Tonight our beloved St. Louis Cardinals sent Adam Wainwright (12-4, 1.83 ERA, 2.53 FIP, 3.25 xFIP) against the Tampa Bay Rays Highland, Illinois native Jake Odorizzi (5-8, 4.01 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 3.58 xFIP).
Early rumblings were heard from VEB and the Twitterverse as the lineups were announced sans exciting rookie Oscar Taveras.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Matheny talking Taveras/Craig pregame: "We've got to do what we can to win today, we're not here in the development business."</p>— Chris Hrabe (@chrabe) <a href="https://twitter.com/chrabe/statuses/491702811177275392">July 22, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Hence, Allen Craig's 84 wRC+ into the lineup.
Things certainly started out promising as Matt Carpenter took Odorizzi to right center for a lead off home run.
In the 2nd, Tampa Bay gets the run back in small ball fashion. With runners at first and third and one out, Odorizzi laid down a safety squeeze to bring in James Loney. Tied up 1-1.
Joe Maddon was ejected in the top of the third, jawing from the dugout after Ben Zobrist struck out on a couple of borderline outside pitches.
In the top of the 4th and Loney on at first, Matt Adams made a nice snag on a liner by Yunel Escobar, likely saving a run.
But the 5th inning is where it all came undone. Wainwright walked Kevin Kiermaier to start the inning and wasn't particularly close. With one out, Zobrist clinked a grounder to the right of the mound. Waino was unable to field it cleanly after getting a hand on it and Zobrist reached on the error. Then Matt Joyce gave the
Devil Rays a 2-1 lead, just getting a grounder past a diving Matt Carpenter. Evan Longoria was hit by the first pitch of his PA, loading the bases. James Loney watched 4 pitches miss to draw a walk and bring around another run, 3-1. Yunel Escobar drove a liner into the right corner for a ground rule double, 5-1. Continuing the parade Molina hit a tapper to Carpenter, bringing in Joyce on a fielder's choice, 6-1. And finally, Waino issued a walk to the pitcher Odorizzi, just missing down and away on each ball. That would be the end of Adam's night. Seth Maness was brought in to finish the inning, getting the batting-around Kiermaier to fly out.
Certainly a rough night for Wainwright: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
Nick Greenwood soaked up the 6th and 7th without allownig a baserunner. Likely his swansong before being replaced by Kevin Siegrist tomorrow.
Matt Holliday managed to bring a bit of joy back to Mudville, smoking a dinger out to left center, 6-2.
Winding things down, Evan Longoria took a 95mph Jason Motte fastball downtown for a 7-2 lead.
Oscar Taveras was graciously allowed a pinch hitting opportunity in the 9th, working an eight pitch plate appearance that ended in a single to right. Matt Carpenter worked an eight pitch PA of his own, drawing a walk and putting two on for Kolten Wong. Alas, Wong lined out to end the threat and the game.
Tomorrow night, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb face off in the capper of this two-game set. First pitch at 6:15.
|Viva El Gallo T-Shirt!||Viva El Runners 6K auction and raffle!|