During the first inning, the Cardinals threatened, but hit into a double play. Now that was frustrating...
Peter Bourjos absolutely made an amazing center fielder, proving his worth as a starter, again, on defense.
By the third inning, it looked like Bailey was just kinda floating the ball into the strike zone, lazily. But smoothly... he was rollin'. He has been having some bad luck with home runs this year, but the Cardinals weren't gonna threaten him with that outcome too much.
One thing I've noticed, is that even when Peter Bourjos strikes out, he walks away from the plate much faster than everyone else. He is just faster... at everything.
Shelby was gettin' the low strikes at least. But then, in the third inning, he got himself into a situation... and gave up a 3 run home run to Frazier.
The announcers state that the Cardinals are batting under .200 in a spot with runners at 2nd and 3rd and one out... Allen Craig was up... and Bailey did not exactly dominate. Allen Craig took advantage of this lack of dominance, and received 2 RBI from the GOB. The funniest part of this play was watching Wong just about pass up Matt Carpenter on the base paths as he rounded third toward home.
The 4th inning was the most entertaining at that point in the game, since Yadi stroked a single to the outfield, continuing the nice and patient Cardinal hitting which was welcome. Which brought up Matt Adams... Bailey strained to pitch more competitively in my mind, and Adams flied out on a routine fly ball.... which was rather unexciting.
Anticipation surmounted as Dan and Rick talked about Oscar Taveras and Randal Grichuk knocking strongly on the big league door in the bottom of the 4th. At this point, Luddy took a vicious swing at a Shelby Miller pitch and lined one out to center, landing just before the speedy Bourjos, who made a good play even though it was uncatchable.
Dan intimated how the Cardinals would love a double play at that point. However, they didn''t get it and Shelby allowed another run. By the way... Bourjos makes everything look easy out there. I suppose this is something that people will take for granted, but I can see why many VEB'rs clamored for the man's smoothness in center.
Tonight was a night where I was not able to watch the game in real time, and was able to somehow totally avoid the outcome of the game. This is ideal on a night where my band moved practice to Friday night and I missed the game. As much as I've complained about MLB.tv this year, this game displayed very smoothly in retrospect.
An observation: Kolten Wong's stance is intriguing. I have been a skeptic of him for no apparent reason. Same could be said of Bourjos. Sometimes I think that I am reverse jinxing the player. Whatever the reason, maybe partly curmudgeonry, I don't accept the usual knowledge. But I slowly come around. Feeling more confident about Kolten lately. Don't know if the demotion helped, but he seems a little more smooth and automatic at the plate as of late.
So, uh, Billy Hamilton is pretty fast. He stole his 18th in the fifth inning. Luckily, or skillfully, or whatever, Miller got out of the fifth with a strikeout.
In the sixth, the Cardinals threatened. A run scored on a groundout. These guys can get on base and grind out runs, much to Matheny's pleasure. I would rather see some dingers, but whatever works I guess? Bourjos gained momentum with his hitting game in this inning. I think he is gaining confidence, which is really interesting for the future of the Cards.
Interestingly enough, Jay followed Bourjos as a pinch hitter. I am hoping Matheny is becoming a little more effervescent with his decisions. More enlightened... don't take the game too seriously, Mike. It will just lead to some bad decisions, usually. But then again, don't overthink things. I guess I'm still not sure what to think of Mike.
As for the game immediate, Peralta got picked off at second base. He just was not attentive enough at that moment. Hard to blame Matheny for everything?
By the sixth, Maness took over pitching duties. I guess even Matheny realized that Miller is probably the weakest link in the rotation. It has sure seemed that way so far this season.
Unfortunately, Mesoraco destroyed a Seth Maness pitch which put the Reds up 5-3. On the bright side, it was just a solo shot. One could argue that Maness is not that good, but so far he's been pretty all right with a 3.67 xFIP and sub-3 ERA.
Bunting backfires and retired the side in the 7th inning. Hard to believe in mathenaging!
Maness was sent back out, and almost made it through another inning. But it was not his night, as he allowed 4 hits. Siegrist was deployed as the firesafe. He was able to get the out in rather expeditious fashion in the 7th.
In the 8th, what was the highlight of the game for me, was Pena's play at first base. The Cards' offense did not have an answer to that play... he made it look easy and I personally would have been demoralized by it if I were a Cardinal ballplayer.
Siegrist went out again in the 8th. I must say that I have the most confidence in him at this point... him and Neshek I guess. Kevin embarrassed Luddy at one point on a strikeout. Ryan Ludwick doesn't seem to be much of a threat. Siegrist did indeed take care of business tonight.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they had to face Chapman in the 9th inning, and their 2 run debt to the GOB was insurmountable. Especially against someone as effective as Aroldis. The Cardinals will need to score more runs per game this year, and I'm not sure how they'll find it.
Tomorrow's game is an early night game. I am looking forward to it despite tonight's loss. The Cards have been on a roll and I want to see them beat the Reds again.
Just as I was about to give up hope, Ellis got a sweet hit. Then Sugar Shane came up, who has been apparently tearing up left handed pitching in the minor leagues. He also got my hopes up, but did not quite hit the ball out of the park on a deep fly ball to left field.
Todd Frazier's home run was the deciding factor in this game.
The WPA narrative surrounding this game applied to the Cardinals offense in much the opposite of the narrative of the season: Craig was the most positive factor on offense, while Peralta was a dud. Matt Holliday was also rather unclutch... but he hasn't yet been a big factor in the Cards' offense like he should be.
Shelby Miller was not very good tonight... I'm not sure if he's been good all season at this point. A definite fifth starter... while Todd Frazier got the hero status for Reds fans.
Green'd comments from the 'thread: