Waino and Yadi as battery mates for the 307th time, sliding into sole possession of 3rd all time in MLB history, a tale as old as time. That’s what we got to watch tonight, and Waino didn’t let down. After trying to figure out the command issue on his sinker in the 1st (back-to-back walks to Cooper and Aguilar), he’d finally get some help from Wendle and García, as they both swung at the first offerings to strand a couple on the bases.
That’s when the bats would start scrapping some runs across for their ace. Pujols got things started, against the lefty Luzardo, of course. Pujols would poke a little bloop 2B down the RF line, off the end of the bat at 73.1mph exit velo. After an Edman groundout, Pauly Deez would come up with a 2-out rbi opportunity and not pass it up. DeJong would work a full count on Luzardo, then take the full count offering over the head of Anderson in LF for a 2B, coming off the bat at 109mph. Yadi would then send a slow tapper to Chisholm at second, who would make an errant throw to Cooper at first and the ball would get behind him and allow DeJong to score and Yadi to move into scoring position.
After a 17-pitch 2nd from Waino, the bats would bring in a couple more runs for more cushion in the top of the 3rd. Goldy and O’Neill would get things going on Luzardo, as Goldy would rip a 2B into the LCF gap and Prince followed that up with an rbi 1B, beating the shift into CF for a 3-0 lead, getting thrown out at second trying to extend it to a double. Pujols would get a little two out rally cooking next, roping a single into RF, beating the shift and getting by Chisholm at second (107.3mph exit velo). Pujols just can’t do any wrong vs LHP, what a treat it’s been to watch.
Tommy Three Legs then cashed in with a huge rbi triple into the RCF gap, making Pujols get on his horse, and man his legs had to feel like jello as he rounded third base. But he just beat the relay throw to make it a 4-0 game.
Waino would add 4 k’s to his line the 3rd-6th inning, 3 on the curve, 2 on the cutter and 1 on the sinker.
Tommy Three Legs would drive in his second run of the night in the top of the 5th, beating the shift from the left-side of the plate to drive in Prince Sex on a single. It seems like Edman has figured out things from the left-side of the plate, compared to his spring and the first few games of the regular season.
Teej-Helsley-Gio would toss the final 3.1IP, as McFarland would struggle a bit, as he’s looked off his first few outings of the year. But man, is Helsley something special, easily the most important arm down in that pen, if ya ask me. Helsley would relieve McFarland with 2 outs in the 7th, getting Cooper to strikeout on a filthy cutter at 91mph.
Helsley would add a couple more k’s to end the 8th, after a one out double given up to Wendle. And back to that lethal cutter he went, getting De La Cruz and Anderson to whiff on the pitch. Gio would come in to get some work in in the 9th in a non-save situation, working an easy 1-2-3, 11 pitch frame to hold on for a 5-1 Cardinals winner.
The Lizard King (1-0, 2.61) will get the ball tomorrow, matching up with former Cardinal, Sandy Alcantara (1-0, 3.18). First pitch from loanDepot park is scheduled for 5:40pm c/t.