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Cards @ Jays recap 6.8 - Cards carry early lead to series win over the Jays

Cards' offense jump on Hutchison in the second; Jaime induces a boatload of groundouts as Cards take two of three from Jays.

Jaime Garcia pitches seven solid innings in a way that would make Dave Duncan proud.
Jaime Garcia pitches seven solid innings in a way that would make Dave Duncan proud.
Tom Szczerbowski

St. Louis Cardinals @ Toronto Blue Jays

Jaime Garcia (1-0, 5.47 ERA, 4.17 FIP) vs. Drew Hutchison (4-3, 3.50 ERA, 3.64 FIP)
12:07 p.m. CT
Rogers Centre - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Matt Carpenter - 3B Jose Reyes - SS
Oscar Taveras - RF Melky Cabrera - LF
Yadier Molina - DH Jose Bautista - RF
Allen Craig - 1B E. Encarnacion - 1B
Jhonny Peralta - SS Brett Lawrie - 3B
Jon Jay - LF Steve Tolleson - 2B
Mark Ellis - 2B Dioner Navarro - DH
Peter Bourjos - CF Erik Kratz - C
Tony Cruz - C Kevin Pillar - CF
Jaime Garcia - LHP Drew Hutchison - RHP

Holliday was a late scratch:

Some News-

Against the opponent (before this game)-

all-time record (7-7)

2014 (1-1)

Today's game was the 15th regular season bout between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Tampa Bay Rays.

All of the games between these two games have been played in June.  Three-game series have been played in June '03, '05, '10, '11, and here in '14.  Jaime Garcia has pitched in two previous games with the Jays, splitting them 1-1.

Things we were looking for-

In spants' series preview, she warned of the big hitters that the Jays' lineup features, including Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Melky Cabrera, but also noted that it's a long, deep lineup that's hard to get through.  We weren't able to see old friend Colby Rasmus due to his stint on the DL and him rehabbing in Florida (I think).

She had this to say about today's starter, Drew Hutchison: "Hutchison has a solid 22.3% K-Rate and a decent 7.4% BB-rate.  He's as good as he looks"

The Jays are better than most predicted they'd be so far this year.  If their pitching holds up, they'll continue to contend for a postseason bid.

Things that happened-

Top Halves-

Yadier Molina, late addition to the lineup, worked a 2-out walk out of Hutchison, but was stranded.  Oscar Taveras and Allen Craig both hit hard liners, but both right to Jays' outfielders.

Peralta lined out hard to left to leadoff the second, but then the Cards started to make their statement.  Jon Jay singled.  A nicely executed hit-and-run single off the bat of Mark Ellis left runners on the corners with one out.  Peter Bourjos knocked Jay in with a sac fly to center.  While Tony Cruz was up, Ellis stole second and then scored on a Cruz double off the wall in left.  Matt Carpenter homered (!) to go up 4-0.  Taveras reached on a slight bobble by second baseman Steve Tolleson, and Molina singled, but they were left on base at the end of the inning.  Most of the outs to this point were hard hit liners to the outfield.

Peralta led off the third, as well.  He hammered a big homer (!) to the seats in left to put the Cards up 5-0.  It was pretty.  Jay, Ellis, and Bourjos were all retired quickly after that.

John Gibbons decided that Hutchison had enough after three innings.  Hutchison's final line:

3.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 70 pitches thrown.

Todd Redmond replaced Hutchison.  He pitched five solid innings, allowing 4 hits but no runs.  In the fourth, Melky Cabrera helped him out by making an impressive play in foul ground to record an out for the Jays'.  Taveras singled in the fourth, Peralta doubled in the fifth, and Bourjos singled in the sixth.  Bourjos got caught stealing on a nice toss from Erik Kratz from his knees.  Craig singled in the seventh.  Redmond had a 1-2-3 eighth.

Brett Cecil pitched the ninth for the Jays.  Carpenter singled.  Randal Gritchuk pinch-hit for Taveras and grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Bottom Halves-

Jaime Garcia retired lead-off man Jose Reyes on just two pitches.  He had some issues with command, as he walked Melky Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion, but was able to strand them.

Tolleson lined a single to left to lead off the second, but Jaime retired the next three batters with relative ease.  That included a nice play by Carpenter way up the third base line to get Dioner Navarro.

Peralta made a nice play with an over-the-shoulder catch in shallow center to rob Reyes of a hit in the third.  Garcia induced harmless groundball outs from Cabrera and Jose Bautista to end the inning.

Garcia ran into a little trouble in the fifth, much like his last game.  Unlike the last game, though, he didn't give up his significant lead.  With two outs, Reyes singled (on what possibly could've been scored a throwing error by Carpenter), and then advanced to second on a passed ball.  Carpenter then committed a real error, allowing Cabrera to reach base, putting runners on the corners.  Jaime was able to strike out Bautista with a nasty slider to end the inning.

His sixth and seventh featured one walk and SIX groundouts!  That was it for Jaime.  His final line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 106 pitches thrown.

Pat Neshek pitched the eighth.  He walked Bautista, but left him on with no issues.

Trevor Rosenthal pitched in a non-save situation in the ninth.  I'm always worried when that happens that he'll take it upon himself to make into a save situation.  I needn't have worried.  He allowed a single to Adam Lind, but he recorded outs from Anthony Gose, Navarro, and Juan Francisco to end the game.  Cards win 5-0.

Final Notes-

  • There were a whole lot of hard hit balls from the Cards today.  Some of them turned into outs, but overall, it was a very encouraging trend.  The series featured several positive trends.
  • Matt Carpenter was busy today.  Here's a tweet from Goold sometime mid-game:

And this one, from later:

  • Jaime looked great.  I would not want to catch him.  Movement, and stuff. He allowed only three hits over seven.  He got 13 of his 21 outs via ground balls, all to the right side.
  • lil_scooter93, running the VEB twitter machine today, told everyone how great Jaime's changeup was.  Here's just a sampling:

  • The rest of the Jays' pitchers owe Todd Redmond a steak dinner.  Well, maybe not steak.  A nice pasta dinner or something, maybe?  He did a nice job eating some innings for them today.  I'm not sure how he's generally used, but he was prolly their MVP today.  (Fangraphs agrees)
  • Two whole homers today!
  • The Cards won the series by keeping those big bats that spants mentioned in the series preview in check.
  • Fangraphs win expectancy chart
  • Gamenotes: CardsJays

Looking ahead-

Tune in Tuesday as the Cards head to St. Pete to take on the Rays.  Adam Wainwright will be opposed by Jake Odorizzi.  Game starts at 6:10 CT.