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Cardinals vs. Nationals Recap: Adams and Miller Rule the Day

Matt Adams homered for the second time in as many games, and Shelby Miller looked sharp through 6.2 to lead the Cards to a 4-1 victory.

Jeff Curry

The first round pitching prospects dueled again

Strikeouts and such, but we still saw the pens

Miller worked hard

Adams went yard

Two wins in two days, we're all feeling zen

The Game

I'm going to keep this short and sweet tonight, guys.  But mostly sweet, because this was a great Cardinals win.  Shelby Miller faced Stephen Strasburg in a matchup made for Hollywood circa 2011.  Strasburg just isn't as scary as he used to be, right?  But, then again, Shelby isn't quite the pitcher we all thought he'd be, either.  I will say this: as someone who has written her fair share of Shelby Miller-start recaps this season, he has gotten better.  At the beginning of the season, Shelby was getting good results based largely on luck and run support.  In his past few starts, he has been legitimately good.  In 6.2 IP tonight, he struck out seven and allowed only four hits and one run (though he did walk four, and walks are still a very big problem for him).

Strasburg was also good, but not good enough.  The Cards scored in the third after Miller helped his own cause with a double down the right field.  Matt Carpenter followed with a base hit to score Miller, though Carpenter was thrown out at second trying to stretch his hit into a double.  In the seventh inning, Matt Adams dug down to pull a low fastball to right center field and out of the park.  It was his second home run in two games since coming off the disabled list.  Perhaps a little R & R is all Adams needed to get his power back.

After Adams' homerun, the Cardinals scored two more times in the inning.  With two outs, Jon Jay worked a pinch-hit ground ball single.  The Nats brought in a new pitcher, who promptly walked Carpenter.  Then Storen came in to hit Ellis with a pitch, walk Holliday, and give up a ridiculously lucky infield hit to Allen Craig.  4-1 Cardinals after 7.  Neshek pitched the 8th and Rosie came in for the 9th.  Despite a leadoff walk, Rosenthal got Desmond to pop out and induced a lovely double play ball off Espinosa to win the game.  Hugs and high fives for everyone.

Additional Notes

1. Matt Adams' dad is in town for the series this weekend.  Matt Adams' dad needs to come to every game, forever.

2. After Shelby walked Strasburg to load the bases in the bottom of the 7th, Choate came in to pitch to LHB Denard Span. He got the ground ball out to end the inning.  That is how I would like to see Choate used the rest of the season.  And also the rest of the time he plays for the Cardinals.

3. MATHENAGING DOUBLE SWITCH WATCH: Neshek came into pitch the 8th.  Matheny inexplicably switched him into the third spot in the lineup, thus double-switching out Matt Holliday.  Jay stayed in the game to play left field.  Perhaps Matt Holliday was not feeling well or tweaked something.  If that is the case, then I can almost understand this completely asinine move.  If that is not the case, and in fact Matheny stuck Jay - who actually may be worse defensively than Holliday in that position - into left field in a semi-close game, while removing one of the best hitters on the team and allowing the pitcher's spot to bat third, then I can only say:

¿en serio Matheny?