Pirates @ Cardinals Recap 4.27- Wainwright, Peralta carry Cards to series win

Jhonny Peralta powers Cards to series victory - Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Wainwright dominant through eight innings, Peralta homers twice to carry Cards to series win

Pittsburgh Pirates @ St. Louis Cardinals

Edinson Volquez (1-1, 1.93 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (4-1, 1.46 ERA)

1:15 p.m. CT
Busch Stadium - St. Louis, MO

Some News-

Against the opponent (before this game)-

all-time record (1161-1224)
2013 (9-10) (12-12 including post season)
2014 (2-3)

Today's game was the 2410th regular season bout between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. By winning today's game, the Cardinals close the gap on the lifetime series, which now stands at 1162-1224.

The last time these two clubs met on April 27 was just a year ago.  AJ Burnett and the Pirates edged Joe Kelly and the Cardinals 5-3.  Russell Martin doubled and homered.  Yadier Molina, Allen Craig, Jon Jay, and Carlos Beltran all collected doubles for the Cardinals.

Things we were looking for-

In a fink's series preview, one of the things he noted in relation to this game was Volquez' encouraging (for Pirates fans) walk rate.  Walks weren't a problem for him today, but he gave up some solid contact.  Even so, he looks better in general to me than he did during his by-gone days with the Reds.

He also profiled their new first baseman Ike Davis, whose only contribution to this game was not quite keeping his foot on the bag.

Things that happened-

Daniel Descalso got another start at second, and Jon Jay continues to rack up starts in center.  Kolten Wong continued his slide down the depth chart, I guess.  Is he the third string second baseman now?

Top Halves-

Adam Wainwright was fantastic.  In the first, he walked Jose Tabata, but was quick to get outs from the others, including two fly outs to Matt Holliday, who continues to look more range-y to me than I expect.  He at least seems to be covering more ground than I think he should be able to.

Back-to-back singles off the bats of Tony Sanchez and Volquez started the third.  Wainwright blew through the top of the lineup, though, to get out of it, including a classic Wainwright curve to Andrew McCutchen to end the inning.

In the sixth, Tabata leaned across the plate to "take one for the team" on a slow curveball.  Waino and Matheny argued that he shouldn't have been awarded a base.  The umps talked about it, and they allowed him to stay.  Luckily, no harm was done.  Waino struck out McCutchen and Neil Walker in dominant fashion.

Waino got through eight in an excellent outing.  His final line- 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 99 pitches thrown

Carlos Martinez was nasty in the ninth.  He struck out the side with relative ease.

Wainwright threw a couple of 69 mph curveballs today.  That was kinda crazy.  This month (before this game), Wainwright's curve has averaged 75.47 m.p.h, which is pretty consistent with his career norms.

Speed_php_medium

via www.brooksbaseball.net

Look at those dipping under 70!  That was kindof fun.  Those are about 5-6 m.p.h. slower than his career averages.  I don't recall him throwing that slowly before.

Bottom Halves-

Edinson Volquez started off by allowing a Matt Carpenter double into the right field corner.  It was followed promptly by a sacrifice bunt by Jon Jay.  It felt a lot like watching a game from this time two years ago, which is frustrating. Holliday drove Carpenter in with a sac fly.  I guess it was encouraging that they could manufacture a run.  I hope they start scoring runs enough that Matheny doesn't feel like he needs to do that in the first inning.

The Cards threatened in the second but weren't able to push across any runs.  Yadier Molina doubled into the right field corner.  It was pretty aggressive baserunning on his part to stretch  it into a double.  He followed that by aggressively advancing to third on a lineout off of Allen Craig's bat.  Descalso dribbled a grounder to Volquez, and Molina got caught in a rundown.  He did his job and allowed the runners behind him to advance to second and third. (This was all after a weird squeeze attempt gone wrong.)  A Wainwright groundout ended the inning.

Volquez became more efficient through the next few innings.  He retired the side in order in the third and fourth.

Jhonny Peralta hit the first home run in Cardinals history to lead off the Cardinals' half of the fifth.  Really, the home run drought was at 10 games, not the entire history of the organization, but that's almost the same thing.  Peralta's fifth inning homer tied Edgar Renteria for the April record number of HRs for Cardinals' shortstops (5).  He didn't stay satisfied with that for long.  More on that later.

