I'm trying a slightly different approach to the recap for today.
Justin Masterson took the rubber for the Cards today. The Phillies read the scouting report, I guess, and put a whole lotta lefty in the lineup. Only the battery of Wil Nieves and Jerome Williams took their hacks from the right-handed batter's box against the Cardinal righty.
The Cardinals countered with their more-or-less regular lineup. Cruz was the starter behind the dish.
The lefty-heavy Phillie attack paid off early and often. Masterson threw some nice pitches, though. In the first inning, in particular, I was able to appreciate his sinker when he threw it for a strike. He also threw a couple pitches that painted the up-and-away corner to Chase Utley and Ryan Howard that they were not looking for. The strike call on the pitch to Utley in this instance, though, turned out to be an unfortunate one for Masterson. The 3-1 pitch caught the corner of the zone, and home plate umpire took long enough to call it a strike, that Chase Utley was already on his way to first. On the next pitch, Utley rocketed a hanging slider to center field for an RBI single, scoring the first run of the game. In hindsight, the walk would have been better.
The Phillies continued to have success in the second. Singles by Dom Brown, Cody Asche, and Ben Revere, as well as a nicely placed sac bunt from Williams put two more on the board for the Phils. It seemed to me that Masterson couldn't keep his low sinkers quite high enough to be in the strike zone, and so had to start throwing some breaking stuff in the zone. He hung enough of those that he was getting hit pretty hard.
The third featured hits by Howard, Grady Sizemore, and Nieves, and a run-allowing wild pitch from Masterson, allowing the Phillies to score two more, to go up 5-0. That ended Masterson's not-great day. His final line: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 67 pitches thrown.
Jhonny Peralta scored the lone Cardinal run on the day. After hitting a double to center, he came around to score on an Oscar Taveras RBI single.
Nick Greenwood took over for Masterson in the fourth. He did a fine job. He pitched 3 1/3, retiring the first 10 he saw. Unfortunately, he didn't retire the 11th and 12th men he saw. Revere ripped a single into left, and Jimmy Rollins chased him on around the bases, smacking a 2-run dinger into the seats. Randy Choate came in to finish out the seventh.
In the seventh, Williams only had to throw 5 pitches to retire Cruz, Greenwood, and Matt Carpenter.
Justin De Fratus took over for Williams in the ninth. Williams' final line 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 110 Pitches thrown. De Fratus allowed a hard-hit double to Taveras, but was otherwise unscathed in securing the Philly victory.
Some other notes-
- I've found an appreciation for Nick Greenwood. I can't imagine a less glamorous position than "long reliever", but I think he does an exemplary job of it. Dude just throws strikes.
- Dan said "this one is long from over". I've never heard that before. I like it.
- Williams didn't pitch particularly well, I didn't think, but the Cards' offense helped him out by swinging more often than usual. It seemed like they got themselves out some by expanding their zones.
- Oscar did one of those things where he smoked a liner RIGHT TO the second baseman for a double play. He's the king of that particular BABIP bad luck.
- As of this writing, the Brewers lead the Pirates 4-2 in the seventh. Here's gameday for that game. If the Crew wins, the Cardinals will fall to a game and a half back for the division lead.
- Sam Bradford will not play this year, out with a torn ACL.
- Next up for the Cardinals: John Lackey toes the rubber at PNC Park against Francisco Liriano and the Pirates Monday evening. The action begins at 6:05 CT.