On a night when the Cardinals were looking to sweep
We started out frustrated and talking in bleeps
But doubles galore
Led three runs to score
Plus a fourth in the eighth to ensure we'd not weep.
I missed some of the game, including the start, and consequently the two runs the Diamondbacks scored. I heard there was a Lynning involved, but I think we're using that term too loosely. Upon review, Lynn only gave up singles, and one run scored on a sacrifice fly that would not have advanced the runner if Molina had cleanly fielded the throw from Shane Robinson. Lynn gave up a few more hits after that inning, including about a dozen to Tuffy Gosewisch (to be clear: I added that part just so I could type the name Tuffy). So, Lynn wasn't sharp tonight, but he wasn't terrible. As I discussed in my series preview, the Diamondbacks are a good offensive club. Lynn handled them decently, and I have no complaints.
Besides, the real fun started in the 6th inning. With two outs and a runner on first, Jhonny Peralta smoked a ball to left center field for a double. He is killing it, you guys. With 1.6 fWAR on the season (second behind Yadi), his current line is .258/.342/.491. [Side note: Peralta's B-Ref page isn't sponsored. Could a VEB fundraiser be in the works?] Sugar Shane followed up with another double, and suddenly it was tied 2-2. Allen Craig hit yet another double in the 7th inning to score Matt Holliday. The Cards added an insurance run in the 8th, and went on to win 4-2.
Don't look now, but with the Brewers' late inning loss to the Braves, the Cardinals are just 1.5 games out of first place.
1. I will go ahead and give Matheny kudos for taking Lynn out after six innings. His spot came up in the bottom of the inning, and instead of doing the infuriating pitcher-hits-for-himself-then-comes-back-in-the-top-of-the-inning-to-only-pitch-to-one-batter signature Mike Matheny move, he did the smart thing and brought in a pinch hitter. Neshek jumped up in the bullpen like his seat was on fire and quickly got himself ready to go.
2. Speaking of Neshek, he is quietly (or not so quietly) putting together a really fantastic season. After tonight's game, his ERA is 0.86, while his FIP and xFIP are still remarkably low, at 2.06 and 2.89, respectively. His k/9 is 9.86, and he has only given up one home run in 21 innings pitched. With Motte back and Neshek pitching like a shut-down closer, the bullpen is slowly becoming a strength for the Cardinals. It seems this happens every year; doesn't it?
3. In his first start after being called back up from AAA, Shane Robinson went 3-4 with a double and two RBI. I can't help but root for that guy, and considering his speed and typically strong defense, I think he could be a starter for a bad MLB team. He could certainly be a 4th starter for almost any of them. We just don't really have a spot here for him. And, as much as I love him, I would really rather see Piscotty or Taveras up with the Big Club.
Well, that's all she wrote, folks. (Literally! Haha!) The Cardinals travel to Cincinnati for a three-game series with the Reds starting tomorrow, then it's back home for the much-anticipated series with the Yankees and the return of the prodigal son, Brendan Ryan.
Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend, everyone!