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Reds @ Cardinals Recap 4.19 - Pitcher's duel goes Cards' way en route to series sweep

Cards sweep series; drive down average game time for Rob Manfred.

Adam Wainwright comes on on the better end of pitchers duel with Mike Leake
Adam Wainwright comes on on the better end of pitchers duel with Mike Leake
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Reds @ St. Louis Cardinals

Mike Leake vs. Adam Wainwright
7:05 p.m. 
Busch Stadium - St. Louis, Missouri

Today's Lineups -

Some News -

  • Lester and the Cubbies dropped a game to the Padres 5-2 -
  • Gerrit Cole and the Pirates topped the Brewers 5-2 -
  • The A's and the Royals had a wild weekend, coming to a head today with ejections and probably some further action -

Things we were looking for -

The Cards are looking to sweep the series and improve on their top record in the NL Central.  Offensively, The Cards have been stringing together some decent showings, led by Matt Carpenter and his two hit games and his great doubles hitting.  Brian Price is trying to shake things up a bit, getting old friend Skip Schumaker in the lineup, as well as Brennan Boesch and Tucker Barnhart.  Adam Wainwright enters the game without having given up a run to the Reds since 2013.

Things that happened -

Top halves -

Adam Wainwright cruised through the first couple innings, allowing a hit in each- a line-drive single to right field by Joey Votto in the first, and then a double to right-center by Brennan Boesch in the second.  Both were on two-seamers left a bit up in the zone.  Matt Adams climbed the ladder to steal a double from Jay Bruce in the second.

The Reds fought back with two outs in the third.  Votto continued his hot hitting ways by serving a soft line drive single down the left field line, followed by a four-pitch walk to Todd Frazier, setting up an RBI opportunity for Brandon Phillips.  DatDudeBP tied up the game sending a blooper into no-mans-land between Jon Jay, Jason Heyward, and Kolten Wong.  That scored Votto to tie the game 1-1.

In the fifth, Wainwright helped the pitch count situation, throwing six pitches to induce a groundout from Mike Leake, a strikeout from Skip Schumaker and a fly out from Joey Votto.  It was really a pitcher's duel at that point:

Tucker Barnhart collected a single in the seventh, snapping Adam's streak of 12 in a row sat down.

With two outs in the seventh, Waino gave up a couple hits to Frazier and Phillips, and was visited by Matheny, but was allowed to stay in the game.  Bruce worked a full count walk to load the bases.  Waino got the groundout he needed out of Zack Cozart, though Wong did make it exciting by bobbling it a little too long for my liking.  That was it for Wainwright's great night.  His final line: 8.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 102 pitches thrown.

Jordan Walden got the opportunity to close out the game.  Boesch led off with a single off Adams' diving glove at first base.  Barnhart worked a full count.  On strike three, Boesch took second base on Walden/Yadi.  Walden got pinch hitter Brayan Pena to popup for the second out.  Skippy ended the game with a groundout to first.  First and last outs of the game!  Congrats, Skip!  Cards win 2-1.

Bottom halves -

Matt Carpenter jumped on Mike Leake early to put the Cards on top, rocketing a dead-center homer to leadoff the game.  Leake looked terrible the first couple innings, and was getting hit hard on the many balls he was leaving up in the zone.  Only the previously mentioned Carpenter and Matt Holliday were able to collect hits out of the struggles, though.

There were lots of hard-hit balls right to defenders until Leake settled in in the third or so.  In fact, he sat down 15 in a row after Holliday's single in the first, mostly via the groundout with a vicious sinker.

In the fourth, Holliday worked a 10-pitch at bat, ultimately ending in a groundout.

Carpenter collected his inevitable second hit in the sixth, breaking Leake's streak, singling into right-center.  Unfortunately, he was erased in a ground-into-double-play from Jason Heyward.

The stalemate was broken in the eighth.  Jon Jay drove a double into center.  Yadier Molina advanced him to third with a chopper groundout.  Jay came in to score as Wong tagged a sac fly that nearly went over Skip's head in left.  That was the difference in the game.  Cards up 2-1.

Leake's final line: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 86 pitches thrown.

Final Notes -

  • The strike zone was a little wide tonight, but not egregiously so.  It probably benefited Wainwright a bit more than Leake.
  • The pitching was fantastic.  Leake may have been better than Wainwright.  It's the kind of pitching "loss" that makes that statistic stupid.
  • Billy Hamilton was apparently available in the game (minor groin strain), but we didn't see him, even with a runner on in the 9th.
  • This game lasted 2:02.
  • Fangraphs page for the game:

  • Source: FanGraphs
  • Reds | Cards

Looking ahead -

Tune in Tuesday as Lance Lynn and the Cardinals take their 5-game winning streak to our nation's capitol to take on Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals.  The fun begins at 6:05 CT.