the night, striking out the first two batters he faced. Norris got Lamb and Peralta both looking at low fastballs. With Descalso batting, the trainers would come out and visit with Norris who appeared to be shaking his right hand. Norris would stay in, walking Descalso. Marte would then offer at the first pitch, grounding out to Wong to end the game for a Cardinals win.
The Cardinals (44-41) head to the Bay for a four-game weekend series with the Giants (45-43). Luke Weaver (4-7, 5.16) will get the ball in game-one, taking on the crafty veteran, dread-head machine, Johnny Cueto (3-0, 0.84). This is Cueto’s first start since 04/28 vs LAD. First pitch from AT&T Park is at 9:15 c/t.
Thanks for reading this extremely long recap, cheers!
Game 85 in is the books