Cardinals Baseball since the all-star break has often been exciting and even more so heart breaking. This week has been no different, with the loss Monday at the hands of Bud Norris and the lackluster offense, and the win yesterday with the fire alarm tactics of the Reds, and Fowler’s big right-handed bomb. It’s Flaherty’s turn as we start things off nice and early at 11:35 Central. Let’s see what Shilt and the gang can do to save us from losing this series.

First Inning

Carpenter starts things off with a sly bloop into shallow left, and Suarez couldn’t reel it in, as it glances off his glove. Yadi immediately bloops one of his own into shallow right for a hit. DeJong slashes a line drive to right, easily the hardest hit ball, but it’s caught by a sliding Ervin. Molina does a kind of Jedi trick to jump over the throw back into the infield. Ozuna flies out. Jose Martinez joins the weak contact party and chops one over the pitcher up the middle, and Peraza and Gennett collide in tremendous fashion, glove airborne and everything; everybody’s safe. Keeping things weird, Fowler takes ball three on a 2-2 count, and Molina started trotting away from second (thinking it was strike three?), and Barnhart tried to pick him off, and then Carp went for home a little, so the ball was thrown home, but Carpenter got back to third to beat the throw. Everybody is safe again? Fowler grounds out to end the threat despite all of the shenanigans…

Flaherty starts by getting Peraza out. Gennett swings at ball in dirt for a strike out. Votto walks, and Suarez drives him in with a two run bomb to right field. That’ll do it for Flaherty’s no-hit bid. Barnhart flies out to end the inning.

2-0 Reds

Second Inning

Muñoz fly out. Bader strike out. Flaherty grounds out.

Flaherty regains his footing by striking out the side.

Third Inning

Flaming hot Carp with a fly out to the track. Molina tried to bait the Reds into another collision with a fly to left but to no avail. Paul DeJong however hits a bomb to left center to get the Cards on the board. His first home run since returning from the DL.

2-1 Reds

Billy Hamilton leads off with a walk, Flaherty painting  the edges of the zone, but not getting any calls from the ump. Billy is quickly erased by a Jose Pereza GIDP, Muñoz to Martinez. Scooter Gennett knocks a base hit. Joe Vott then launches one to center in the gap, but Bader runs a long way to make the nice grab.

Fourth Inning

Jose Martinez with a big swinging strikeout. Fowler comes up and slaps a base hit. They start Fowler and what could’ve been a ground ball double play to Peraza bounces off his glove, putting both runners in scoring position on the error. Bader strikes out looking, his second K of the game. Flaherty gets caught swinging at a bouncer in the dirt and the Cardinals squander a good chance.

As Eugenio Suarez strikes out, I’ll give you a lil out of context Jimmy Edmonds quote. “What came first, the chicken or the horse?” Barnhart strikes out waving over one, but Duvall ruins the fun with an opposite field home run. Ervin gets called out on strikes so that was good at least.

Fifth Inning

Molina picks up another base hit, but nothing else.

Romano strikes out. Hamilton gets a base hit, but is picked off by the Flaherty-Martinez duo via challenge. Peraza then drops a bunt but Flaherty makes a great play and throw and just like that he’s out of the inning.

Sixth Inning

After a Jose Martinez groundout, Fowler worked a seven pitch walk. Then our favorite Yairo clubbed a double deep into the gap, scoring Fowler, and Yairo goes all the way to third on an insane over thrown ball to the plate. Bader would come in to bat again with a runner on third and less than two outs, but once again he ended up striking out. Shilt in this spot went with the pinch hitter in Pham, who was retired via bare handed Sal Romano wizardry. You know like a bare handed ground ball comebacker.

3-2 Reds

John Gant was given the ball to start things off here in the sixth. He didn’t get off to a good start. Scoot got things started with another single, and Joey V walked. This was immediately remedied, however, by a Suarez screamin’ line drive hit right to Muñoz who doubled off Scooty at second. The Cardinals obviously will be able to get out of the inning. And by that I mean Tucker Barnhart crushes a two run homer. A few more base runners are allowed by Gant, but he eventually strikes out Dilson Herrera to get out of it.

5-2 Reds

Seventh Inning

Carpenter was again retired, but our road-destroying catcher Molina hit a solo shot for his 14th of the season. Ozuna was able to get a single but no further rallying was done by the Shiltbirds.

5-3 Reds

Beard Brebbia in for the Cardinals to face the Reds. He struck out Bill Hamilton, but gave up a double to the prolific Scooter Gennett, and walked Joey Votto in a seven pitch battle. Eugenio Suarez was contained this time,  he was struck out swinging. Good job Beardy.

Eighth Inning

Fowler starts with lead off walk, his third time on base today. Muñoz trades places with him on a fielder’s choice. Harrison Bader comes up looking for redemption, but unfortunately strikes out for the fourth time in today’s game. A Greg Garcia single and an epic ten-pitch Carpenter walk loads the bases, but Molina is unable to capitalize and the Cardinals again squander their opportunity.

The game has now gotten to the point where Uncle Luke Gregerson is pitching. Hicks, Tui, and Norris have all seen heavy use lately so the Cards will have to depend on their lesser arms to stay in this game. Aaaand so a walk and a two doubles and now it’s 7-3. After almost chucking the ball into the outfield on a fielder’s choice, Gregerson was able to retire the next two batters.

7-3 Reds

Ninth Inning

Ugh, Paul DeJong with the check swing nubber for an out. I feel his pain, that happens to me way to often in MVP Baseball 2005 on the highest difficulty mode. Ozuna with a fly out to left. Jose strikes out, that sucks.

Postgame

So yeah the Cardinals are back to a .500 record at 51-51. All series the offense really underperformed. Only eight runs were pushed across by the Cardinals this week. Today, they got a couple of solo shots, but no one was able to put one of those swings on a ball with guys on base. Losing another series to the Reds is very disappointing, it will take a lot for this team to have a chance at turning things around.

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