All in all, this might have been Mike Matheny's best managed game so far this season. The lineup he started was very good (I would have started Jay in CF and Taveras in right, but that's a quibble), and he largely pulled the right strings within the game (I wouldn't have closed the game with Rosenthal, but again, that's a quibble), and the Cardinals won the game on the backs of some of VEB's favorites.
The Cardinals would score early, getting two runs in the very first inning. Matt Carpenter singled on a soft jam shot to lead off the game, and after Oscar Taveras flied out, Matt Holliday drew a walk. Matt Adams hit a double, but was thrown out at third on a controversial challenged play where it looked like the tag never got put on. Jhonny Peralta ended the inning with a strikeout.
In the top of the second inning, the Pirates' Neil Walker (who is hitting a very nice .279/.347/448 as a second baseman) homered to lead off the inning, but other than an Ike Davis walk, nothing else would come out of the inning. The bottom half would prove ominous, however, when Yadier Molina injured his thumb sliding into third base. He tried to stay in the game, but would be removed in the bottom of the third inning for Tony Cruz.
In the bottom of the third, after a Taveras ground out, Matts Holliday and Adams would single. Jhonny Peralta doubled to centerfield, scoring Holliday, while Adams would get tagged out at home on a fielder's choice with Tony Cruz batting. The Pirates would get one back in the next half inning, however, when Jordy Mercer singled on a sharp ground ball to Matt Carpenter, scoring Neil Walker. On the play, Matt Carpenter rolled over his rest trying to snare the ball. The trainers came out to look at him, but he would stay in the game.
With the score at 3-2 going into the bottom of the fourth, the Cardinals keep on adding to the lead. After Kolten Wong lined out to first, Lance Lynn would walk, followed by singles from Matt Carpenter and Oscar Taveras to load the bases. Matt Holliday singled on a hard hit ground ball to the left side to score Lynn.
Rounding out the scoring, Kolten Wong homered in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving us the final scoreline of 5-2. From here, it was steady managing from Matheny that got us through the end of the game. Peter Bourjos pinch hit for Randy Choate and hit a triple. He stayed in the game in center, pushing Oscar Taveras to right field, when Seth Maness came in the game, and then wanting to make sure to preserve the lead, he put in Trevor Rosenthal in to close out the game. He walked Pedro Alvarez, but Peter Bourjos made a fantastic play at the wall to end the game.
Three Stars of the Game (by WPA)
- Matt Holliday (+.152): 2-3, 2 BB, 1 RBI, 2 R
- Lance Lynn (+.137): 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 SO, 2 BB
- Matt Adams (+.129): 3-5, 2 RBI
Three ...not Stars of the Game (by WPA)
- Allen Craig (-.091): Welp. Once again.
- Lance Lynn (as a hitter) (-0.54): 0-1
- Tony Cruz (-.046): 1-3 filling in for Yadier.