Wainwright and Hamels faced off today, and while both pitchers were good, Wainwright was simply better. Not much happened in the early innings. The Cardinals scored first in the bottom of the second on a sacrifice fly (it was practically a line drive) by Matt Adams. The Phillies came back to score in the top of the third on two singles and a sacrifice fly. Both pitchers were pretty solid after that, and neither team really threatened until the Cardinals in the 8th inning.
In the bottom of the 8th, Matt Carpenter drew a leadoff walk. After a visit to the mound (in which I assumed Hamels would be pulled), Craig flew out to center field. Matt Holliday came to the plate next, working on an 0-2 day that included a strike out and a GIDP. Holliday pulled a 83 mph changeup to left field, and Carpenter came all the way around the bases to score from first and give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.
Diekman replaced Hamels, but hit Molina with a pitch. A passed ball to Peralta allowed Holliday to advance to third. When Peralta hit a ground ball to shortstop, Holliday broke for the plate. Rollins opted to throw home. Although the throw appeared to beat him (by quite a bit), Holliday scored in a very close play. Another sac fly from Adams gave the Cardinals a 4-1 lead.
Rosenthal pitched the top of the 9th, hit 97 mph consistently, and struck out Byrd and Brown (we won't talk about his walk to Mayberry) to notch his 21st save of the season. Hooray!
1. During the game, a Fox Sports graphic showed that the two longest-running, active batteries are Cole Hamels and Carlos Ruiz at 175 games, and Adam Wainright and Yadier Molina at 173 games. That is a LOT of games. I find the Adam-Yadi battery much more charming; don't you?
2. Wainwright had good stuff today,and looked sharp - hitting his spots and painting the corners. He didn't walk a single batter through eight innings, for a final line of 8 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 0 BB and 7 Ks. He collected his 10th win of the season and dropped his ERA to 2.08. But Clayton Kershaw had to go and throw a stupid no-hitter last week, thereby likely ensuring his third Cy Young award. Boo.
3. In addition to their pitching contributions, Wainwright and Hamels each hit a double today. Hamels also had a single. Waino is batting .290/.333/.387 on the season and has been worth .3 fWAR with his bat. Hamels is batting .269/.269/.308. I enjoy this stuff. Suck it, DH.
4. What the hell happened in the bottom of the second? With Peralta on third, Bourjos bunted. It wasn't a suicide squeeze, but it was presumably a squeeze play of some sort. It didn't work, as Bourjos' bunt landed in front of the catcher and Peralta couldn't go home. I assume Matheny called that play. It seems ill-advised. The Cardinals had a runner on third - a ssssllllooowww runner, at that - and only one out. Can Bourjos really not be trusted to put the ball in the outfield? (I mean, I guess the answer is probably no, he can't, but I still thought this was a really strange play.)
5. Re: Matt Holliday's slide in the bottom of the 8th. I was only half-watching, and without sound, but he looked out to me. And even if he wasn't, I couldn't understand why the Phillies didn't challenge. Tell me what I'm missing, VEB!
The Cards will try to even the series tomorrow as Carlos "el Gallo" Martinez [HI CARLOS] takes on Kyle Kendrik at 1:15 CT. Happy weekend, everyone!