|CINCINNATI REDS||ST. LOUIS CARDINALS|
|Billy Hamilton - CF||Matt Carpenter - 3B|
|Jay Bruce - RF||Jon Jay - CF|
|Todd Frazier - 1B||Matt Holliday - LF|
|Ryan Ludwick - LF||Matt Adams - 1B|
|Brayan Pena - C||Jhonny Peralta - SS|
|Brandon Phillips - 2B||A.J. Pierzynski - C|
|Ramon Santiago - 3B||Oscar Taveras - RF|
|Zack Cozart - SS||Daniel Descalso - 2B|
|Johnny Cueto - RHP||Lance Lynn - RHP|
I have never had as much fun during a game while simultaneously not paying attention as I had during this one. This game was one big LOL and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Usually when I am not paying attention, the Cardinals are losing and that isn't fun, but this game they took the lead and it would have to be pried from their cold, dead hands.
It almost was, but that is beside the point.
Jon Jay has turned himself into a one man wrecking crew, except of course, with an ISO under .100, he wrecks with like, a sledgehammer, rather than a bull dozer or whatever wrecking crews use. Small, calculated destruction right in the weakest parts of the opposing team. It does not knock the structure down right away, but weakens it, slowly and painfully until the final, decisive blow is struck. Finally, finally we were treated to seeing him and his .378 OBP at the top of the order and he did not disappoint. He began the game where he left it last night, with a HBP that followed a Matt Carpenter double (who is no slouch himself and just received his second Heart and Hustle Award nomination in as many years). The Cardinals would allow Cueto to wiggle out of trouble (like a snake), but this was not a precursor for what was to come.
Jay would get back to work in the third inning, lining a single to left field and scoring on a Matt Holliday monster double. But Jon Jay would not leave the scoring there. In the fifth inning he pumped out another single, this one of the infield variety with two outs. From there he would score when Jhonny Peralta delivered the knockout punch, a double, that also scored Matt Holliday who was hit by a pitch and Matt Adams who walked (no seriously, he did). With a Carpenter sac fly in the sixth, the Cardinals extended the lead to 5. The bloodthirsty Jay, still not satisfied, slapped another single scoring his centerfield brethren, Peter Bourjos, who doubled in Daniel Descalso just before to round out the scoring.
At this point, I was completely pleased as punch... too pleased. When things started going wrong in the ninth, I just knew in my heart it was the GOB humbling me for being so smug. The message was received after the Reds, with help from defensive blunders by Kolten Wong and the mighty Jon Jay, plated three runs off Carlos Martinez. Magical Trevor Rosenthal came in to get the SAVE™ and was successful, but only after walking the bases loaded, briging the tying run to the plate.
All this commentary and I haven't even spake a word of Lance Lynn. If Jay was a sledgehammer, Lynn was a wrecking ball. His fastball command was sharp, his sweat glistened like condensation running down a cold glass of ice tea on a long, hot summer day. If it were not for a fifty-eight or so minute rain delay after the seventh inning, Lynn might have pitched a complete game shutout. He was dominant. He was, dare I say, sexy.
LIL SCOOTER'S PLAYER OF THE GAME:
You are all dying to know who it will be, I know it. Was it the scrappy and pesky Jay of Centre, who was on base four times with with two runs scored and one RBI on two hits and his MLB leading 16th hit by pitch? Baseball is fickle, my friends, and while Jay's performance was honorable, his WPA of .065 is no match for the robust and strong Mountain of man that is Lance Lynn. Lynn struck out five while giving up four hits and zero runs, good for a .255 WPA (.317 pitching, -.062 hitting). Cherish this award Lance - you have earned it.
TWEET/GAMETHREAD COMMENT OF THE GAME:
Twitter exploded with Jhonny Cueto-isms. While some people complained, I, on the other hand, have never been more proud in my life. If you are interested, you can check out my twitter feed for some of them - I retweeted most of my favorites.
Johnny Cueto always takes food out of the microwave before the time hits zero, but never presses the clear/reset button.— Craig Edwards (@craigjedwards) August 21, 2014
BONUS JUSTIN MASTERSON IS SO ADORABLE TWEET:
(Waino and Wacha are pretty darn adorable too, and in sync, even.)
JUSTIN MASTERSON, YOU ADORABLE MAN. RT: "@AnnieMcGuire5: I'm in love with this team https://t.co/0X67UbRAqa"— Heather Simon (@lil_scooter93) August 21, 2014
With the Brewers loss today the Cards are now 1.5 games back in the Central. Ussssss.
The Cards hit the road to take on the Phillies. Adam Wainwright gets the call against Kyle Kendrick. Game time is 6:05pm CST.