Alright friends, the Cardinals are playing the Rockies. Both teams are vying for playoff spots here so this game will be competitive, I promise you that. This should be a great finale, I expect great things after two rather bleak games that I last recapped.
I am immediately rejuvenated at this early
morning afternoon game by the pitching stylings of Miles Mikolas. He immediately starts missing bats with multiple pitches, striking out Blackmon and LeMahieu. Nolan Arenado puts up a stink and flies out deep to right, and Tyler O’Neill makes a ranging play to the track. In one way or another he spins around a few times as he makes the catch and crashes into the wall. I’m into it.
Matt Carpenter starts things off by immediately grounding out on the first pitch. That’s not a leadoff homer, so I’m pissed, but it is good for the pace of play secret police so I can rest knowing Rob Manfred is happy here. Fans love quick at-bats. Molina strikes out. O’Neill smashes a single to the right side. After Ozuna nubs one a few feet in front of the plate, Rockies catcher extraordinaire Tony Wolters made a unnecessarily good play to end the Cards half.
An innocuous groundout by Cargo, and a full count strikeout of Story to get things goin’ for Miles in the second. Parra slashes a single that pops out of Ozuna’s glove on a sliding attempt for an almost great play. Instead, he has failed Cardinal Nation. That’s very harsh, I actually don’t hold animosity for Ozuna or anything. A Desmond ground ball deflects off Mikolas and in a Deus Ex Machina kind of way goes right to Garcia who is standing at second for the third out.
Jedd Gyorko bounces a grounder up the middle for a single. Yairo then got my hopes up with a fly ball to the track. Garcia with another deep fly out. Don’t make me start angrily griping about these guys needing to hit for contact. Bader get’s put away with a nasty slider. That was mean of you, Mr. Senzatela.
Wolters works a walk which is frustrating, and Senzatela moves him over with a bunt. Blackmon looks silly while Mikolas toys with him, inducing the swinging strikeout. LeMahieu floats one to second and we’re still doing fine.
Miles Mikolas with the opposite field single! Carpenter with a flare into center! On a pitch that gets away from the catcher, Mikolas starts running and he sneaks into third, barely beating a wide throw. Molina’s at bat goes twelve pitches but unfortunately ends with a pop out to short. O’Neill gives one a ride to the track, and that scores Mikolas for the first run of the game on the sacrifice fly. Ozuna fouls out for #3.
Arenado leads off with a base hit. Cargo bunts one down the third base line and it hits off the base as Gyorko waited to see if it could go foul. Two on. Holy crap, Tyler O’Neill makes an insane diving play, fully extended, robbing Trever Story of a base hit down the line. Mikolas grooves one to Parra, who drives in the run, Ozuna throws it into third, and Gyorko holds the tag on Cargo at third who comes off the bag. Two outs. Oh no oh no why why Miles Mikolas why have you betrayed me. Desmond nubs one and Miles tries to make a crazy play and throws one away. Run scores. They IBB Tony Wolters and get Senzatela for the third out. Thanks for hanging in there with me during that stream of consciousness moment.
The Cards half of the fourth started fine with a Jedd Gyorko walk, but Yairo flew out and Gregoraite Garcia GIDP’ed the Cardinals out of the inning.
As Blackmon flies out to right, it is noted that Marcell Ozuna is out of the game for his toe is hurting, I believe. I asked the Cardinals via twitter which one, but at the time of publication there is still no word on that. Carpenter with a good play at first for the second out. Anyway, that means Yairo will be in left field now, and DeJong will be in at short. Arenado pops out to Greg.
Senzatela paints the outside edge to punch out Bader looking. Mikolas instantly bloops out. Carpenter slashes a base hit because he’s the best hitter in baseball. Molina flies out to the track to end the inning. We’ve had a lot of those today. Ideally they’d all be hitting homers instead.
Cargo and Story are retired on good defensive plays by Carpenter and DeJong respectively. Parra doinks one into the outfield for a hit. Why is he getting so many hits? Doesn’t matter, the very next pitch Desmond courteously grounds out to Gyorko.
O’Neill works an 0-2 count into a walk. DeJong flies out deep to right (ugh). Gyorko flies out, too. After many pick off attempts of Tyler O’Neill, Yairo strikes out on a ball in the dirt, and Tony Wolters throws to second for some reason, also no one was at second, so now the Cardinals have runners on the corners due to the errant throw. Garcia gets hit and just like that the bases are loaded for Bader, who tragically gets rung up on a check swing call to end the attempted rally.
Wolters gets a base knock because he is a bringer of chaos and anarchy. Some random bench guy for the Rockies swings and misses for a strikeout. Charles Blackmon is retired via fly out. LeMahieu samesies.
Seunghwan Oh is in to pitch for the Rockies. He’s a swell guy but hopefully he gets pummeled by… oh wait… Dexter Fowler is pinch hitting, I guess that’s fine. I was kind of envisioning a Jose Martinez pinch hit moonshot but Fowler’s swinging strikeout will have to do. Carpenter flies out. Yadi grounds out.
John Brebbia comes in and triumphantly strikes out Arenado. Cargo walks which was worse than the strikeout, but Trevor Story strikes out, and with a really high throw, Cargo slid in safe at first, but Greg Garcia held the throw and Cargo comes off a bag for the second time after beating a throw. The Rockies challenge and when the call is upheld, Cargo is mouth agape.
O’Neill strikes out, but DeJong works a walk against former Cardinal Adam Ottavino. DeJong then does his best Cargo impersonation and steals second, but comes off the bag, and is found to be out on the unpire’s challenge.
Chasen Shreve comes in and works a 1-2-3 inning and I am am in dire need of any form of Cardinals offense to show up.
Arenado instantly makes a great play to retire Yairo. Greg Garcia, however, pummels a base hit. The Ole Wade Davis is pitching and I can’t help but hope that he channels his inner Greg Holland here. And Bader slashes a single the other way, and Garcia gets to third! Bader steals second! Insanity, pure chaos and anarchy and Busch stadium, I would assume. JOSE MARTINEZ!!!! PINCH HIT!!!!! BASE HIT INTO THE GAP! GARCIA SCORES!!!! BADER SCORES!!!! CARDINALS WIN!!!! I WAS GONNA BE PISSED IF WE DIDN’T WIN AND WE DID WIN I’M AMAZED!!!
Final: 3-2 Cardinals
That sure was a nice way to end a game which otherwise would have been a poor offensive outing. Miles Mikolas had a great outing of 7 innings, 1 earned run, 6 strikeouts, 2 walks, and seven hits scattered. Carpenter had two hits, and O’Neill had an all round fantastic game. Jose Martinez is unbelievable and I was expecting him to be traded, but with him still around, it’s impossible not to love what he does at the plate. The bullpen also was great, with Brebbia and Shreve providing two innings of hitless relieve. Harrison Bader’s redemption arc was great two, having three strikeouts, and then stealing a bag and scoring the winning run.
The Cardinals travel to Pittsburgh, who they are now tied with for third in the division, and both four games out of a wild card spot. Will things turn around for our absurd 2018 Cardinals club? Find out next time…