Hey guys, John again. Last night’s game was fun so hopefully I can carry the extremely short hot streak into a new series, this time against the Philadelphia Phillies. Here were the lineups.

Here’s the bullet points of what happened.

  • Hey, did you know Tim McCarver used to be on the Phillies? Of course you did: he was a notable player, and the trade which sent him to Philadelphia is one of the five or ten most famous trades in Major League Baseball history (it is usually called “the Curt Flood trade”). Well, he’s here to remind you.
  • After a go-nowhere top of the first inning, Cesar Hernandez led off the bottom half with a single, depriving Miles Mikolas of the perfect game that I just assumed he was going to get.
  • The next batter, Rhys Hoskins, walked (against Miles Mikolas?), and all of a sudden I am feeling the dread.
  • The next batter, Odubel Herrera, hit a three run home run. I’m going to bed.
  • Oh hey, Matt Carpenter hit an opposite-field home run in the top of the third, giving the Cardinals one run and a mere three run deficit (oh, right, the Phillies scored another run in there, via a Andrew Knapp single).
  • I hate the phrase “oppo taco”. Why does the phrase “oppo taco” exist?
  • Dexter Fowler, pinch-hitting for Miles Mikolas, reached first base on an error by J.P. Crawford to lead off the inning. As Matt Carpenter approached the plate, Dan McLaughlin said he wishes more baseball teams had captains, which seems like a strange tangent for the time. Anyway, Carpenter struck out.
  • Nothing happened because baseball is boring. Mike Mayers came in to pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning and shut guys down though, so at least this game is going by quickly.
  • Aside from that Matt Carpenter home run, Nick Pivetta  was very much in lockdown mode. He’s striking out a ton of batters–you can’t just call this lousy BABIP luck. It’s just not the Cardinals’ niYADI HIT A HOME RUN. On the day in which Yadier Molina breaks the MLB record for most games caught for one team, he drove a solo home run to right-center to bring the game to 4-2 Phillies.
  • Mike Mayers is a freakin’ flamethrower, man. A meme among my very small corner of Twitter in Spring Training was constantly pointing out that “Mike Mayers throws 98”, and in this game, he hit 99. It was exciting, it was unexpected, it was thrilling…and then he hit 100. Every mediocre quad-A starting pitcher can turn into an elite reliever with minimal effort. The Cardinals spent $14 million and gave up the #59 overall pick to sign Greg Holland.
  • Rhys Hoskins hit a ball really hard to left field which appeared to be just foul, as opposed to a two-run home run. Replay showed…OMIGOD IT’S FOUL BUT IT’S SOOOOOO CLOSE. Anyway, it was ruled a foul ball and now Rhys Hoskins has to repeat that with a full count.
  • In the top of the eighth, Greg Garcia got on base, which is a thing that, despite receiving a lot of criticism continuously, he seems to do a lot. The next batter, Matt Carpenter, drove one high and deep to right field. It wasn’t quite high enough, but it did garner a double, putting runners on second and third with one out. The tying run stood just 180 feet shy of home plate. Also, the ball hit off Nick Williams’s head as he misplayed the ball off the wall.
  • My *extremely Michael Wilbon voice* close personal friend VanHicklestein is writing the recap for this game for Viva El Birdos, and as I do not view VEB as our direct competitor but rather the kind of website that all of our readers will probably enjoy and vice versa, I feel comfortable telling you that you should check out his recap to see a good GIF of the Williams play. I do not have that ability (from what I hear, making GIFs isn’t that hard, so maybe I just don’t have the energy), so here is a clip of Manny Ramirez cutting off a cutoff throw instead.
  • Ah, yes, yes, the game. Edubray Ramos, a name I just learned tonight, is facing Tommy Pham, who is hoping to continue a hitting streak I just learned existed last night. Pham struck out, which is a poor strategy both for winning the game and for extending the hitting streak.
  • Jose Martinez is up next, and for all of the talk I hear of Dad Strength, I’m expecting something to actually happen here. Well, it didn’t. On an 0-2 pitch, he swung at an extremely low and outside pitch, perhaps due to lack of sleep, I don’t know.
