The Cardinals are looking for their fifth win in six games as they take on the San Diego Padres in the second game of a three-game set. Miles Mikolas takes on lefty Matt Strahm in tonight’s match up, the Cardinals 65th game of the 2018 campaign. It’s Lizard King Night at Busch! Let’s ride.
Miles Mikolas has been stellar in his first three months as a Cardinal. Easily one of the best free-agent signings in baseball this past offseason. Mikolas is averaging just over 14 pitches an inning, which is near the best in baseball. After an easy first two outs, Harrison Bader nearly makes a spectacular diving catch but keeps it in front of him to prevent extra bases. There’s a runner on first when Mikolas strikes out Hunter Renfroe to end the inning. Mikolas threw 9 pitches.
Cardinals offense was hopin’ last night, we will see if there is more of the same this evening at Busch. Not the case in the first as the Cardinals are retired in order and we slide to the second. No score.
Early, Mikolas is cruising. He strikes out the side in the second. That makes four in a row for the Lizard King. Things are looking very, very good early for the likely All-Star.
Cardinals are putting the bat on the ball but it’s not resulting in any hits. Six up, six down for the Redbirds through two. Someone better get the bats rattling or is this going to be a pitchers duel tonight? No score.
Miles Mikolas’ strikeout streak ends at four in a row as Bader makes a sliding grab on the warning track along the foul-line for the first out of the third. Bader’s defense has been a pleasure to watch in 2018. A ground ball down the third base line results in Matt Carpenter making an off balance throw to first *everyone holds their breath* but Martinez is able to come of the bag and tag first base to make the out. Nice play Carp and Martinez! Phew! Mikolas keeps rolling.
Oh boy, Cardinals have been no-hit through three. Matt Strahm has made the Cardinals look silly so far, but the Padres already have someone warming up in the pen. Strahm, who is normally a reliever, has thrown short starts when the Padres have needed it this year. Well, the strategy has worked out well for the Friars so far. No score.
Eric Hosmer leads off the fourth with a moon shot to dead center field. Padres take an early lead. Hosmer has the ideal MLB career. High draft pick, win a World Series, never pay for a beer in Kansas City ever again then move to San Diego and sit on a pile of cash. Respect to Hosmer, smart guy. Mikolas takes a one hopper off his upper leg but looks unscathed. Padres are starting to get a feel for Mikolas. Freddy Galvis makes it back-to-back hits off of Miles. Make that three hits in a row. An infield hit by Margot loads the bases with two outs. Four hits in a row. AJ Ellis rips a base hit to right field scoring two more runs in the inning. Mikolas is able to get out of it but not after his pitch count jumps to 62 pitches and the Padres rattle off five hits and three runs in the inning.
It’s time for the Cardinals to get their first hit. Padres bring in righty Adam Cimber to continue San Diego’s perfection thus far. Tommy Pham is robbed of a base hit by a leaping grab by Freddy Galvis. Birds can’t catch a break. Martinez strikes out and the Padres are perfect through four. 3-0 Padres.
Mikolas returns to form in the fifth retiring the Padres 1-2-3. He’s got five strike out and no walks through five innings, but has allowed three runs.
Ozuna leads things off for the Cardinals in the fifth. They are still looking for their first baserunner of the game. Ozuna does not get on base. Yadi does not get on base. Gyorko does not get on base. The Padres have thrown a combined perfect game throw five innings. 3-0 Padres.
Miles Mikolas is still in there battling despite the three run deficit. Besides a rough fourth inning, he’s been pretty Mikolas-esque. But, you have to keep runners from scoring and you have to score runs, that’s how baseball works, from what I’m told. That’s why the Cardinals are not winning. This has been “Minimalistic Analysis by Michael Ritter.” Mikolas retires the side.
Bottom of the order up for the Cardinals in the sixth. INFIELD HIT HARRISON BADER. The Cardinals are in the hit column! Munoz grounds into a double play. Fowler comes in to pitch hit for Mikolas and he’s on the hook for the loss if the Cardinals can’t get some offense. Fowler strikes out and we move to the seventh. 3-0 Padres.
Mike Mayers enters the game and gives up a lead off double to Manuel Margot. AJ Ellis sacrifice bunts Margot over to third and a ground out to second by Villanueva scores Margot from third. Padres add another run to their lead in the seventh. Stretch time.
Top of the order in the seventh for the Redbirds. A single to right center for Carpenter and the Cardinals have their second hit of the game. Base hit Tommy Pham and St. Louis has something cookin’ here in the seventh. A single for Ozuna drives in a run and the Cardinals are in the run column. Good piece of hitting by Ozuna there. Yadi grounds out to third but Pham was heading home no matter what. Cardinals cut the Padres’ lead in half and here comes Padre killer Jedd Gyorko with a chance to tie the game. *Ron Howard narration* he didn’t. 4-2 Padres.
Jordan Hicks time! He strikes out the first batter he faces. He strikes out the second batter he faces. He strikes out the side. The kid is must-watch tv.
Greg Garcia hits a pinch-hit single to right but that’s all the Cardinals offense can muster up in the eighth. It’ll be Pham-Martinez-Ozuna up for the Birds in a last-ditch effort in the ninth.
Hey, more Jordan Hicks! He gets Corey Spangenberg to fly out on one pitch. Freddy Galvis grounds out. Manuel Margot strikes out. Hicks throws two innings, throws 19 pitches (15 strikes), allows no hits/runs and strikes out four. That’s efficiency.
Alright, it’s time to go big or go home. Pham goes one pitch, one out and the Cardinals are down to their final two outs. Martinez flys out to shallow right. Ozuna is hit by the pitch and the tying run comes to the plate in the name of Yadier Molina. Yadi goes down swinging and Brad Hand closes the door on this game.
Rubbermatch between these two teams tomorrow at 7:15 p.m. Luke Weaver (3-5) takes on Eric Lauer (2-4). Cardinals fall to 36-29 on the season.