Edwin Jackson (0-0, 6.30 ERA) vs. Michael Wacha (1-0, 0.71 ERA)
1:15 p.m. CT
Busch Stadium- St. Louis, Missouri
- Yesterday, the Cardinals announced that they've signed General Manager John Mozeliak to an extension that will keep the dapper GM in the Cardinals' front office through 2018.
- Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright received their Rawlings Gold Gloves before the game today.
- I caught just a few minutes of the Reds game radio broadcast, and Marty mentioned that their game today is the 4000th MLB game that Tim Welke has umpired. That's something like 4th all time or so. That's pretty cool.
- Kyle Lohse pitched the Brewers to their 9th straight win today, defeating the Pirates 4-1.
- The Reds clobbered the Rays 12-4, improving their record to 4-8.
- Tomorrow, Aroldis Chapman will throw his first bullpen since his scary spring training accident.
- Mark Ellis went 1-3 in a rehab assignment game today in Memphis.
Against the opponent (before this game)-
all-time record (1127-1181)
Today's game was the 2328th regular season bout between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs (I know, the math doesn't add up. I'm not sure why. Ties? Games started but not completed?). By winning, the Cardinals closed the gap in the lifetime series against the Cubbies, which now stands at 1128-1181.
The last time these two clubs met on April 13 was in 2012, when the Cubs were able to chase Adam Wainwright after only 3 inning. Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs won 9-5.
Things we were looking for-
During the series, we've seen some strange things play out. If I were to tell you that Trevor Rosenthal hit for himself in extra innings at home with a runner in scoring position with three relievers available to use, would you expect that the Cardinals would win that game? They didn't. Fortunately (I guess), the Cardinals lost the game quickly enough that the bullpen wasn't "used up" for the rest of the series. Adam Wainwright helped by posting 7 innings of give-your-team-a-chance-to-win baseball yesterday. Similarly, Chris Rusin was able to provide relief for the Cubs' pen, racking up 5 innings after the Cards' offense came alive and chased starter Carlos Villanueva after only 3 innings yesterday. Rusin was sent out before today's game in favor of Blake Parker.
Things that happened-
Mike Matheny threw out what has become a pretty standard lineup to start today. With all the talk in spring training about who would occupy the second spot in the order, Kolten Wong seems to have earned it for the time being. Matheny has tried Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos there one game each and Jhonny Peralta for two. Peralta returned to the lineup today after a day off. Wong helped his cause for hitting high in the order by going 2-4 and driving in a run today.
Michael Wacha was good with really only one big mistake and one bad luck inning after a rain delay.
In the first inning, Anthony Rizzo clubbed a two run homer after a Justin Ruggiano single.
He left a 93 m.p.h. fastball out over the plate that Rizzo had no problem getting a good bat on:
After that, he settled in. He worked around a Matt Carpenter error with no problem in the second, and helped himself by picking off Ruggiano in the third.
Coming back from the rain delay in the fourth, Wacha allowed a walk, a HPB, and a Welington Castillo RBI single to tie the game. He pitched into the seventh without much drama.
Wacha's final line: 6 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 92 pitches thrown
Kevin Siegrist pitched an excellent 1 2/3 inning in relief. He looked dominant.
Trevor Rosenthal allowed a one out triple to Junior Lake, a Mike Olt RBI single, and hit Castillo with with a pitch but was able to limit more damage. He struggled through to earn his fourth save.
Edwin Jackson labored early. It took him 26 pitches to get through the first, but he was able to work around a Wong single and a Holliday walk. It took him 29 more to get through the second. He didn't come through quite as un-scathed:
Jhonny Peralta finally got his first non-HR hit of the season in the second, when he lined a hard single down the left field line.
With two outs, Matt Carpenter worked a six pitch at-bat that resulted in a single that tied the game at 2-2. It was really a turning point in the game, both in terms of score and making Jackson work. He Let's take a look at the pitches he dealt with:
The pitch he singled up the middle was an 85 mph changeup.
The at bat wasn't quite as impressive as this, but still cool.
Wong put the Birds on top by driving Carpenter in after Carp's game-tying single and a stolen base.
After a leadoff single by Yadier Molina in the third, Jerry Layne needed a break, so he called for the tarp on the field with a 1-0 count on Allen Craig. Jerry and the weather did their business, and the game returned after a 46 minute rain delay. Both starting pitchers were able to remain in the game. Jackson made quick work of Craig and Peralta to complete the third.
