The Cardinals hitters were confounded again as Nola went the distance for the shutout.
The Cardinals played the series finale with the Phillies on Sunday, starting John Gant against the Phillies’ Aaron Nola. Gant miraculously gave up only two runs, despite giving up five hits and five walks (two of which were intentional) over five innings of work. Nola pitched a gem, throwing a two-hitter in a complete game shutout that the Cardinals’ hitters had no answers for.
Tommy Edman led off again for the Cards, looking to improve on his twelve-game hitting streak, and grounded a 1-1 changeup to second for the first out of the game. Paul Goldschmidt followed, yielding the same result for out number two. Nolan Arenado then popped out to first to retire the top of the lineup in order.
Andrew McCutchen started things off for Philly and walked after working a full count. Rhys Hoskins followed by grounding a 1-0 changeup to Arenado for a 5-4-3 double play. Bryce Harper started the scoring, launching a belt-high fastball to the upper deck for a solo home run, and giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. J.T. Realmuto struck out swinging on three pitches to close the inning.
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 18, 2021
Yadier Molina began the inning for St. Louis, lining a ball back up the middle for a base hit. Matt Carpenter then struck out swinging on a breaking ball on the outside corner of the plate. Paul DeJong followed suit, striking out swinging through a 1-2 fastball. Dylan Carlson lifted a 1-2 fastball to left for out number three, stranding Yadi on first.
Alec Bohm led off the bottom of the second for the Phillies, hitting a line drive that carried to the wall in right field, where Edman made the catch while crashing into the wall.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 18, 2021
Didi Gregorius struck out swinging at a high sinker for the second out. Jean Segura hit a line drive to right-center, and just beat Edman’s throw to second for a double. Mickey Moniak struck out swinging at an elevated fastball to retire the side.
Justin Williams flew out to left to start the inning for the Cards. Gant followed with a groundout to shortstop. Edman grounded to first, but Nola dropped the throw as he was covering the bag, allowing Edman to reach on an error. Goldschmidt then stuck out swinging to bring the Cardinals’ half of the inning to a close.
Nola struck out looking to begin the Phillies’ half of the inning. McCutchen followed suit, going down looking at a sinker on the outside edge of the zone. Hoskins grounded to Carpenter, who bobbled the ball and allowed Hoskins to reach on an error. Harper walked on four pitches, bringing in Realmuto with runners on first and second and no one out. Realmuto hit a hard grounder to the left side of the infield, where it hit Hoskins on the basepath for the third out.
Arenado led off the fourth for the Cardinals, grounding out to third on a 3-1 changeup for the first out. Yadi followed, grounding another ball to Bohm at third for out number two. Carpenter struck out swinging at a curveball in the dirt to retire the side in order.
Bohm started the bottom of the fourth for the Phillies and grounded out sharply to DeJong for the first out. Gregorius followed and popped out to short. Segura grounded a sinker to the right side of the infield where it snuck through for a single. Moniak then drew a walk to put two on with two away. Nola grounded a 2-2 sinker to second, ending the inning and stranding two Phillies on base.
DeJong struck out swinging at a curveball to kick off the fifth. Carlson fell into an 0-2 hole and struck out swinging through a 1-2 fastball. Williams followed suit and missed a 2-2 changeup for the third strikeout of the inning by Nola.
McCutchen grounded out to short to start the bottom of the inning. Hoskins followed with a walk. Harper fell behind 0-2 but grounded an outside changeup down the third baseline for a double, bringing up Realmuto with runners on second and third and one out. The Cardinals intentionally walked Realmuto, and Bohm came up to hit with the bases loaded. Bohm flew out to left deeply enough to score Hoskins from third for a sacrifice fly and a 2-0 Phillies lead.
The other two runners advanced on the play, bringing in Gregorius with runners on second and third and two away. Gregorius popped out to DeJong to end the inning with minimal damage.
John Nogowski pinch hit for Gant and flew out to the warning track in right field. Edman grounded out to second on a 2-1 pitch for the second out, and Goldschmidt grounded out to third as the Cardinals went down in order.
Andrew Miller replaced Gant to pitch the sixth inning and got Segura on a flyout to center for the first out. Moniak struck out on an outside slider, and Nola grounded out to DeJong for a clean inning from Miller.
Arenado led off the seventh with a first-pitch popout to Segura. Molina then grounded out to Segura for the second out. Carpenter struck out swinging, the thirteenth straight Cardinal retired by Nola.
Giovanny Gallegos came in to pitch the seventh for the Cards, moving the pitcher spot to fifth in the order as Austin Dean was brought in to play left. Williams moved to right field and Edman went to second. McCutchen grounded out to Gallegos to kick off the bottom of the inning. Hoskins struck out on a breaking ball in the dirt, and Yadi threw to first for out number two. Harper followed and dropped a line drive into center field for a base hit. The ball got away from Yadi on a wild pitch in Realmuto’s at bat, advancing Harper to second. Realmuto struck out swinging on a 3-2 breaking pitch, bringing the Phillies’ threat to an end.
DeJong singled on a line drive to left field just out of reach of McCutchen for the Cardinals’ second hit of the game. Carlson flew out to center on a full count for out number one. Williams struck out looking at a fastball and Dean struck out swinging on a curveball to send the game to the bottom of the eighth.
Tyler Webb got the call to pitch the eighth for St. Louis. Bohm flew out to deep left on a fastball, and Gregorius did the same as Dean made a sliding catch in foul territory.
Segura walked on five pitches and Moniak struck out to end the inning, tipping a high fastball into Yadi’s glove.
Nola returned to pitch the ninth, seeking the complete game shutout. Edman grounded out to first to start the inning. Goldschmidt followed and flew the first pitch of his at bat to left for the second out. Arenado grounded out Gregorius, securing the shutout for Nola.
The Cardinals drop below .500 again at 7-8 with the loss and the Phillies improved to 8-7. The Cards begin a three-game series at Washington on Monday, with Jack Flaherty expected to start against Joe Ross. Monday’s game is scheduled to start at 6:05 PM CT.
Final Pitching Lines
Gant (L, 0-2): 5 IP/ 5 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 5 BB / 5 K / 1 HR
Miller: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 1 K / 0 HR
Gallegos: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0 HR
Webb: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 1 K / 0 HR
Nola: (W, 1-1): 9 IP / 2 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 10 K / 0 HR