Steven Matz would get the ball tonight, starting his first game of the season since 05/22, and he was straight up DEALIN!! Matz came out and was hitting 95-97mph with his sinker, consistently. He would end his first inning of work getting his first of seven strikeouts, getting Votto to swing at a 96mph sinker.
The Cards bats wouldn’t strike vs Mike Minor until the top of the 3rd, stranding three runners on base after the first two innings. Four consecutive hits is how they’d open up the 3rd, getting things started with the top of the order in Dylan Carlson, who doubled into the LF corner.
Bro would channel that inner energy next, going to the opposite field for an rbi single, his second time doing so in back to back games, a great sign to see. With Goldy at the dish, O’Neill would swipe 2B for his 7th stolen base of the season.
Goldy then delivered with an rbi 1B to LF for his 1,000th career rbi, scoring Bro to make it a 2-0 Cards lead.
The Cards would end up stranding the bases loaded with only one out, as Donovan grounded into a 1-2 force out and Sosa would strikeout for the second time (Minor’s only two k’s up to this point).
The Reds would strike back to tie things up in the bottom half of the 3rd, as Brandon Drury would collect a two-run double to LCF with one out to tie the game at 2-2. After that, he went into straight savage mode.
The Cardinals would answer right back with a three run frame in the top of the 4th, getting things started with a HBP of Carlson off the top of his left foot. Bro followed that up with a first pitch swinging nuke, blasting a two-run shot to dead CF, his 5th of the season. And before ya could even collect your thoughts from that bomb, Goldy would launch his 22nd of the season, going back to back with O’Neill to open it up to a 5-2 lead.
Matz would strikeout six of the next nine he would face, allowing just a single to Solano. Matz would come out of this one prematurely after spraining his left knee on a slow tapped grounder up the first base line from Votto. A super unfortunate break for the Cardinals, but even more so for Matz in his first start back in over two months.
Tommy Edman drove in the only other run of the game for the Cardinals, after getting treated like Barry Bonds his previous two plate appearances with intentional walks, with and rbi double to score Arenado who also doubled.
Before I get into the finish, just wanna shoutout the hustle from Albert Pujols tonight. A super ballsy tag from 1B to 2B on a deep fly to CF and a double to LF.
Gio and Helsley would get the final 2.2IP, each throwing 1.1IP. Gio would need 30 pitches to record his four outs, walking one and striking out one. Helsley would come in the 8th to get the final out, getting Moustakas (pinch-hitting) to lineout softly to Edman shifted in the OF.
Helsley straight up dominated the 9th, striking out the side on 16 pitches, as he was hitting 102-103mph with his heater. Reynolds would strikeout on 102mph gas, India struck out on 101mph gas, and Drury would be the final casualty, striking out on a filthy 88mph slider.
The Cardinals look to win the series tomorrow afternoon, sending Miles Mikolas (7-7, 2.54) to the bump vs Tyler Mahle (3-7, 4.48). First pitch from GABP is scheduled for 12:40pm c/t.