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Dodgers @ Cardinals 7.19 Recap - Cards jump on Greinke early; ride Kelly's strong start to victory

Cards jump on Greinke early; Kelly posts a career day; Cards win!

Joe Kelly enjoys what may be the best start of his career
Joe Kelly enjoys what may be the best start of his career
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles DodgersSt. Louis Cardinals

Zack Greinke (11-5, 2.73 ERA, 2.92 FIP) vs. Joe Kelly (1-1, 3.44 ERA, 3.14 FIP)
3:05 p.m. CT
Busch Stadium- St. Louis, Missouri

Today's Lineups

Los Angeles Dodgers ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Dee Gordon - 2B Matt Carpenter - 3B
Carl Crawford - LF Kolten Wong - 2B
Yasiel Puig - RF Matt Holliday - LF
Hanley Ramirez - SS Matt Adams - 1B
Adrian Gonzalez - 1B Jhonny Peralta - SS
Scott Van Slyke - CF Oscar Taveras - RF
Juan Uribe - 3B George Kottaras - C
A.J. Ellis - C Jon Jay - CF
Zack Greinke - RHP Joe Kelly - RHP

Some News-

Against the opponent (before this game)-

all-time record (1080 - 1050)

2013 (3-4)
2014 (2-3)

Today's game was the 2149th regular season bout between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The last time these teams played on July 19 was in 2003.  Dan Haren and the Cards defeated Kevin Brown and the Dodgers 3-1.  Scott Rolen contributed a homer.

Things we were looking for-

In Joe's series preview, he had this to say about today's Dodger starter, Zack Greinke:

The last home run he allowed was June 28th to Matt Carpenter. Somewhat surprisingly, righties are slugging at a higher percentage against Greinke this season (.407 versus .381). Thus, even though this seems like a perfect time to get LHB Oscar Taveras a start, don't be surprised if Matheny puts Craig in the starting lineup.

Fortunately Matt Adams was quick to update the "last homer against" statistic, and Oscar patrolled RF against the righty.  Joe also profiled Dee Gordon (he's fast) and Yasiel Puig (was slumping and may be "due").

Things that happened-

Top Halves-

Joe Kelly started off the game by allowing a single to speedy speedy Dee Gordon.  Joe was worried about him, throwing over to first no fewer than three times in a row.  Dan and Tim in the booth discussed George Kottaras' sterling reputation as a basestealer deterrent, throwing out a mighty 11% of all attempts on him.  Carl Crawford bailed Joe and George out, though.  He grounded an easy double play ball to Kolten Wong.  Joe walked Yasiel Puig, but retired the side by inducing a groundout from Hanley Ramirez.

Adrian Gonzalez led off the second with a single to center field.  Juan Uribe rocketed a liner to Matt Carpenter that he wasn't quite able to handle.  Again, a double play helped the Cards D and Joe Kelly out of the inning.

In the third, Gordon was able to manufacture a run with his speedy speed.  He led off the inning with a single. He stole second base, and then took third when a breaking ball just barely got away from Kottaras.  It wasn't far enough for most base runners to advance, but it was plenty far for Dee.  Gordon scored on a slow grounder to third that Hanley was able to beat out for an infield hit RBI.  Cards lead 4-1

Then, Kelly really settled in.  He threw four perfect innings in the fourth through seventh.  After using 60 pitches to get through the first three innings, he used only 39 to get through the next four.  The only excitement was when Peralta and Jay didn't communicate well on a popup and almost had a collision.  Peralta caught it with no harm done.  That was all for Joe Kelly.  His final line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 99 pitches thrown.

Sam Freeman took over in the eighth.  He didn't have a very good day.  He walked Justin Turner (who had double switched into the game an inning earlier).  Then Gordon knocked a double to right field (his third hit of the day).  Turner scored on a sac fly by Crawford.  Cards lead 4-2.  Exit Sam Freeman.  Enter All-Star Pat Neshek.  (Also, exit Yasiel Puig, enter Matt Kemp for some reason, possibly related to when Puig got hit in the hand earlier in the game.)  Neshek ended up winning a fun 8-pitch battle with Kemp, followed by an impressive strikeout of Hanley Ramirez.

