The Cardinals face the Marlins in a series that has not exactly gone how one might have thought; to this point they have been outscored 18-7, and dropped the first two games of the series. The Cardinals look to turn things around by sending out Miles Mikolas (6-1) to face Marlins pitcher Trevor Richards (0-2) who was called up to make his first start since late April.
Miles Mikolas started things off well, retiring the first two batters on eight pitches, but things got a little scary when Justin Bour and Brian Anderson both reached on singles. The Cardinals were facing the potential of yet another bludgeoning at the hands of the Marlins. Thankfully, Mikolas struck out JT Riddle to end the threat with no damage. It took him 23 pitches to get through the inning.
After Carpenter flew out to center, Tommy Pham lined a full count pitch into left for a single. Following that, Jose Martinez launched a beautiful home run deep into the Marlins bullpen to make it 2-0 early in the first. That was his first homer since May 18th, and man it sure is fun to watch when he does manage to put one out. After Ozuna hit a deep fly out, Fowler managed to get a base hit, but Muñoz struck out and the inning was over.
The top half of the second went much more smoothly for Mikolas, as he induced two groundouts and struck out Bryan Holaday all on ten pitches. Side note: The Marlins sure have there fair share of random journeyman bench players who have been around for a few years but I’ve never heard of…
Kolten Wong started things off with an infield single, and was advanced on a wild pitch to second, and a ground ball out by Mikolas got him to third, but with two outs, Carpenter was unable to bring him home, and flew out to end the inning.
Mikolas again continued to look good as he struck out his counterpart in Richards, and got Castro to ground out and Dietrich to fly out. He had now retired seven in a row and was sitting at 50 pitches through three.
The Cardinals half of the inning was equally uneventful, as Pham, Martinez, and Ozuna went down in order.
Things were looking good for the Cardinals to maybe pull out a win here, as it was obvious Mikolas was dialed in at this point. He sent down the Marlins in order again, and struck out JT Riddle for the second time. May I make another side not here about how interesting it is the Marlins have to players named JT, and one named JB? Additionally J.T. Realmuto has the periods in his name so maybe it doesn’t count as the same name…
Fowler struck out rather quickly to start things off for the Cards, and Muñoz had a pretty decent at bat against Richards, but Trevor deceived Yairo and struck the Cardinals shortstop out on a change up down the middle, his second K of the day. Wong managed to take a Trevor Richards change up out to the opposite field for a single, but was quickly caught stealing at second on a good throw and tag.
After Brinson started things off with a fly out, Rivera and Holaday both grounded out, making it thirteen straight batters retired my Miles Mikolas. Mikolas is pitching well enough that in order to entertain myself i need to make note that Yadiel Rivera is the one of two players on baseball reference to come up when you search “Yadie.”
Peña, Mikolas, and Carpenter went down in order.
After another strike out of Richards, Mikolas’ streak of retired batters came to an end in a dumb, but not surprising manner. On a flyball by Castro, Fowler was ranging back to the right field corner and extended his glove out to catch it underhanded but he was a little short with where he stuck his glove out and it glanced off the tip of his glove. Dietrich then lined out, but Bour was able to double the run home on a loopy gapper to the opposite field. After intentionally walking Cardinal killer Brian Anderson, Mikolas once again retired JT Riddle, this time via the ground ball.
The Cardinals decided to respond this inning, starting things off with a hard ground ball single up the middle by Pham, and a line drive single by Martinez advanced Pham to third. This was enough to chase Richards, and the Marlins brought in their 38 year old submarine guy, Brad Ziegler, to face Ozuna. Marcel hit a classic Ozuna groundball to the left side of the infield, however it was hit hard enough to go through the hole and Ozuna found himself with an RBI single. 3-1 Cards. After Muñoz flew out, the today-feared Kolten Wong was intentionally walked in favor of Peña, who played strikeout victim to Ziegler to end the inning.
Miles went back to his previous form here and retired the Marlins in order, covering first well on a close play at first. Mikolas’s day was done and yet another great start was added to the season of our new “top-three-in-the-league-in-E.R.A.-and-pitcher-wins” pitcher.
Pinch hitting Luke Voit came into to face Adam Conley and Luke hit a rocket into the Marlins bullpen to make it 4-1. I know it’s been only a few times we’ve seen him at the plate this season, but it’s making me excited to see him at the plate again. After the Voitbomb, Carpenter snuck a single through the shift, and the Marlins brought in Ben Meyer who appears to have made his career/season debut by retiring the next three Cardinals.
Hicks came in for the Cardinals, and despite throwing two wild 100 mph pitches past Peña, Hicks got Shuck to groundout weakly. Next, Castro came up and struck out on three pitches, swinging and missing at a slider. Dietrich walked, and then Bour came up and cheated by hitting a soft doinker down the third base line under the hand of defensive replacement Gyorko. With runners at first and second, Hicks struck out Brian Anderson on three pitches, this time on a slider in the dirt. Side note here: in case you were wondering, this Brian Anderson isn’t the same one one that was in the Cardinals system in 2010-12. That would be Bryan Anderson with a Y.
Muñoz started off the Cards half with a doinker of his own between the pitcher and the third baseman, avenging fellow infielder Gyorko. However, Tayron Guerrero was able to retire the next three Cardinals to avert any more doinkage.
Our trusted closer Bud Norris came in for his first appearance since Saturday and got through the last of the Marlins in order, striking out JT Riddle, making it a hat trick for the periodless Riddle.
So, wow! The Cardinals won the game they played against the Marlins today! Despite losing two games to them, the Brewers also lost twice this week to the Indians and do not play today, so the Cardinals pick up a half game on them this week.
Looking ahead, the Cardinals head to Cincinnati where hopefully they can continue to trample over their cellar-dwelling division foes. Luke Weaver will face Cincinnati Reds starter Matt Harvey, with the first pitch at 6:15.