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8.16.14 Recap: Late Nite Loss to Padres

It was a dark and stormy night in St. Louis - literally and figuratively.

Because it seriously looks iconic already.
Because it seriously looks iconic already.
Michael B. Thomas

Shelby Miller went up the ranks

Shelby Miller started to tank

And all the team's Matts

And all the team's men

Couldn't put Shelby Miller back together again

Tough night for the home team.  After a four-run second inning - which included doubles from Matt Carpenter, Jhonny Peralta, and Oscar Taveras - the Cardinals looked to be in a good spot.  Unfortunately, Shelby Miller couldn't hold the 4-0 lead.  The Padres scored their own four runs in the top of the third to tie the game.  The Cards regained the lead in the top of the 5th off of a Matt Adams triple, but Jedd Gyorko's grand slam in the top of the 7th put the Padres back on top.  After a lengthy rain delay, the game resumed with a nearly empty stadium and a clearly lifeless Cardinals team.  The Pads held the lead and won the game 9-5.

The Dark Clouds

Shelby Miller continues to look lost at times.  He walked six batters tonight (though two were intentional) - a career high.  The third inning was particularly brutal, as Miller gave up three singles, a walk, and a bases-clearing triple to Jake Goebbert.  I understand that Kevin Siegrist "lost" the game, but come on.  When you are handed a four-run lead, it is bad form to immediately relinquish it.

I was mildly surprised to see Shelby come out for the 5th inning and borderline shocked to see him work the 6th.  Shelby was missing his spots badly - BADLY - in the 5th.  He was quite literally all over the place, but after a four-pitch walk to Gyorko (in which Miller nearly hit him on a pitch up and in that A.J. Pierzynski wanted low and away), very nice plays by Pierzynski (picking off Gyorko) and Carpenter rescued Miller.  Yet, there he was: back on the hill for the 6th.  Now, the interesting part is that Miller looked awesome in the 6th inning.  It was a 1-2-3 inning, his fastball had nice movement, he hit his spots well, etc. etc.  I was genuinely confused.  Nevertheless, good results do not a good process make.

Shelby's final line: 6 IP, 4 R, 6 BB, 5 Ks.  It was a weird game.

Then, of course, the real dark cloud - the raining cats and dogs with rolling thunder and blue lightning and threatening funnel clouds dark cloud - of the night belonged to Kevin Siegrist, who gave up a devastating grand slam to Gyorko in the 7th.  The rain delay started just a few minutes later, and it seemed pretty clear there would be no joy in Mudville tonight.

The Silver Lining

It wasn't all doom and gloom this evening:

  • You can always count on Matt Carpenter to be awesome.  In the top of the 9th, down 9-5, he's still up there working a 3-2 count, fouling off balls, having a 10-pitch at bat, and smashing an (unluckily caught) line drive to center field.
  • It was nice to see a crooked number.  Seems like they are few and far between these days.  Three doubles, a single, and a HBP led to a four-run second inning, and I started feeling optimistic about this team again.
  • Oscar Taveras!  He made the most of his start tonight, going 2-4 with a single, a double, and an RBI.  Let this be a lesson to you, Mike Matheny.
  • SMASH ADAMS hit a lovely triple into the right field corner against the Padres' extreme shift in the bottom of the 4th.  I don't even know how else to describe this shift they put on.  The second baseman was literally a fourth outfielder and the left side of the infield was literally deserted.  The entire Padres roster was dispersed among the right side of the infield, like a bunch of kids at the Home Run Derby.  I actually said out loud, "maybe Matt Adams should just tap a little bunt to third base here."  I am glad he did not take that advice.

Additional Notes

  • Jon Jay was HBP twice again tonight, after being HBP twice last night.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Jon Jay is the only Cardinals player in the last 100 years (since 1914) to get hit by pitch twice in consecutive games (Elias Sports Bureau)</p>&mdash; St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) <a href="">August 17, 2014</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Jon Jay 1st in MLB since Biggio in 5/7-5/8/2000 to be hit by pitch twice in consecutive games</p>&mdash; Tom Orf (@MU4124) <a href="">August 17, 2014</a></blockquote>
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  • Matt Adams' triple was his fifth of the year, to lead the team.  I do enjoy watching him run.  And also play defense.  I love how sneaky good he is.
  • The Fox Sports announcers talked about how we could attribute Shelby's bad 3rd inning to being "winded" from running the bases in the 2nd inning - especially since Kolten Wong didn't even have the simple decency to keep the game going after Shelby scored to give him a chance to rest.  I call bullshit.  Miller is 23 years old.  He is a professional athlete.  If the Cardinals can't expect him to pitch well because he ran 270 feet kinda sorta hard, then he doesn't belong in the major leagues, or even on any baseball team anywhere. 
  • The Brewers managed to beat Kershaw tonight, because of course they did.  The Cardinals fall to three games out of first place, but have a chance to make up some ground next week when the Brew Crew battle the Blue Jays and the Pirates, while the Cards face the Reds and Phillies.