This was the first of a four game series at beautiful Busch Stadium III.
Matt Adams, possibly still bothered by a sore calf, was given another night off. Allen Craig moved to first base and Jon Jay took the start in right field.
For the Giants, Hector Sanchez filled in at catcher for Buster Posey who has been dealing with lower back issues. Also, as noted by spants in the series preview, Baby Giraffe Brandon Belt is on the disabled list due to a broken thumb. Michael Morse covered first base tonight.
Things were not off to a good start as Fox Sports Midwest gave Dan McLaughlin the night off and went with Ricky Horton and Al Hrrrrrrabosky. Please stop this, FSMW.
JAIME, however, was off to a good start as he had a quick 1-2-3 first inning on just 9 pitches.
In the bottom of the frame, Matt Carpenter led off with a sharp grounder for a single. After Kolten Wong and Matt Holliday strikeouts, The Galveston Grinder took matters into his own hands and stole second. Allen Craig worked a nice at bat and lined a ground-rule double into the right field corner, scoring Carpenter. Pablo Sandoval made a nice diving stop to end the inning 5-3. 1-0 Cardinals.
The lead would be short lived as Morse led off the second with a deep, game tying home run. With a runner at second Gregor Blanco hit a RBI single to short RF. Blanco tried to take second during the play at home, but was run down. 2-1 Giants.
It stayed that way until the bottom of the 4th. After a Holliday single, Vogelsong had a little trouble finding the zone. Consecutive walks to Allen Craig and Yadier Molina loaded the bases. Jhonny Peralta managed to drive a run home, but at the expense of grounding into a double play. Jay then hit a single into right center, driving in Craig, but was thrown out on a close play trying to stretch it into a double. 3-2 Cardinals.
Skipping along to the bottom of the 5th. Peter Bourjos reached on an error by Crawford. Then Jaime sac bunted him over to third. Now let's back up a moment here and unpack that. PB, standing on first base, was sac bunted to third because holy cats Peter Bourjos runs like he's inhabited by the spirit of Mercury himself. This might be the most fun baseball play I've seen this week.
In the 7th, Bourjos reached on a clean single. Mark Ellis pinch hit for JAIME, sac bunting PB over to second. Not third. Just second. Oh well.
Jaime's line on the night: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 7 K, 0 BB, 2 HR, on 84 pitches.
And in the 8th. Well, the 8th. Things unraveled in the 8th. As so often happens in the 8th, Matheny brought in Carlos Martinez. He was greeted by Blanco hitting a lead off single past Wong. It looked like Wong might have slipped going to field it. With one out Blanco stole second, then Angel Pagan slapped a single up the middle, fielded by Bourjos. PB heaved the ball back in (Blanco had stopped at third), but the throw got past cut-off man Craig. Martinez, in front of Yadi at home, tried to field it but the short-hop glanced off his glove and went to the backstop. Blanco scored to tie the game. Through all of that, it was Bourjos who was charged with the error.
And then there was the intentional walk to Sandoval. I don't really know why they didn't just pitch to him there. In any case, it put runners at first and third with two out. Martinez was lifted and Trevor Rosenthal double switched in, with Daniel Descalso taking over at second.
Yadi called for the pitch down and away, but Rosie left the 98mph heater belt high. Morse lined it into the right center field gap, just going off Bourjos' glove. The bases cleared. 6-4 Giants.
Your Cardinals worked on a 9th inning comeback, but fell just short. After a Jay single and a Dirty Dan walk, Matt Carpenter hit an outside pitch for a two-out RBI single, making it a one run game. This left runners at first and third. However, remember that double switch in the 8th? This would have been Wong's spot to come up, but was now inhabited by the pitcher. Shane Robinson, the last (presumably, at least) man on the bench, popped out. Game over. A 6-5 Giants win.
Curiously, Matt Adams did not make an appearance tonight, although there were opportunities to use him to pinch hit. Wolves might be involved.
Highest WPA: Craig .339 (!), Jay .116, Carpenter .050
Lowest WPA: Rosenthal -.350, Martinez -.265, Robinson -.189
The Next Game
The series continues tomorrow with Adam Wainwright (8-2, 1.67 ERA, 2.26 FIP, 2.91 xFIP) taking the hill against Madison Bumgarner (6-3, 3.15 ERA, 2.82 FIP, 2.99 xFIP). First pitch at 7:15 Central.
The Game Notes
Also, my heartfelt apologies to guayzimi, who will hate this recap.