The Cardinals start a three-game, weekend series in Cincinnati tonight. St. Louis has not lost to the Reds in 2018 and look to continue their dominance against the last place team as they send Luke Weaver to the mound with Matt Harvey starting for Cincy. Should be a fun night in the Queen City. Let’s ride. 

Starting Lineups:

1st Inning: 

Matt Harvey was once considered one of the rising stars in the sport only a few years ago. I remember Jimmy Fallon had him do a little “man-on-the-street” skit on his show during the height of his hoopla. It made Harvey seem like a nice guy. You think they still stay in touch? Anyways, Harvey looks good in his first two batters faced but Jose Martinez puts the Cardinals on the board early! An opposite field home run that carried and carried and barely gets over the wall in right field. Cafe Jr. has two home runs in as many games.

The ball is jumping early in Cincinnati, but lucky for Luke Weaver he’s got speed in the outfield. Dexter Fowler makes a nice play to prevent a single and record a lead-off out. Then, Tucker Barnhart muscles up and hits one to the warning truck but the speed and agility of Tommy Pham makes a spectacular leaping grab to rob Barnhart of a extra bases. Reds go 1-2-3. 1-0 Cardinals. 

2nd Inning: 

Cardinals have some pop tonight! Yairo Munoz hits a line drive to left and it skips off the top of wall for a solo shot. It’s only the second inning but Harvey has given up two jacks and has hit a batter. Harvey strikes out Weaver to end the top half of the inning but the Birds tack on another run. 

Luke Weaver is pitching almost exclusively in the top of the strike zone right now throwing straight heat (he’s touched 97 mph a couple of times already). We will see how this strategy works out for him in a game that’s already seen the ball flying. Reds rattle off a couple of hits leading to a fielder’s choice run scored. Matt Harvey bats eighth for the Reds tonight, which is another interesting strategy in this game. The move pays off as Weaver walks his counterpart. Billy Hamilton strikes out to end the inning. 2-1 Cardinals. 

3rd Inning:

LEAD OFF WALK ALERT! Matt Carpenter works the count in typical Matt Carpenter fashion and Tommy Pham rips a base hit up the middle. Cardinals are cooking with two on, no out in the third. MARTINEZ 3-RUN BOMB. He’s got two tonight! Redbirds bust this game open! Jose is HOT right now. Lead off walks lead to good things folks. 

Lead off single alert for the Reds. Luckily for the Cardinals, Tucker Barnhart grounds into a double play. Defense looks good tonight so far *knocks on wood profusely*. Joey Votto draws a walk in typical Joey Votto fashion and it leads to a Scooter Gennet double that brings Votto all the way home. That’s all they’ll get though. 5-2 Cardinals.

4th Inning: 

Matt Harvey is still in there battling despite giving up five runs in three innings of work. Facing the bottom of the order, he’s able to retire the side. Five strikeouts for Harvey so far. 

Weaver makes a web gem! He dives off the mound and sprints to first, sliding into the bag making a tremendous play. Pitchers are athletes too! Reds don’t put up much of a fight in the fourth. 5-2 Cardinals. 

5th Inning:  

LEAD OFF WALK ALERT! Matt Carpenter walks to start the inning and it’s deja vu all over again but this time with less than spectacular results. Tommy Pham grounds into a double play. C’mon folks,,, lead off walks don’t lead to a good thing every time. Martinez makes solid contact but hits it right at Bill Hamilton (Bill sounds more grown up) in deep center. Apology for getting everyone excited. 

Lead off single alert for the Reds. I’m starting to sound like a broken record at this point. Cardinals get a shot at a taylor-made double play but a sloppy first throw from Weaver leads to only one out on the play. Tommy Pham continues to flash the leather tonight! Pham robs Votto of a hit and that’s two terrific plays by Pham in center. The infamous Scooter Gennett gets a two out single to keep the Reds rolling. Gennett raises his average to .348 (!) on the season. With two outs and the bases loaded, Luke Weaver walks Jesse Winker on four straight pitches and the Reds add another run. Weaver gets Jose Peraza to pop-up and the damage is done. 5-3 Cardinals. 

6th Inning:

Hey, Matt Harvey is still in this game! He gets Ozuna and Molina to fly out but issues a two out walk to Dexter. Munoz flys out to right and that should be it for Harvey in this game. He throws 102 pitches, strikes out five, walks three and gives up four hits, five earned runs and three home runs. 

Luke Weaver is back in the game for the sixth. It’s only the third time Weaver has pitched past the fifth inning since April 19. On Weaver’s 100th pitch of the game, he walks his fifth Red of this outing and that’s it for Weaver. Gomber is the first out of the bullpen tonight. Weaver strikes out three, walks five and allows three earned runs on seven hits. Harrison Bader enters the game and takes over for Fowler in right field. Gomber walks the first man he faces and just like that it’s no outs and the go-ahead run comes to the plate. Cardinals turn a beautiful 4-6-3 double play started by Wong to get out of the jam. Gomber walks another and it’s runners on the corners with two outs and Votto steps up to the plate. Joey Votto does his job as a professional hitter and knocks a base hit to right field scoring the runner on third. It’s now a one-run game. Tucker Barnhart makes a big mistake on the base paths and Yadi makes him pay. That’s the first baserunner the Cardinals have thrown out this season. It’s June 8. Reds run themselves out of a rally but the games getting interesting. 5-4 Cardinals. 

