Cards take three of four in Cincinnati with 3-1 win, Muñoz, Gallegos lead the way
Jack Flaherty and Anthony DeSclafani put on quite the strikeout show this afternoon, combining for 18 strikeouts in a combined 10.1 innings. (Flaherty 4.1IP / 7k, DeSclafani 6IP / 11k)
The Cardinals would get things rolling after Tommy Edman ended the bottom of the 1st inning by taking away an rbi hit from Josh VanMeter with two runners on base.
Prince Sex, leading off the top of the 2nd, dropped in a blooper in front of Winker, then wasted no time stealing his first base of the season to put himself in scoring position for Pauly Deez. Deez would ground out to Gennett, advancing O’Neill to 3B for Yairo Muñoz with one out. DeSclafani tried jamming Muñoz one too many times with his two strike offering, eventually losing the battle as Muñoz punched it over the head of Gennett (infield was playing in with the runner on 3rd) to drive in O’Neill to make it 1-0 Cards.
Knizner kept the line moving, smoking a base hit back up the middle, putting two runners on for Bader. With Bader at the dish, Muñoz would lead the way, getting an excellent jump off 2B to swipe 3B and Knizner followed his lead to execute the double steal. Bader proceeded to chop the ball on the ground to Suárez, who botched it and let it get under his glove (some older fans might say if he had sleeves on, he never would’ve committed the error) for a costly error. Muñoz would score on the play to make it 2-0 Cards. Bader would steal the 4th Cardinals base of the inning after reaching on the Suárez error (O’Neill, Muñoz, Knizner, Bader), but be left stranded.
After that, both pitchers would settle into an absolute groove until Flaherty’s bottom of the 5th. The Reds would load the bases on Flaherty with the first three men they sent to the plate. Winker doubled on a shallow fly ball to Dex, Votto singled on a liner to Prince Sex, and Suárez would get drilled with a two-seam fastball that ran too far in. Puig would pop out (3 pop outs today) into an infield fly rule, bringing an end to Flaherty’s afternoon with lefties due up. Flaherty wasn’t the happiest of campers after being removed from the game, but Shildt was making the 100% correct move– and it showed.
Giovanny Gallegos would come into the game and do Giovanny Gallegos things– picking up four strikeouts in 1.2IP. He would get VanMeter and Gennett (back door slider) to strand the bases juiced with strikeouts. Gallegos would keep the strikeouts pumping next inning, striking out Peraza and Dietrich (pinch-hitting) both looking, then getting Lavarnway to fly out to Haaaaaarry for the final out.
Sorry, but I had to double up the love for Gio!!
The Cardinals pulled a Cardinals in the top of the 7th vs Sims, as Muñoz would rip a leadoff triple off the wall in LCF, only to get left standing on 3B. Classic. Knizner would ground out to Suárez, Bader would pop out to Gennett in shallow RF, Cafecíto (pinch-hitting) walked, and Edman would strikeout for the third time.
Miller would toss a 1-2-3 bottom of the 7th, picking up back-to-back strikeouts on Votto and Suárez. And guess what? He made Votto look absolutely silly for the third different time this series. He also threw one of the best back foot sliders for strike three to Suárez to end the inning.
Ervin would cut the lead in half with a pinch-hit HR off Miller with one out in the 8th, forcing Shildt to go back to his pen with John Gant. G-Spot found his groove after having some tough outings recently, getting two weak ground outs.
Muñoz added an insurance run off Iglesias in the 9th, ripping his 2nd HR of the season, a solo shot to LF (DeJong would be caught stealing 2B right before this) to make it 3-1.
Tsunami would shut the door for his 8th save of the season, tossing 19 pitches, striking out Votto looking on high 94mph paint on the outside corner.
With the win, the Cardinals (51-47) head to Pittsburgh on a happy flight to take on the Pirates (46-52) for a four-game set. Daniel Ponce de Leon (1-0, 2.80) gets the ball in game-one, matching up against Trevor Williams (3-3, 5.17). First pitch from PNC 6:05pm c/t.