Between Tuesday night’s dud of a performance, and today’s news that Alex Reyes will miss the remainder of the season with a torn tendon, it’s been a rough 24 hours for the St. Louis Cardinals. Fortunately with baseball, there’s always another game the next day.
Tonight marks the second game of a nine game stretch for the Cardinals that features the Marlins, Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres. I, uh, would strongly recommend racking up some wins now before things toughen up for the rest of June.
Here are the lineups:
(Note: Lewis Brinson, who came over from Milwaukee in the Christian Yelich trade, replaced JB Shuck in CF and the 8th spot at the last minute)
First inning: Jack Flaherty gets the start for the Cardinals, and gets Starlin Castro to pop out to shallow left on the first pitch of the game. He then works around a two out hit by pitch of J.T. Realmuto to keep the Marlins off the board.
Flaherty’s counterpart tonight is 32-year-old lefty Wei-Yin Chen. He retired the first two batters, allowed a base hit to Jose Martinez, and got Marcell Ozuna to ground out to end the frame. Scoreless after one.
Second inning: The Cardinals’ defense rears its ugly head in this inning, as a one-out grounder from Miguel Rojas went right through the legs of Yairo Munoz. Two batters later, Rojas decided to test Marcell Ozuna’s arm in left field on another base hit, and reached third on Ozuna’s high throw. Luckily, a soft grounder from Chen allowed the Cardinals to escape the inning without any damage.
Jedd Gyorko lined a double over the glove of Lewis Brinson in center with one out, but the bottom half of the Cardinal lineup couldn’t bring him home. Flaherty had a pretty good at bat with two on and two out, but grounded out to third to end the frame.
Third inning: There’s a somber moment at Busch Stadium between innings, as Cardinals fans in attendance have received word that legendary Cardinal Red Schoendienst has passed away at the age of 95. Cardinals players removed their hats and quietly applauded with the fans. You can read John Fleming’s obituary for Schoendienst here.
Meanwhile, Derek Dietrich put a two-run home run into the Cardinals’ bullpen to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead. It’s the third Marlins home run of this series…from a team that hits fewer home runs than any team in baseball. Not good.
With runners on the corners and nobody out, Flaherty fielded a grounder from Brian Anderson and got the runner at second, but Realmuto was able to score on the fielder’s choice, avoiding Yadier Molina’s tag with a perfect slide. 3-0 Marlins.
In the bottom half, Tommy Pham finally got some good luck with a base hit on a bobbled ball by JT Riddle. Jose Martinez then put one in the left field corner, and Pham scored all the way from first to put the Cardinals on the board. 3-1 Marlins after three.
Also, my pizza has just arrived. It’s good pizza.
Fourth inning: Flaherty retires the Marlins in order with a flyout to left center and a pair of strikeouts. He’s at 5 Ks through 4 innings.
Harrison Bader ripped a one-out double into the right center field gap, and then took third base on a wild pitch from Chen. After Yairo Munoz hit a fly ball to shallow right, Bader took off and was able to score after Brian Anderson’s throw (which beat Bader by a mile) got away from catcher J.T. Realmato. 3-2 Marlins after four.
Fifth Inning: Another strikeout by Flaherty opens the inning, but things start to unravel from there. With two on and two out, Flaherty hangs a breaking ball over the plate to Brian Anderson, who lines a double to right center to score a run. 4-2 Marlins.
On the next play, Yairo Munoz makes an off balance throw to first, pulling Jose Martinez off the bag and allowing another run to score. JT Riddle followed that up with a single to center, and it’s suddenly 6-2 Marlins.
With the Cardinals needing to claw their way back in the game, Tommy Pham got a bloop single off the shallow end of the bat for his second hit on the night, and Jose Martinez drew a walk to put two runners on. Wei-Yin Chen’s night is through.
Just when it looks like the offense is about to get something going, Ozuna grounds into a fielder’s choice and Yadier Molina strikes out. Six runners left on base tonight. It’s here where I point out that the Marlins are in tank mode this year.
Sixth inning: Jack Flaherty’s night ends after 5 innings, with 6 runs allowed (4 earned) on 8 hits, 6 strikeouts and a walk. It’s now up to Brett Cecil to keep Miami’s offense at bay.
But a double and a line drive get another run across the plate to make it 7-2 Marlins. They now have 14 runs in this series after scoring 9 runs in the previous 5 games combined. Facing the Cardinals’ bullpen can apparently be quite a jump-start for an offense.
With a chance to end the inning, Yairo Munoz mishandles a slow ground ball for his third error of the game, allowing Realmuto to score from third. Get well soon, Paul DeJong.
Three up and three down for the Cardinals in their half of the inning. 8-2 Marlins.
Seventh inning: Preston Guilmet is on the mound now, and Fransisco Pena is behind the plate. This might be the white flag.
Lewis Brinson extends the Marlins’ lead with a solo home run to left center. Another base hit from Realmuto later in the inning makes it 10-2 Miami. This is officially out of reach. And my pizza’s cold.
With a huge deficit to make up, Matt Carpenter doubled and Jose Martinez dropped a base hit to make it 10-3 Miami after seven. The rally is on!
Eighth inning: John Brebbia is in on mop-up duty and retires the Marlins in order thanks to some pretty spectacular plays from the Cardinals’ infield. Jedd Gyorko makes a spectacular barehanded play at second base to steal a hit from Miguel Rojas, and Luke Voit, now at first base, makes a diving stop on a grounder from JT Riddle to send us to the bottom of the eighth.
After the Cardinals’ offense put up another zero, we were all treated to a spectacular sight in the ninth.
Ninth inning: JEDD GYORKO IS PITCHING. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
…and he allowed a home run on his first pitch. It’s been that kind of night.
Relief pitcher Tyler Cloyd actually came to the plate, and #WeirdBaseball is officially in effect. Anyway, Gyorko was able to get three outs after the home run, so how bad was tonight, really?
And that would be it, as the Cardinals lose this one 11-3 and now sit at 32-27 on the year.
11 runs allowed on 18 hits (including 10 extra base hits) to one of the worst offenses in baseball. Let’s not do this again, shall we?