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Reds @ Cardinals 4.18.15 Recap: Cards win 5-2

Backed by a Jason Heyward home run and Matts doing Matt-like things, the Cardinals ensured sole possession of first place with a 5-2 victory over the Reds.

Heyward homers in Cardinals victory.
Heyward homers in Cardinals victory.
Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

There once was a player named J-Hey

He hit with power and made great plays

When one went over the wall

He got his first curtain call

And I hope in St. Louis he'll stay

The Game

Well, it's another beautiful Saturday here in sunny Phoenix, complete with mimosas, breakfast burritos, and Cardinals baseball.  Life is good.  And it's even better with a win.  This game had it all: good starting pitching, defensive wizardry, home runs, Matts, curtain calls, and the obligatory welcome-back-[insert former Cardinal]-standing ovation.

The Cardinals scored first, in the bottom of the first inning, with contributions from all of the Matts.  Carpenter started the inning with a base hit, though he was erased quickly by a Jason Heyward double play.  But Matt Holliday doubled in the next at-bat, and Matt Adams followed up with a base hit to score him.  That's a Run Matted In, a Matt Matted In, and a Matt Batted In - for those of you keeping score at home.  Unfortunately, Holliday left the game after the first inning with a tight back.  He's listed as day-to-day.

Meanwhile, Carlos Martinez was cruising along, with two strikeouts and two hits allowed through three.  His breaking stuff looked really good again today, though he did walk Joey Votto twice.  In the bottom of the third inning, Jason Heyward brought the score to 2-0 with a 414-foot shot to right center field - his first home run as a Cardinal.  The crowd, predictably, gave him a perfect St. Louis curtain call.  Heyward followed it up in the next half inning with a fantastic diving catch to rob Marlon Byrd of a hit.  The Cards scored again in the bottom of the 4th when Yadier Molina doubled to drive in Jhonny Peralta.  3-0 Redbirds.

Martinez gave up a solo home run to Zach Cozart in the 5th inning, but this was one of only three hits he allowed today (the other two were singles).  Although he had only thrown 86 pitches, Mike Matheny brought in pinch hitter Mark Reynolds for Martinez with two runners on and one out in the bottom of the 6th.  Although Reynolds popped out, Matt Carpenter saved the inning with a two-out double to the wall, scoring Jon Jay and Kozma. 5-1 Cardinals.

The Reds scored again in the bottom of the 8th on a Billy Hamilton infield hit, consecutive ground ball outs to move the runner to second, then third, and a single by Brandon Phillips.  They threatened again in the 9th, as Trevor Rosenthal didn't have his best stuff today. After a hit to Zack Cozart and a walk to Brennan Boesch, the Reds had runners on second and third with two outs and Joey Votto at the plate.  But Votto struck out looking on an 87-mph changeup that just caught the inside corner of the plate (notably, Yadi was set up outside).  Cardinals win 5-2.


1. Skip Schumaker pinch hit in the top of the 7th inning, and in a move even less surprising than the Heyward curtain call, the fans greeted him with lengthy and rousing applause.

2. With two runners on and no one out in the bottom of the 6th, Matheny called for Kozma to bunt.  I suppose we should all just accept this now - the sun will rise, Matt Carpenter will double, and Matheny will call for a bunt at a really stupid time.  If you're going to start Kozma over Kolten Wong, let him swing the damn bat.  WITH THE PITCHER'S SPOT UP NEXT.  I mean, I understand that they were pinch-hitting for Martinez, but they didn't necessarily HAVE to.  If Kozma comes up and gets a hit, let Martinez bunt the runners over and live to pitch another dominant inning.  Not to mention the fact that Yadier Molina is not exactly speedy going from second to third.  And, of course, Kozma's bunt wasn't good and Molina was thrown out at third anyway.

3. Matt Carpenter hit his seventh double of the season today - good for 2nd in all of baseball.  He's hit at least one double in five consecutive games.  This is his best start to the season, and his continued success directly impacts the Cardinals'.

4. After the game, the Cardinals announced that they placed Randal Grichuk on the 15-day disabled list with a back injury and called up Dean Anna from AAA.  Check out Ben's article for more information on this.  Given that Anna was called up - and not an outfielder - confirms that Holliday's removal from the game today was merely precautionary, and we should expect to see him out there tomorrow night.

5. The Cardinals go for the sweep tomorrow as Adam Wainwright faces off against Mike Leake.  The game starts at 7:05 p.m. CT on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.