7th Inning:

YOU GUESSED IT. LEAD OFF WALK ALERT! A little dribbler from Bader is enough to move Wong into scoring position with one out. A pitch in the dirt moves Wong to third and Carpenter drives him home with a base hit to right. Two-run game. Tommy Pham grounds into what should have been a double play but the throw to first ends up in the dugout. Martinez grounds out to third to end the inning but the Cardinals get an insurance run. 6-4 Cardinals. 

Austin Gomber strikes out Scooter Gennett and is removed from the game by Matheny to bring in Sam Tuivailala. Tui gets a dazzling defensive play from Munoz and a fly out to left to move this game into the eighth. Do you hear that? That loud popping sound from the bullpen? Oh my goodness, that’s Hicks’ music.

8th Inning: 

Ozuna leads off the inning by hitting a ball to the deepest part of the park and Hamilton lets it bop off his glove. Marcell is able to make it third with a lead off triple. A fly ball to the outfield would add another run. Yadi grounds out to third. A fly ball would still score a run. Jedd Gyorko hits a fly ball! In foul territory. Cardinals strand Ozuna on third. 6-4 Cardinals. 

I teased it earlier and Matheny delivered. Hicks is here. The slowest fastball he throws is 101 mph. He strikes out one but it’s the slider that gets the Reds to ground into two outs. Hicks is something special folks. 6-4 Cardinals. 

9th Inning: 

Wandy Peralta into the game for the Reds looking to keep it a two run game heading into the bottom of the ninth. Fun fact about Wandy Peralta, according to his Wikipedia page, his first career win came against the Cardinals on April 30, 2017. “Wow! Thanks Mike!” You’re welcome! Peralta fails to get three outs after walking Carpenter. That’s Carpenter’s third walk of the game and fourth time on base. That’s the lead-off hitting Matt Carpenter we all remember right there. It’s absolutely pouring at Great American Ballpark during the top of the ninth. Like I’m talking Andy Dufresne rain. Great movie. Pham strikes out. Bud Norris time. 6-4 Cardinals. 

PSYCH! Not Bud Norris time! It’s rain-delay-with-three-outs-left-in-the-game time. This is good and bad. Bad ’cause we have to wait a while to wrap this thing up, good ’cause I get to watch a little NBA Finals! Who knows, maybe the Cavs are winning! Let’s tune in!

Ok, so the Cavs are not winning. Warriors are up nine at the half. Curry has 20 points, 12 of those off three-pointers. LeBron’s got 16 points. J.R. Smith is 3-for-4 from three-point land so far. This has been your NBA Finals halftime update.

The game resumes at 9:50 St. Louis time. A lead-off double by Scott Schebler gets things going for the Reds. Barnhart battles Norris for an exciting at bat but Norris gets the best of him with a strikeout. Votto steps up to the plate as the tying run with one out and a runner in scoring position. Again, Votto does his job as a professional hitter and drives in the run with a single to center. The guy is unbelievable. Scooter Gennett steps up to the plate with a chance to win it. Norris strikes him out. One out to go. Single to left by Suarez. Tying run at third. Winker hits one off of Gyrko’s glove and the game is tied. Blown save for Bud Norris. A line-out ends the inning and we head to extras as we enter the fourth hour of this thrilling affair.

10th Inning:

Ah, extra innings. Marcell Ozuna gets a one out walk which extra inning walks are usually a good thing just like lead off walks. Yadi with a base hit! Ozuna moves to third and the Cardinals have runners on the corners with one out. GYRKO RBI SINGLE! Cardinals back on top! 7-6 Cardinals.

John Brebbia comes into the game trying to close this one out. He gets two quick outs but allows a Scott Schebler double down the line. Tying run on second, winning run at the plate and two out. Brebbia intentional walks Barnhart and there are two on, two out with Brandon Dixon, who has zero RBIs in his MLB career, at the dish. BREBBIA STRIKES OUT DIXON. CARDINALS WIN 7-6.

The Golden State Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0 to win their fourth NBA Finals in franchise history and third in four years. 

NOTES:

NBA Finals Game 4 started two hours (8:07 CST tip-off) after the first pitch of this game. The Finals game ended at 10:31 CST. The Cardinals-Reds game ended at 10:39 CST.

Cardinals go for their 9th win in 2018 against the Reds tomorrow afternoon at 3:10 CST. Michael Wacha (7-1) takes on Luis Castillo (4-6).

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