the cardinals played the 'rats tonight
the men in black put up a fight
but yadi's solo
and the matts were matting with might
tonight's game started on time. and that was awesome. round of applause, please, for the pittsburgh weather.
the game started off great, too. the cardinals came ready to play right out of the box, and it was extremely pleasing, especially after last night's debacle. francisco liriano got the start, and he got beat up pretty badly. in the first inning alone, matt carpenter blooped a single, peralta walked, a matt got matted in, craig sacrificed jhonny home, yadi went the other way for a single, and matt adams fucked another shift. kind of. okay, not really. they didn't have the shift on, which is probably the only reason his hit went through the infield. but all those shifts that got fucked before LED TO THIS MOMENT. (the pirates' infield conferred before adams' at bat and seemed to opt against putting the shift on. then they put it back on in the third and the sixth.) whatever. the cardinals scored three runs in the first inning. it was glorious and exactly what the cardinals needed. it was a three-matt inning. a MATT TRICK. you heard it here first. i'm trademarking that.
it was all redbirds the rest of the game. the cardinals added a run in the sixth on a yadier molina solo home run, and a two-run home run by peralta in the 9th. joe kelly pitched pretty well, because of course he did. listen, i love joe kelly as much as the next girl - and more than lil scoot. i think he's hilarious. i spend entirely too much time thinking about the adventures he could have had with boog. (sidenote: don't you really wish that kelly and boog would do a stepbrothers spoof where they turn their beds into bunk beds and talk about all the activities they could do?! no? just me? oh....)
but i digress. joe kelly was not bad, especially considering it was his first game pitching since march 23. his fastball was at 94-96, and had some nice movement at times. he gave up one run and six hits through 5.1 innings, struck out four and walked four. the high walk count is concerning. in fact, the only run the pirates scored was when kelly walked in a run in the third. but this will probably get overlooked, because he generally got results through ground balls and good defense, including a key double play in the third with the bases loaded. it's not fair, but it's baseball, folks. i want to see carlos martinez out there every fifth day, but it's not happening, at least for now, so i will stop lamenting and learn to accept mr. kelly. if he keeps hitting doubles like he did in the second, he can pitch all he wants.
big takeaways of the game, for me:
1) the first inning. that was but a hint of what this offense can do. and i say a hint, because really, no one hit the ball particularly hard. it was a lot of bloops and ground ball singles up the middle. well, actually, craig hit the ball pretty darn hard - it just happened to be right at someone. regardless, the hits just. kept. coming. an inning like that excites me and it should excite you, too. the first four games of this season notwithstanding, this is a very, very good offense. we will score a lot of runs. let's just sit back and enjoy it.
p.s. taveras hit a home run for memphis tonight. imagine if he can hit the way we all think he can at the major league level this season. cue wolf of wall street leo-fist-in-mouth.jpeg.
2) peralta in the 2-hole. or, rather, wong NOT in the 2-hole. however you want to look at it. i like, nay LOVE, having speed on this team. i am looking forward to wong getting better and leading off for this team. yeah, i said leading off. he's not a 2-hole hitter. maybe he will be one day, but i doubt it. he's either a lead off hitter or a 7th/8th place hitter. (or, dare i say, a 9th place hitter, with the pitcher batting 8th.) your best hitter should be hitting second, and wong is never going to be that on the 2014 st. louis cardinals. so, props to matheny for possibly recognizing that. or, you know, props to matheny for doing something different for probably the wrong reasons. (i don't really know if JP should be hitting second, either, but hey - you gotta pick your battles.)
3) home runs! carpenter last night and molina and peralta tonight - in very cold weather.
4) bourjos plays such a nice centerfield. he came in on a line drive from ishikawa in the fourth that i don't really believe jon jay would have gotten to. he had a rough night at the plate, going 0-3 with two strikeouts (though he did draw a walk in the sixth), but it's not something i worry about. his defense more than makes up for it, and with this team's offense, we can afford it.
tonight's game paints a good picture of what i imagine this team will look like going forward. i am really excited to see how it all plays out.