Trevor Rosenthal came in to close down the victory for the Cardinals.  He gave up a single to Scott Van Slyke, but ended the game with an Andre Ethier PH groundball double-play.   Cards win 4-2

Bottom Halves-

The Cards bats and Dee Gordon's glove got to Zack Greinke early.  Matt Carpenter predictably led off the game with a walk.  Kolten Wong followed with an infield single (a generous call by the official scorer), and then the runners advanced to second and third on a throwing error by Gordon.  Matt Holliday drove them in with a double.  Greinke tried to pick him off, and there was a scary minute or so that the trainers checked on the big man.  Apparently, he was ok.  (Or not; see below.)  Holliday came around to score on a monster Matt Adams 2-run dinger to put the good guys up 4-0.  Taveras did one of those little tap jobs in front of the plate that the umpire deemed fair, and AJ Ellis tagged him out.

Greinke allowed a couple two-out walks to Peralta and Taveras in the third.

Peter Bourjos pinch hit for Holliday in the fifth after Holliday talked it over with the team medical staff.  Bourjos also stayed in the game in CF, with Jay moving over to LF.

And then later:

Bourjos singled just over the third base bag, and then stole second base.  Greinke walked Peralta, a season-high of five.  Zach made a really nice instinctive play on a comebacker from Oscar to end the inning.

In the sixth, George Kottaras recorded his first hit as a St. Louis Cardinal.  It was a grounder between first and second that Adrian Gonzalez was able to cut off, but not before George stood safely upon first.  Jay singled.  Joe Kelly hit for himself in the bottom of the sixth.  He popped up a bunt, and Greinke was able to double off Kottaras at second.  That was Greinke's last act in the game.

Paco Rodriguez took over the pitching duties, and struck out Matt Carpenter (with an assist by the ump) to end the Cardinal sixth.  Greinke's final line: 5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, 110 pitches thrown.

Paul Maholm pitched the seventh.  Wong led off with a double into left-center.  Bourjos sac-bunted him to third.  With two outs and the lefty on the mound, Matheny opted to pull back Taveras in favor of Allen Craig (Craig's first PH appearance of the year).  He hit a harmless grounder to third to end the inning.  I wasn't following the gamethread at that point, but I can't imagine that the masses thought much of Matheny's decisions in that inning.

Maholm stayed in for the eighth.  Mark Ellis and Tony Cruz both pinch hit but didn't do anything.  Jon Jay laid down a pretty bunt-single.

Final Notes-

  • the FSM crew did some research on Yasiel Puig's name and put it in the hands of Tim McCarver.  Here's what I got out of it- "something, something, biblical name, started with a j, warrior, people name their kids yasiel now".
  • Holliday's RBIs yesterday put him ahead of Dusty Baker into 265th place all time. His RBIs today move him ahead of Hall of Famers Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, and Ralph Kiner into 261st place with 1016. - PugetSoundCardsAddict
  • "All of Greinke's stuff looks crisp and fresh" - Tim McCarver
  • This game started out a lot like a Joe Kelly start.  He wasn't efficient and had a fair amount of runners on base via walks and hits, but only gave up the one run.  He was right impressive after he settled in in the fourth.
  • This start marked only the second time Kelly has ever pitched 7 full innings.  The only other time he did, he gave up 6 runs to the Brewers last September.  Today was probably the best start of his career.  Here's the Brooksbaseball gamelog for Kelly.

  • Trevor's 30th save ties him for the league lead with Craig Kimbrel.
  • Sorry for how long this is.  It was an interesting game, I guess.
  • Congratulations to George Kottaras for notching his first Cardinal hit.
  • Here's a Langosh story on Holliday's status:
  • Fangraphs stuff
  • Gamenotes: Cards; Dodgers unavailable

Looking ahead-

Tune in tomorrow for the series finale.  Carlos Martinez will look to lead the Cards to a series sweep.  Clayton Kershaw will undoubtedly have something to say about that.  The action will begin at 7:05 CT.  It's one of those ESPN games.