This could very well be like what kind of team this is. The offense scoring 4 or 5 runs, or even 3 runs, and it being good enough for the win. The 2015 Cardinals have an incredible pitching staff, even without its ace, Adam Wainwright. To be able to say that takes incredible depth. The "fact" that Carlos Martinez is possibly emerging as an elite pitcher is still a gamble; but to be able to try out such an experiment shows even more depth.
Carlos Martinez is fire right now, only allowing 2 runs to score tonight. His early season stats indicate that it's too early to tell what's going on with him, but a 1.35 ERA is always good even this early. His xFIP is a better indicator: 3.15 seems to be closer to what I'm seeing. But what we are seeing is a major step up from last season.
It wasn't his best night with 3 K and 3 BB in 6 IP. He even got a little help on this one:
But he seemed to baffle the Phillies hitters more often than not tonight. Kevin Siegrist continued to be a shutdown option in high leverage situations, as did Jordan Walden and Trevor Rosenthal. Walden has been the best pitcher in the 'pen by FIP and fWAR, and he allowed no hits in his inning tonight while striking out a batter. And Closenthal was in top form, just walking one batter but striking out the other two in dominant fashion.
It's gotta be completely frustrating for a light hitting team like Phillie going up against an effective Carlos Martinez start, then flamethrowers Siegrist, Walden, and Rosenthal. Nice to play them 4 games in a time of shock.
Matt Carpenter had a rare 0fr night, but even when hitless he still had an RBI and perhaps got jobbed a bit:
Aaron Harang was actually not horrible tonight (6K), but the Cardinals offense could not be stopped. They are picking up the Pace lately, and that can be capitalized with a P. Bourjos start. He shouldn't have lead off, but it ended up working out in the Cardinals favor (sequencing, not really something to get too upset about). Bourjos was a whirr on the bases, having a triple while he was at it. And at it he was: Peter was 2 for 4 with an RBI triple, and did this thing in center field that few humans on this planet can do. And he was able to do it because he played tonight!
The announcers really made the effort to highlight how good of a game he had, which was a nice change of pace too. The fact remains that dude has hardly played at all, but he's a much more intriguing player when he can hit triples. Matt Adams and Kolten Wong also had great nights, it is really good to see the young guys hit because they are still somewhat questionable (especially Adams since Wong will always be good on the basepaths and seems to have some power too). The offense shared the effort, with Bourjos, Adams, Wong, Peralta, and Carpenter all chipping in with RBI.
Both teams had nearly the same amount of hits and the same amount of strikeouts on offense. But the Cardinals were way more efficient with their offense. It was nice to see Heyward have a 2 for 4 night as well, which got overshadowed by all the other offense (and also Yadi, Holliday, and Carpenter not being involved as another focal aspect).
Notes and Graphs
pitch f/x for:
- Full Game Graph including ump strikezone graph which is cool to look at but is not embeddable.
Tune in to watch the Cardinals debut of Tim Cooney, a 6'3" lefty born in 1990, at 12:45pm, another Thursday day game. The lefty Tim will go up against a 0-4 righty David Buchanan, who is also 6'3". David was shelled in his first two starts, and not much better in his last two, so Cooney should have as easy a welcome to the majors as any.
If you want a feel good, silver lining factor to Wainwright being hurt, this did the job for me. He wants to garden and play guitar, which is what I want to do too! Playing guitar is one of the best things to do, so I'm glad he can still be productive.