After besting Madison Bumgarner and Dereck Rodriguez with, on paper, inferior starting pitchers on Friday and Saturday, Sunday afternoon’s battle between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants seems like an easy win. But this is baseball, a very stupid sport, so nothing could be assured. Here were the starting lineups.

I’ve been tinkering with my game recap formats throughout the season, and I think for this one I’ll do stream-of-consciousness observations of the Cardinals game with occasional interjections about the other relevant games of the day: the Brewers (who are already up 1-0 as the Cardinals game starts), the Cubs, and if any happen (the game starts at 3:10), the Rockies.

  • Miles Mikolas threw nine pitches to retire the top of the Giants order 1-2-3 in the first inning, and frankly, I approve.
  • As Jose Martinez reached first base on an infield single, the bottom line showed a Brewers score of 6-0. Ah, the mixed feelings of September! And it turns out Martinez was actually out, so the afternoon is just getting sweller and sweller. Is that a word? I don’t even care anymore.
  • Six up and six down with two strikeouts. Miles Mikolas is something, man. There was a point in the off-season where I very earnestly believed that the Cardinals should’ve re-signed Lance Lynn rather than allow somebody like Miles Mikolas or Jack Flaherty to be in the rotation. Nobody should ever listen to my baseball opinions, but luckily, for now, you’re reading me recapping the past rather than projecting the future.
  • The Cubs are up 4-0. Maybe the Cardinals are the 2016 Giants in this situation and they need to win out to keep their small lead alive and, well, they did that.
  • You know that Simpsons episode where the kids reveal secrets about the adults, and one of the ones Lisa says is that Mrs. Van Houten has been cheating on her boyfriend Pyro with his best friend Gyro, and then they do some kind American Gladiators fight over her? Well, I’ve been trying to come up with a Yairo Munoz related spin on this all season and frankly I have nothing. But he did drive in a run in the bottom of the second, following Jedd Gyorko and Yadier Molina singles.
  • Jose Martinez doubled, and maybe his bat is turning around. I would appreciate that. A Marcell Ozuna walk meant two on for Jedd Gyorko, but Gyorko hit into the shift to end the inning quietly and with the Cardinals still holding just a 1-0 lead.
  • As a routine pop fly which would surely be the third out of the inning was hit, I was going to type “well, the Brewers and Cubs are going to probably win and the Rockies have Kyle Freeland going, but Miles Mikolas has a perfect game through four innings, so there’s that”. Anyway, Yairo Munoz dropped said pop fly and the perfect game is over. But the Cardinals did get the next batter out so the no-hitter (and, like, the lead) remains intact.
  • Harrison Bader hit what was essentially a pop-up and turned it into a double. He rules so much. And then Miles Mikolas, who apparently gets non-homers now too, got a single to (of course) drive in Bader from second. Speed, what it do, etc. Matt Carpenter proceeded with his third hard-hit ball of the day, but it stopped at the warning track because he’s turning back into April Carpenter-level luck. 2-0 Cardinals, though.
  • Nick Hundley led off the fifth with a double, ending the Mikolas no-hitter, which honestly is slightly relieving because I don’t want to hate Yairo Munoz for depriving him of a perfect game. I guess technically I’d have preferred a walk (especially because he’d stop at first), but you know.
  • Seriously though, Miles Mikolas. 67 pitches through six shutout innings with seven strikeouts, no walks, and just the one hit allowed. He’s been such a delight this season.
  • Harrison Bader, who remains my perfect baseball angel, put down a bunt with runners on the corners and nobody out. But this wasn’t some “get the runner to second” move that would really only be appropriate from a pitcher–it was a perfectly executed bunt that induced a late throw home, which Patrick Wisdom (pinch-running for Jedd Gyorko) beat out while Bader advanced to second. 3-0 Cardinals, nobody out, runners on first and second for Yairo Munoz.
  • Base hit Munoz! Yadier Molina, who was running before contact, made it home while Bader made it to third and it’s 4-0 Cardinals.
  • Mikolas did that “bunt with runners on the corners and no outs” thing. Runner got to second, ho hum.
  • There is a heavy shift of Matt Carpenter and in my opininion he should’ve just hit a home run. Instead, he hit a foul pop-up. But Jose Martinez is here for me, driving in two runs with another double. Cheap drinks, et cetera.
  • Paul DeJong nearly hit a home run but had to settle for a…single? Um, that’s weird, but the Cardinals now have a 7-0 lead after pinch-runner/defensive replacement Tyler O’Neill scored from second.
  • Goodness, Yairo Munoz can’t field at all. Please be okay, Kolten. Please. And then Brandon Crawford hit a two-run home run, so I guess the Maddux is over. 7-2 Cardinals. Probably time to look at the bullpen. I mean, he’s still no a pretty low pitch total, so you don’t have to immediately, but generally speaking.
  • John Brebbia is in the game, and considering how awesome he’s been, I’m not sure I want him with a five-run lead. I’m going to get extremely Mad Online about this if the Cardinals blow a lead in the next couple days and can’t use him, but I’ll save that for then.
  • Oh hey, big league debut for Edmundo Sosa. That’s cool. He should hit a dinger or something. He drew a walk. That’s fine too.
  • Dan McLaughlin just called Matt Carpenter’s 36th home run. He’s a dang magician. I was going to mock this pick but instead, I am the mockable one. 9-2 Cardinals.
  • Giovanny Gallegos is coming in to make his Cardinals debut. The guy the Cardinals traded to get him, Luke Voit, has hit like a million home runs for the Yankees, so no pressure to match up to that level of success, Gio. And he escaped scoreless and the Cardinals won!
  • The stupid Rockies are winning now too.

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