In the sixth, Holliday and Matt Adams singled.  Molina grounded to the shortstop, a sure inning-ending double play.  Except it wasn't.  The Bucs defense was able to retire Adams at second, but the throw from Walker pulled Ike Davis off the bag at first.  Molina was deemed safe.  The Pirates disagreed and challenged.  The call was upheld, extending the inning.  Allen Craig took advantage by flaring a single into right, scoring Holliday.

Peralta took further advantage.  He knocked his second dinger of the game into the Pirates' bullpen to put a serious number up on the board.  That chased Mr. Volquez from the game.

Volquez' final line- 5 2/3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 83 pitches thrown

Adams tripled(!!) off of Jeanmar Gomez in the eighth and came home to score on a Molina sac fly.

Dan N' Al says-

  • Tag- up plays are not reviewable, because the trucks can't link up the video from each camera precisely enough.  What?!
  • The Cardinals will hit.  They're too talented not to.
  • Dan wonders how Ballpark Village will affect flights of the balls.
  • Al incoherently compares this team to Whiteyball
  • The team should be open to new ideas, says Al.
  • Matheny is getting tired of hearing about a power outage.
  • "Is this offense something or what?" - Al
  • Some talk about Waino's varied deliveries to screw up the hitter.
  • Some general "score more runs than the other team, you win" stuff
  • "Outside of the fourth inning yesterday, the Pirates have been shut down this series." - Dan

VEB says-

  • "What is Descalso's career line against Volquez? Asking the question makes me throw up in my mouth a little, but attempting to divine Mathney’s thought process forces me to ask it." - Willie McGee's Twin
  • "Holliday has been flashing the leather, lately!" - BuSeaAir
  • "The most Marp thing ever! A lead off double!" - azta
  • "hate you matheny..." - guayzimi
  • "Well I'm glad we got a run! Not glad that we’ll be seeing a lot more first inning bunts until the offense gets going" - cardsfan_1986
  • "bunting to get a slow offense going is like opening a new credit card to make ends meet" - Pegasus
  • "Holy shift" - The Continental
  • "al just said the team should be open to new ideas /head explodes" - cschepers
  • "Seriously? They were gonna squeeze with Yadi running? Matheny is in full-on desperation mode" - cardsfan_1986
  • PB or Jay?
  • "Offensive power outage has made VEB even more gripey than usual, it seems" - mojowo11 (indeed, it was an especially "gripey" gamethread overall.)
  • Some general concern about Waino's velocity
  • '"There's your damn power, VEB"—Jhonny Peralta' - nathan.degraaf
  • "No rain now- Waino uber-efficient today, can have fully rested pen to sweep the Brewers. Then all of VEB can be happy." - BernardGilkeyHasAPosse!
  • "If anything Jhonny's start has made me more confident we made the right decision. Dude can’t catch a break with BABIP. Higher walk rate, better power than he’s ever showed." - stlcardsfan4
  • "Yes Al, grown men yelling and cursing at each other has always ben one of the game's best traditions. So sorry to see it go." - STLCards3
  • "Bhoom!" - huja
  • "Wainwright looking good" - stl ex-pat
  • "also pitching quite well." - stl ex-pat

  • '"Matt Adams standup triple" A combination of four words never before seen in the English language.' - BTown Birds Fan

  • SABERMATTRICS UPDATE
    Runs Matted In: 1
    Matts Batted In: 3
    Matts Matted In: 1 - mojowo11

  • "It is amazing how offense has turned this entire forum into a friendly place again. It’s like, "Hi, everybody!" And then we smile." - nathan.degraaf

  • "Winner!" - azta

Final Notes -

  • Only two of the starting position players didn't get hits- Jay and Descalso
  • Jhonny ended up with 2 HR and 4 RBIs on the day
  • Wainwright and Martinez were dominant all around, but were especially impressive against Andrew McCutchen. who went 0-4 with 3 Ks.
  • Adams' triple was the first of his career.
  • Perhaps someone other than Martinez could have pitched the ninth, but he's fun to watch and he didn't exert himself too much.  That decision probably isn't in Matheny's worst 5 today.
  • Four of the runs were scored in the sixth after what was almost an inning-ending double play.  Had the umpire called Yadi out at first, there probably wasn't enough to overturn the call.  Luckily, the safe call was upheld.
  • Fangraphs Win Expectancy for this game

Looking ahead-

Tune in tomorrow as the Milwaukee Brewers come to town.  They'll send Yovani Gallardo to the bump.  He'll be opposed by Michael Wacha.  The game will start at 7:15 CT.

Also, be sure to get your 50 cent drinks at On-The-Run at Mobil tomorrow.

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