  • Sam Tuivailala did his job in the bottom of the eighth, which means my work here is almost done unless the Cardinals offense comes to life, which I would appreciate.
  • With one out, Yadier Molina singled! And Jedd Gyorko doubled! Second and third with one out, and therefore many runs are guaranteed based on precedent.
  • Harrison Bader is up, and while he has been a good hitter so far in 2018, he isn’t a great hitter against right-handed pitching, which would be less of a big deal if this weren’t what he was currently facing. Oh, and Jack Flaherty is pinch-running for Gyorko, which is probably fine strategy but absolutely terrifies me.
  • Harrison Bader struck out with the bases loaded. He was strikeout victim number SEVENTEEN for the Phillies (Cardinals? I’m forgetting how this phrase goes. The Cardinals are the ones who struck out a ton). It all comes down to Yairo Munoz.
  • Munoz took a big hack at strike two. I’m willing to bet everything on strikeout number eighteen.
  • Technically! He struck out, but because of the Dropped Third Strike Rule (which is a terrible, illogical rule, but one which until it is rightfully banished from the books, must be exploited when possible), Munoz scurried to first base, Molina scored, and Flaherty advanced to third base. So on the bright side, the odds of a Jack Flaherty base running injury seem kinda low?
  • KOLTEN WONG MORE LIKE GOAT-TEN WONG! Wong singled up the middle, putting runners on first and second. Also, Tim McCarver just declared the game tied for the first time since the first batter of the game, which is categorically false. Miles Mikolas is AMPED. 4-4 game.
  • Attendance is sparse in the bottom of the ninth. This isn’t an indictment of Philadelphia fans–people can do what they wish with their leisure time. Just an observation. Anyway, we’re going to extra innings so here’s a video from beloved Philadelphia entertainers Hall and Oates. I will add another video for each subsequent extra inning. If I eventually run out of videos, they’re going to just have to make more music videos.
  • Tommy Pham had a chance to extend his hitting streak to twelve games. He extended the hitting streak, all right. 5-4 Cardinals on a home run absolutely mashed into the deep left field bleachers.
  • With Yadier Molina on second base and no other position players remaining, Francisco Pena was forced to pinch-hit. Well, “forced”, but you know. Anyway, Pena struck out and the Phillies have 19 strikeouts. The all-time record for strikeouts by one team in a game is 26, which has happened four times, according to the Baseball Reference Play Index. Hopefully this won’t happen.
  • Matt “Bat Mow Man” Bowman has the bottom of the tenth, because Jordan Hicks pitched on zero days rest last night with a three run lead. Rhys Hoskins led things off with a single and I’m just bracing myself for the stupidity of it all.
  • The next batter, Odubel Herrera, chopped one back to the pitcher. Matt Bowman spent like three years looking at Hoskins advancing to second before throwing it to first base. Herrera was ruled safe, but on further review, he was just out because he slid into first base because, as always, reasons. I don’t like a runner in scoring position but at least the winning run is at the plate rather than at first base, and at least there’s an out.
  • The now-unoccupied first base will be given to Carlos Santana, who is a good hitter. Next up is Jesmuel Valentin, who has one career home run before he inevitably hits a home run here.
  • THE BALL WENT REALLY HIGH AND I GOT SCARED but it went foul and out of play and it wouldn’t have been close to a home run but tensions at this moment are very much existent.
  • A strikeout! We’re allowed to get those too! Two outs, runners on first and second, and I’m still terrified, now of Aaron Altherr. More like Aaron I’ll tear my couch apart if he hits a walk-off right now.
  • Aaaaaand Marcell Ozuna made the worst defensive play I’ve ever seen. He wasn’t going to catch it and that’s fine, but good lord, dude. DH for the NL. DH for every position. Banish sports to Siberia.

2 thoughts on “Cardinals strike out a billion times, Phillies win in the stupidest possible fashion

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