Cardinals start a three-game series with the team formely known as the Florida Marlins tonight. Martinez is back! Yadi is back! Let’s have some fun!
Due to Fox Sports 1 hosting the game on their network, I had to drive across town to my grandfather’s home to watch the game. So I had the pleasure of Mike Shannon’s voice narrating the opening frame. I have no idea what he said. Luckily for me this first chunk of baseball was uneventful.
I have arrived at Grandpa Jim’s house.
Carlos Martinez walks three Marlins but is able to get out of the inning unscathed.
Bottom of the fourth brings with it the continuing hot streak of Marcell Ozuna with a signature single from the right-handed slugger (?) and the return of Yadier Molina at the plate (woo Yadi’s back!) Molina is able to extend the count in typical Yadi fashion including a wild pitch that moves Ozuna to second. While Tom Verducci, Fox Sports 1 Color Commentator for Tuesday’s game, tries his best Tony Romo impression predicting Yadi will hit an opposite field hit to right, the Cardinals catcher drives in Ozuna by pulling the ball to left field for the Cardinals’ first run of the game. Cardinals 1-0.
Carlos has a weird inning. He loads up the bases but is able to get a double play allowing the Marlins to score one run. With a runner on third, a Derek Dietrich-comebacker knocks Carlos on his bum and a lackadaisical throw from Carlos’s knees allows the runner to score from third. Marlins take their first lead of the game. 2-1 Marlins.
One thing I did hear from Mike Shannon’s narration of the bottom of the first was Matt Carpenter’s lead-off single and eventual base running blunder that left him doubled up at first. Well, oh how the times have changed since the first inning. Matt Carpenter pulls a base hit into right field and makes a great base running decision by going from first to third on a Jose Martinez single. Pham comes up with two on and no out but grounds into the all-too-common-for-this-game double play scoring Carpenter from third. Cardinals tie the game up at two heading into the fourth.
Carlos goes 1-2-3. Strikes out two. Doesn’t walk anybody. Thank goodness. But that’s it for Carlos. Matheny pulls him after throwing 75 pitches in four innings allowing two earned runs on four hits. He strikes out five and walks five (shrug).
Easy inning for Marlins’ starter Jose Urena who after allowing seven hits in his first three innings matches Carlos’ 1-2-3 top of the frame. Tie game.
Hey, who’s this fella relieving Carlos? Well that’s none other than the Cardinals most recent call-up Preston Guilmet! It’s the 30-year-old’s first MLB appearance since 2015. Not a great first appearance by our new friend Preston. A Justin Bour sac-fly knocks in another Marlin’s run after Guilmet allowed a double and a single earlier in the inning. Brian Anderson then takes our new acquaintance Preston opposite field for a two run jack. Marlins plate three runs in the inning on three hits. Our new random-person-who-I’ve-never-met Preston challenges Greg Holland for least successful Cardinals’ debut of 2018.
Hey, lead off walk by Luke Voit, that usually leads to something good! Oh hey! Matt Carpenter has his third hit of the game! Hey, hey look! Jose Martinez loads the bases with a base hit to the left side! Oh okay. Fielder’s choice by Pham but hey, it leads to a run! ‘Big Bear’ Ozuna continues to rack and hits a laser beam to left field! Martinez scores from second and it’s back to being a one-run game! Tommy Pham gets picked off at third. Not good, not going to sugar coat it. That’s my guy but what the heck Tommy?! Yadi grounds out to end the inning. 5-4 Marlins.
Lefty Austin Gomber comes into the game and promptly gives up a 400-foot solo dinger to JT Riddle for his second HR of the year. The Marlins are apparently an offensive juggernaut. Oh wait, you’re telling me that they have the fewest runs scored in baseball this season, Baseball-Reference? Got it. Oh they already have two home runs tonight they must be at least hitting a lot of those? Oh no, Baseball-Reference is telling me they have the fewest in baseball. A short sac-fly to Matt Carpenter (yeah, you read that right) by Derek Dietrich adds to the Marlins’ run total.
Cardinals get back-to-back hits to start the inning from Dex and Munoz. Kolten Wong attempts a drag bunt to move the runners over but fails. Replay shows while attempting the bunt, Wong’s bat actually makes contact with the ball outside of the batter’s box, resulting in an out. Whatever. One of those nights. After a promising start to the inning, Bader and Carpenter strike out back-to-back to end a less than spectacular sixth for the Birds. 7-4 Marlins.
Tyler Lyons and his less than appealing ERA of 6.39 enter the game. And you know what? Tyler pitched great. How dare you think that he wouldn’t. He walks one but it doesn’t phase him. Tyler does his job and walks off the field with his head held high. Stretch time.
Drew Steckenrider comes into the game and throws a seven-pitch inning. Steckenrider? I hardly know her! Get it because the dumb joke your shallow friend makes and also he pitched so few pitches? I’ll see myself out. Still 7-4 Marlins.
Sam Tuivailala walks the lead off man, which is not good when you’re on this side of things. Marlins steal second. A routine ground ball to Carpenter leads to a lame-duck throw and Martinez coming off the bag at first to get it. Everyone’s safe. Tui luckily bobs and weaves his way out of a sticky situation. Marlins leave runners on the corners.
54-year-old Brad Ziegler gets the Cardinals offense to go 1-2-3. He’s actually 38 but if didn’t tell you, you would have probably believed me. 7-4 Marlins.
Brian Anderson reaches first after another Cardinals’ error. Remember when your little league coach would yell at you to catch the ball first and then make the tag? Well, that’s exactly what Jose Martinez did on a not-so-great throw from Munoz. Despite that, John Brebbia retires the side as the Marlins leave two on base.
Marlins closer Kyle Barraclough (pronounced BEAR-CLAW) makes easy work of the Cardinals in the bottom of the ninth. Cardinals out hit the Marlins 12-9 but fall 7-4 to the Fish.
- Matt Carpenter: 3-for-5, one run scored
- Marcell Ozuna: 3-for-4, one run scored and one RBI
The “Let’s play better defense and next time I’ll put you in the ‘good’ category”
- Jose Martinez: 2-for-4, one run scored
The “Preston Guilmert”
- Preston Guilmert: one-inning pitched, three hits, three earned runs and one home run allowed in his Cardinals debut.
Carlos Martinez looked rusty Tuesday night. He regressed to his early season form of walking way too many batters. He struck out five Marlins but also walked five including three in one inning!
The two Cardinals’ errors that show up in the box score were bad, but they were not as detrimental as the two base running errors that don’t show in the box score. Matt Carpenter, who makes these mistake way to often it seems, was doubled up at first base to end the first inning. Then, during a fifth inning rally, Tommy Pham gets picked off at third base. Without these simple fundamental errors, it’s possible the Cardinal’s make this a close game and I like there chances against one of the worst teams in baseball in that situation. But, sloppy baseball leads to a series opening loss to a team with a 21-39 record.
Cardinals send Jack Flaherty (2-1) to the mound to face off against Wei-Yin Chin (1-3) tomorrow night at Busch. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m.
By the way, hey y’all! My name is Mike Ritter and I have recently joined STL Bullpen. I look forward to recapping games and talking a little Cardinals baseball on here. I am a former weatherman, I love movies and I hate Steak’n’Shake french fries. You can follow me on Twitter @MikeSteveRitter.