Hello, folks. This afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals, led by starting pitcher Miles Mikolas, took Target Field this afternoon in a matchup against Our Old Friend™ Lance Lynn. Here’s how things went down.
In the top of the first inning, the Cardinals offense struck first (I mean, obviously; like, I assume if you care enough to read a recap of a specific May baseball game, you know baseball well enough that the visiting team—assuming you know the Cardinals don’t play their home games at Target Field—bats first, and thus is the only team capable of striking first in the top of the first inning). Dexter Fowler, whose offensive struggles have been a source of loud consternation among fans, drove in Jose Martinez (whose struggles have been a bit quieter) and Tommy Pham (who is a perfect baseball gentleman), giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.
The Cardinals gave back a run in the bottom frame, when, with two runners on, Max Kepler singled to right field, scoring Brian Dozier, while Eddie Rosario advanced from second to third on an error by Dexter Fowler—this wasn’t quite a offense giveth, defense taketh away, as the run would have scored regardless and Fowler drove in two but still, not great for a player struggling. Luckily, this was all the damage that would be done. 2-1 Cardinals.
In the second inning, each team scored again, with Jose Martinez driving in Francisco Pena in the top half and with Joe Mauer driving in Byron Buxton in the bottom half. Five runs, all scored in singles. To quote a David Bowie album title, the teams focused on going Station to Station, but as it gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead, it was all Hunky Dory with me.
Scoring quieted down for a couple innings, but in the top of the 5th, Paul DeJong, one of the great Young Americans (I’ll stop now) in baseball, doubled to deep right, scoring Jose Martinez.
Noted Old Friend Lance Lynn only made it through three innings, allowing four hits and four walks while striking out five. His control issues seem to still be a thing. Miles Mikolas, who walked two and struck out two, only made it 4 2/3 innings, making him ineligible for the win, which is a dumb statistic regardless of how it affects Mikolas. As the two were linked throughout free agency, Mikolas being Lynn’s de facto (cost-effective) replacement, Mikolas is surely happy to have outdueled the pitcher to whom he will inevitably be compared.
In the bottom of the sixth, with tenured reliever Matt Bowman on the mound, Twins slugger Logan Morrison, who has famously struggled this season after signing a one-year, (at the time, considered to be a) bargain-bin contract, went yard to make the score 4-3 Cardinals. The lead was narrowed, but no worries, the Cardinals would just have to depend on *inches closer* their bullpen. Goody.
The Cardinals didn’t waste much time adding to their lead in the top of the seventh. Jedd Gyorko singled to score Paul DeJong and advance Dexter Fowler to third, and later, the much-maligned Matt Carpenter doubled to score Fowler and advance Gyorko. While Gyorko was stranded on third, the Cardinals had a rather serious seventh. Someone allegedly named Ryan Pressly allowed both earned runs. 6-3 Cardinals.
Remember earlier when I called Tommy Pham “a perfect baseball gentleman”? As if one needed further proof, he hit a solo home run in the eighth off formerly extremely good/more often not all that good pitcher Phil Hughes to make the game, for the time being, save opportunity-proof.
In the bottom of the eighth, the game became considerably, dare I say infinitely, more save opportunity-able, as the Twins scored two runs. Logan Morrison, who is suddenly over the Mendoza line, singled off Greg Holland, at which point the Cardinals went to Bud Norris. And while a Bud Norris wild pitch scored an inherited runner, he ultimately settled down and earned the five-out save, as the Cardinals won 7-5. Jordan Hicks got the win after pitching an inning and allowing a walk. Whatever. The win rule is stupid. Cardinals split.