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Reds @ Cardinals recap 9.21 - Cards give away 4 homers, chance at series sweep

Cardinals clinch playoff spot; don't help themselves in division race

Jay Bruce had a night
Jay Bruce had a night
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati RedsSt. Louis Cardinals

Alfredo Simon vs. Lance Lynn
7:05 p.m. CT
Busch Stadium- St. Louis, Missouri

Today's Lineups

Some News-

Things we were looking for-

The Cards have doubled up the Reds in the first two games of the series, winning the first 2-1 behind a strong start from John Lackey, and 8-4 behind a 3-homer game from the Cardinal offense.  The Cardinals would need to win this game to maintain their 3.5 game lead in the division.  Go Lance Lynn!

Things that happened-

Top Halves-

Things started slowly enough for Lance Lynn.  Lance faced seven batters in the first two innings, striking out three.  The only batter that reached base was Brandon Phillips, reaching on a Jhonny Peralta error.  Peralta just plain booted it.  No harm done, though.  Lance threw his assortment of speed balls to set the Reds down.

The third brought Lance some troubles.  After quickly dispatching Zach Cozart and Simon, he suddenly had some trouble finding the zone.  He walked Billy Hamilton and Kris Negron with 9 pitches.  He was able to bounce back and get Todd Frazier to fly out.

Jay Bruce was tired of the scoreless game, and decided to do something about it in the fourth.  With two outs, and nobody on, Bruce smoked a homer into the Cardinal bullpen.  It got out in a hurry.  Reds up 1-0.

The sixth was another bump in the road.  Frazier started the offensive onslaught, homering to left.  Lynn left a fastball out over the plate, and Frazier jumped on it.  Then, Bruce notched another RBI, singling home Brandon Phillips after his double.  Reds lead 3-1.  That was Lynn's final inning.  His line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 100 pitches thrown.

Jason Motte took over the pitching duties in the seventh.  He worked a 1-2-3 inning and looked pretty decent doing it.  He maxed out at 95 m.p.h., according to gameday.

Kevin Siegrist started the eighth.  He walked Negron and Frazier, and then he walked back to the dugout.  Matheny made the change to Sam Tuivailala.  I suspect that ended Siegrist's bid to be on the post season roster.  Unfortunately, Tuivailala's second pitch of the game looked mighty good to Devin Mesoraco.  Devin deposited the 95 m.p.h pitch into the left field seats, plating three, and putting the game out of reach for the Redbirds.  Bruce followed with another homer.   Reds up 7-2.  Sam walked his next guy, and he was done.  Nick Greenwood came in and got the groundball double play to get out of the inning.

Greenwood finished out the pitching duties for the Cards.  1-2-3 ninth.  Randal Grichuk made a pretty awesome diving catch coming in to help out.

Bottom Halves-

It looked like the Cards might get a lil' somethin' going.  With two down, Holliday blooped a single into shallow and Peralta walked.  Unfortunately, Yadier Molina flew out to end the inning.

Simon worked a quick 1-2-3 second.

In the third, with one out, Jon Jay led off with a double down the left field line.  Then, Kolten Wong almost bunted his way to first.  It looked to me like a decent spot to try for a bunt-hit, although I'm not sure it wasn't just an old fashioned sacrifice bunt attempt.  Alas, it worked like a sac bunt, after a review deemed Wong out at first.  Simon got Holliday to ground out to end the inning.

Simon worked a quick 1-2-3 fourth, during which he threw some weird 57-m.p,h eephus or something, followed by a 95-m.p.h. fastball.

The Cardinal offense finally broke through in the fifth.  Daniel Descalso led off with a nice double off the wall in right-center, and then scored on an RBI single by Xavier Scruggs.  Game tied 1-1.  Lynn did some damage to a potential rally by bunting right to the crashing third baseman, resulting in a double play.  Jay singled and Wong walked after that, but they didn't come around to score.

The Birds got another one back in their half of the sixth.  Yadi doubled to Enos Slaughter's portrait on the left field wall, and then traded places with Randal Grichuk, who tallied a double of his own.  Reds lead 3-2.  Simon finished out the inning, ending his outing.  His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 87 pitches thrown.

Sam LeCure notched four outs in the seventh.  Strike three to Wong got away from Mesoraco, and Wong took first base.  The inning ended with him still standing there.

Jumbo Diaz pitched the eighth.  He allowed a walk to Pete Kozma (pinch hitting for Peralta) and a ground rule double to Descalso (look at him go!), but no runs.

Aroldis Chapman did his thing and put the game away in the ninth.  Reds win.

Final Notes-

  • It's tough to give up 4 HRs and win the game.
  • Lynn looked good for the most part.  He had a few mistake pitches, resulting in a couple homers and a couple doubles.  I wish he'd been a little more efficient so that we could have avoided seeing the pitching we saw in the eighth.
  • Nick Greenwood and Jason Motte were good!
  • The Cardinals loss and Pirates win means that the Cardinals have a 2.5 game lead in the division.  The Cards have 6 left to play; the Pirates have 7.  The Cards have the Cubs and Diamondbacks left.  The Pirates have the Braves (4 games) and the Reds.
  • Gamenotes: CardsReds

Looking ahead-

Adam Wainwright will look for his 20th win at Wrigley field tomorrow.  He'll be opposed by Travis Wood.  The fun starts at 7:05 CT.