All right, Adam Wainwright is pitching, Matt Vasgersian is announcing, and I’m admittedly not super excited about this game at all. Not gonna get drunk like during yesterday’s game, but gonna be grumpy probably. Buckle up! Here are the lineups.
Wainwright retired Joc Pederson (I guess in light of what happened with Vontae Davis in the Bills game earlier today, I should clarify he didn’t retire from baseball–he just got out) before surrendering a double to right field off the bat of Justin Turner. Wainwright induced a Manny Machado fly ball and followed that up by striking out Max Muncy looking. So for the second straight outing, Adam Wainwright had a pretty good first inning. Hopefully the subsequent innings are better than on Monday.
Goodness the offense sucks right now. It’s only Patrick Wisdom, for some reason. 0-0 through one inning. Because when you have 2018 Adam Wainwright on the mound, you don’t need to give him run support! Not at all!
Why are you nerds booing Yasiel Puig? Come on, stop this. Anyway, Puig walked, so boo that instead. But then Wainwright struck out Chase Utley who, like, keeps playing. On a team with a billion good players. What a time to be alive.
Marcell Ozuna has logged all the way on, hitting a solo opposite field dinger, which was loud and enjoyable, and the Cardinals are winning 1-0. If I have to watch a broadcast where the announcer keeps calling the Cardinals hitting coach “George Kissell”, I deserve this, and so do you. Unless you’re a Dodgers fan reading this in which case, hey, you have my football team, so I don’t care about your happiness. Ozuna was the extent of the offense in the inning, but the Cardinals did get some solid at-bats. Things are hardly settled but things are certainly looking better.
According to Twitter, Yadier Molina did something good in getting someone into a rundown. I don’t know, I stopped paying attention for a second. I am dangerously unqualified to write these recaps. Anyway, the broadcasters really enjoy Adam Wainwright. Like, they love this guy. Which, who among us doesn’t, but I’d be so irritated if I weren’t a Cardinals fan. But I am, so I’m not.
Anyway, back on Adam Wainwright watch, and he’s getting a lot better results than he had been last start. Through four innings, Waino has allowed zero runs and struck out six. Lovely, lovely stuff going on here.
Yairo Munoz opened up the bottom of the fourth by reaching on a third strike passed ball. You know, if Tyler O’Neill did that more often during strikeouts, maybe he’d start every once in a while. Paul DeJong singled to follow that up, and just like that, runners are on for the team’s best hitter of late, Marcell Ozuna, who hit a home run in his first plate appearance.
Pat Venditte is on the Dodgers. I just learned this upon seeing him coming to the plate. You know, Pat Venditte, the ambidextrous pitcher about whom I know absolutely nothing else.
Jedd Gyorko doing good things himself, with a solidly hit single to right-center to bring home Munoz and send DeJong to third base. 2-0 Cardinals. And Molina is singling too! 3-0 and Ross Stripling is firmly on the ropes. Thank goodness. Might we…win a game? I don’t want to get too crazy because there’s still plenty of time for things to go south, but the Cardinals are showing life, and I like it.
Adam Wainwright, who is love and is life, struck out Joc Pederson to end the top of the fifth inning. Wainwright has struck out eight batters and allowed zero runs. His pitch count is getting high-ish and they should probably pull him, but also I would follow him through the gates of Hell right now, so I don’t know what to think. Never mind, Wainwright’s batting for himself. This is probably dumb. Anyway, he and the other two Cardinals batters got an out. So let’s see how this goes.
But it was a 1-2-3 inning. He even struck out Manny Machado in there. Wainwright is at 101 pitches. This game rules.
With Wainwright probably done, and therefore the bullpen coming on soon, the Cardinals decided to try to add insurance runs. Always an idea I like. After Marcell Ozuna reached on a one-out infield single, Jedd Gyorko added a single of his own. While Yadier Molina initially appeared to have grounded into an inning-ending double play, the ball got past third baseman Justin Turner (an aggressive slide by Marcell Ozuna may have contributed to a bit of the anarchy). Ozuna recovered to score while Gyorko advanced to third and Molina got to first. In less good news, Kolten Wong grounded to Dodgers LOOGY Scott Alexander, who in turn started an inning-ending double play.
Bud Norris is in the game. Norris has been generally dreadful of late but seemed pretty okay on Friday so there’s that. But he did walk the leadoff batter and then immediately pulled him from the game because it appears, in the words of Ringo Starr, he has blisters on his fingers. Jordan Hicks came in and walked Cody Bellinger and now Busch Stadium is booing Yasiel Puig again, because let’s just be obnoxious nerds, guys, sure. And then Hicks got Puig on three pitches, because baseball. Hicks then retired Utley on a routine fly ball to Marcell Ozuna. Pinch-hitter Alex Verdugo grounded out and, hey, it’s a 4-0 lead at the 7th Inning Stretch. Dare I…have faith?
Hicks is back out for the eighth inning. After being nearly decapitated by a Hicks fastball, Justin Turner managed a single, and after Alex Rodriguez blindly declared “Advantage: Manny Machado” because he’s from Miami or whatever, Machado struck out, argued balls and strikes (a thing he’s done several times this series).
In the bottom of the eighth, Paul DeJong walked and Marcell Ozuna singled and Matt Adams is coming up with a chance to really add to the (currently) 4-0 lead. The inning, by definition, ended with Marcell Ozuna being caught between second and third base, but it was more of a “get in a rundown to let a run score” thing, and a run indeed scored. 5-0 Cardinals.
Carlos Martinez is in for the ninth, which still feels weird, especially with a five-run lead, but if we’re going to treat him as a sincere bullpen option, he does have to occasionally actually pitch. And hey, he faced the minimum and the Cardinals won, clinching a winning record and home-field advantage in case they need to play a one-game playoff against the Dodgers.