Baseball is back, we made it!!!! I didn’t want to celebrate this fully until the game actually happened, that’s how weird things have been lately for all of us. Anyway, let’s get down to this.
The top of the 1st inning was the best thing you could’ve possibly asked for as a fan. 6 runs right out the gate? Uhm, sign me up every time? Please. Especially against an arm like Luis Castillo.
Castillo started his afternoon off getting the leadoff man, Tommy Edman, to groundout to India (making his major league debut at 2B). After that, five straight Cardinals would reach base. Goldy would double to RF, Arenado would reach on an infield single to India at 2B to put runners on the corners for DeJong.
Pauly would get jammed on a fastball from Castillo, poking into RF to drive in the first run of the season to make it 1-0 Cardinals.
Castillo kept getting in trouble, plunking O’Neill with a pitch to load the bases for Yadi.
Yadi would rip a ground ball to Suárez, playing SS instead of 3B, who misplayed the grounder as it snuck past him to LF, allowing Arenado and DeJong to score to make it 3-0 Cardinals.
This is when the 1st inning reached legendary hype!! A Dylan Carlson 3-run nuke shot his first at bat of the season? No way! Carlson would smoke a 95mph fastball from Castillo off the RF foul pole to drive in three to make it 6-0 Cardinals without Flaherty even toeing the mound yet.
Captain Jack had his best stuff working the first three innings of his short outing, if best stuff is what you wanna call it? There were certain pitches that just seemed like he didn’t have quite a feel for, although his slider seemed exceptional! It also seemed like the mound at Great American was a little wonky and his clear caught a time or two. All in all, it’s nothing to worry about with Jack.
Jesse Winker led the game off for the Reds in the bottom of the 1st with a double to RF, and would eventually score on a wild pitch with Votto at the dish to make it a 6-1 game in the bottom of the 1st. Under bettors had to be pulling their hair out.
The Cards would tack on a run in the top of the 2nd when Arenado cashed in on his first Cardinals RBI. Goldy would reach on an infield single and advance to 2B on a throwing error from Suárez. Arenado then ripped an RBI single into CF against a shifted infield to make it 7-1 Cardinals.
Flaherty would throw his best inning in the bottom of the 2nd, working a 1-2-3 inning on 17 pitches while striking out two to end the inning. Flaherty’s slider was looking groovy today, as he got Senzel on a good one for the second out of the bottom of the 2nd. Flaherty even showed awesome command as he was throwing dots on the edges, as you could see in the strikeout of India looking at a fastball to end the inning.
The Reds would cut into the Cardinals lead in the bottom of the 3rd with a two out two-run bomb from Castellanos, but it wouldn’t matter as the Cards would answer back with a huge 4 run top of the 4th to make it 11-3.
Flaherty would draw a walk vs Castillo, his first of two of the day. Edman would follow up with an infield single, Goldy with an RBI single to score Flaherty, Edman scoring on a WP with Arenado at the plate, and Prince Sex connecting with a 2-run bomb to LF off the reliever Bedrosion to make it 11-3. Bedrosion hung a breaking ball and O’Neill didn’t hesitate before unloading.
The Reds bullpen (Romano, Fulmer, Doolittle) shut down the Cards the rest of the way, allowing just one hit. A 9th inning double to Goldy.
The Cards pen (Webb, Helsley, Cabrera, Gallegos, Reyes) would work 4.2 scoreless innings, striking out 4, walking 3, allowing 4 hits.
Helsley had a shaky outing but escaped trouble with a crazy line out to O’Neill, who would double off Stephenson at 2B to get out of a bases loaded jam with no damage.
Gallegos and Reyes would shut things down the final two innings, as Gallegos picked up the win, striking out two in the 8th. Gio would get Farmer (pinch-hitting) to start things off with a slider and then end the inning getting Winker to swing and miss at a 94mph heater.
Alex Reyes would get the 9th inning in a non-save situation with an 11-6 lead. I would’ve been fine seeing Hicks get this spot with the part of the Reds lineup due up (Castellanos, Votto, Suárez) but I was completely fine seeing Reyes get the nod. The Reyes we’ve all missed came out in the games final at bat, as Reyes pumped some 97mph gas past Aquino with runners on the corners to wrap up the game.
Both starters would get roughed up, as Gallegos earned the win in relief.
Uncle Charlie vs Tyler Mahle Saturday afternoon with the off-day tomorrow. First pitch at 3:10 CT. I’m so ready to watch some Adam Wainwright curveballs and another Cardinals win.
Cheers to an excellent 2021 season