Peter Bourjos led off the bottom half of the fourth with a triple into the right field corner. Carpenter drove him home with a sacrifice fly to take the lead back 4-3. It was Carpenter's third RBI of the game.
Jackson's final line: 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 114 pitches thrown.
The Cardinals struck again in the eighth. With Blake Parker pitching, Molina singled. Then Craig singled. Then Peralta doubled, scoring Molina. With the infield drawn in, Bourjos dribbled a grounder to Olt, who booted it, and then made an ill-advised throw home to try to retire Craig. Craig scored on the play, which was scored a fielder's choice.
Dan N' Al says-
- Edwin Jackson is vaulable. He's good. Inconsistent. You'd think he's a bad guy. 8 different clubs. He's a good guy. Every fifth day. Good stuff. What will we see today? - paraphrase
- Matt Carpenter stays back in the box and lets the ball travel deep on him.
- The ping pong table from spring training has gone to charity. There is a new one on order.
- Bourjos was the spring training ping pong champion.
- "Usually you don't mind missing a team's ace, but with the way the Cardinals have owned Gallardo, you almost wish they wouldn't miss him" - Al
- As The Continental notes- "DannyMac desperately trying to compliment the StL grounds crew while Al blathers on"
- Wacha's dad says hi! You can see where Michael gets his charm.
- "It's a mental state of mind" - Al
- Mark Ellis is coming back. Will he be pinch hitting in late innings vs. lefties?
- Bob Uecker is hilarious.
- Yadier Molina has 8 consecutive games with at least 2 hits and 1 run against the Cubs.
- Trevor Rosenthal's velocity is down, Al's noticed.
- "hooray, the A lineup!" - lightbulb
- "it's nice having peter bourjos on this team" - zoomzoomj88
- There was some consternation about the decision for Wacha to bunt with runners on first and second with one out in the second. I'm not going to try to rehash it, but you can see for yourself here. For what it's worth, the win expectancy chart on fangraphs indicated that the move (which was well-executed) reduced the Cardinals' win expectancy by 3.1%. The discussion got pretty intense.
- "SABERMATTRICS UPDATE -
Runs Matted In: 2
Matts Batted In: 1
Matts Matted In: 0" - mojowo11
(note- not the final update)
- "this marp is on fiyyyaaaaa" - cschepers
- "Just a heads up Al - there is always weather in the area. Whatever area it is" - nathan.degraaf
- "the suckiness of our announcing teams is never clearer than when WGN is an option." - haightst
- Rain delay theater, VEB style- "Do you think they ever hire women to take turns inside the Fredbird suit?" - turpinforpresident
- "Matheny: MARP NOW BAT 4 BECAUSE SO CLUTCH. BOURJOS NOW BAT 1 BECAUSE SO SPEED" - adam_ala
- "That was good bullpen management there. - Now you have CMart if Rosie gets in trouble." - nathan.degraaf
- flyerdogg11 pointed out that Jerry Layne's strikezone wasn't great.
- "LINER FROM CRAIG" - ViperLjs
- "flamboyant double!" - zoomzoomj88
- "lolcubs" - leefyg
- "MIKEOLT!! \o/" - LeeVing45
- Rosie concerns?
- "Yep, we're having chicken tonight." - TBender
- Speed is fun. My dad wondered how many stolen bases the Cards have now compared to last year. Through the first 12 games last year, the Cardinals had just two stolen bases, both by Daniel Descalso. So far this year, the Cardinals have 6 (all within the last 6 games). I feel pretty good about them eclipsing their NL-worst 45 last year, even though they're losing production on that front from noted speedsters Carlos Beltran, David Freese, and Jake Westbrook.
- Speaking of speed, Bourjos was on base twice, scored a run, and made a few nice plays in center. He also knocked in a run, sorta.
- It was an encouraging start by Wacha. He wasn't sharp at times, but he was really good. He struck out a eight, and seemed unfazed by the rain delay.
- Two hit days from Molina, Peralta, Wong and Holliday. Holliday reached base four times. Peralta doubled his hit total for the season.
- Adams and Wacha are the only starters that didn't get a hit.
- Win Expectancy graph page for this game on Fangraphs
Remember to get your 50 cent drinks at On-The-Run at Mobil tomorrow.
Tune in tomorrow as the Cardinals hit the road to take on the Brewers of Milwaukee in a three game set. Lance Lynn will look to defeat Matt Garza and snap the Brewers' nine game winning streak starting at 7:10 CT