The game was fun, and then it sucked a lot.
Well that sucked.
I think that about covers it. No need for a recap right?
Aw hell, I’ll keep it short. Mitch Keller pitched for the Pirates. Contrary to popular opinion, the Cardinals are actually allowed to score runs off Keller, something that did not necessarily appear true in his two previous starts, both scoreless affairs. They scored early and often, and then stopped abruptly, but they scored often enough that it should have been enough.
Tommy Edman led off the game with a walk and after two harmless flyouts by Paul Goldschmidt and Dylan Carlson, Nolan Arenado hit a very harmful to the foul pole flyball. You see because it hit the foul pole. 2-0 Cards. The Cards began the 2nd with a walk as well. After an infield single, then a lineout and sac bunt, Edman lined a double down the right field line to add two more runs. Goldschmidt singled home Edman before another Carlson flyout.
In the 3rd, Yadier Molina lined a single to right with one out and two batters later, Edmundo Sosa blasted a home run to right center field. As far as Keller’s start, he was able to keep the damage to seven runs. He pitched a 1-2-3 4th inning. Despite a leadoff walk to Carlson in the 5th, a double play ball by Arenado kept the Cards offense quiet. He came back out for the 6th, struck out Nootbar, and then was taken out after hitting Sosa.
Keller’s counterpart, Miles Mikolas, was not very good. He also led off his start with a leadoff walk, but followed it with two strikeouts and a groundout. In the 2nd, a leadoff infield single and then a double by Gregory Polanco put runners at 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. A groundout scored the Pirates first run, but then he struck out catcher Michael Perez and got Keller to ground out back to him.
Mikolas had lots of issues in the 3rd. After a one-out single by former Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis, Colin Moran came to the plate with two outs. He hit an absolute bomb to right field to cut the lead to 7-3. He allowed two more singles before a flyout ended the inning. After a 1-2-3 4th, Mikolas allowed a leadoff double to Chavis in the 5th, and then a single to center with one out. Chavis stayed at 3rd though, and never scored after TJ McFarland came in and got a two-pitch double play ball.
The bullpen appeared to have things at hand at first, starting with McFarland, but also when Andrew Miller replaced McFarland and struck out two batters in a 1-2-3 inning. One almost wishes he had pitched slightly worse so he wouldn’t be brought out back for a second inning, but he was and allowed a double and a walk. With nobody out, he ceded the mound to Genesis Cabrera.
In the understatement of the year, Cabrera did not have it tonight. Here is all 13 pitches he threw tonight:
Cabrera was a bit unlucky at first. He allowed an 83.8 mph single to Chavis, a 76.4 mph groundball single to Bryan Reynolds, and an 82.9 mph single to Colin Moran that also featured an ugly swing. Then the wheels came off. 105.7 mph single, 107 mph double, and 102.6 mph home run.
He exited the game having not recorded an out and seeing the score flip from 7-3 Cardinals to 11-7 Pirates. Daniel Poncedeleon replaced him and fared a little better. He got two fairly quick outs, but walked the third batter and allowed a single to the next, but got Reynolds to fly out. 13 batters came to the plate that inning, with 10 reaching base.
The game was pretty much over after that. Chris Stratton struck out the side in the top pf the 8th. Good response by the offense. Junior Fernandez didn’t exactly pitch well, but got out of the bottom half of the inning without a walk or run allowed. Another hit by Moran, and two lineouts, but no runs. David Bednar pitched the 9th and got a 1-2-3 inning.
- Mikolas line: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 3 Ks, BB, HR – he only threw 76 pitches so Shildt had a fairly quick hook on Mikolas, deservedly so. He did not look very good.
- Cabrera line: O.O IP, 6 H, 6 ER, HR – ERA jumped all the way from 3.34 to 4.29. Hard to do this late in the season, even if you’re a reliever.
- Edman heating up, with a 2-4 day with a BB. One of his hits was a double, trying to earn the moniker of Tommy Two Bags.
- Cardinals are single-handedly keeping Colin Moran employed by an MLB team. He went 4-5 tonight with a homer. This slightly above average hitter just rakes against the Cards and it’s kind of annoying!
- The 47 wRC+ hitter in 94 PAs before tonight’s game Michael Chavis also went 4-5. The 69 wRC+ before tonight hitter Gregory Polanco went 3-5 with 2 2Bs. At least Wilmer Difo, who went 3-5, had a 93 wRC+ but his career wRC+ is 74. Good night to be a bad hitter facing the Cards.
- If I had more faith in the Cardinals, before it was ripped out of me, I would have been too angry to write this recap. But I kind of reacted to tonight with a shrug, so this was not nearly as hard to write as it probably should have been.
Tomorrow the Cards try to even the series against the Pirates. It should probably go better than tonight’s game. Not talking win, just better than tonight’s game. It’s J.A. Happ against Dillon Peters.