There once was a girl who waited for the game
She waited and waited, through rain and more rain
Not much to do here
But swim and drink beer
This recap's brought to you by my booze-filled brain
After a 2-hour and 20-minute rain delay (seems we've had an inordinate amount of those this season), Michael Wacha took the mound against Carlos Frias. Frias came into tonight's game having struggled a bit thus far, with a 5.97 K/9 (14% K%) on the season and a 2.51 BB/9 - good for a 3-2 record. Wacha, on the other hand, had very similar numbers heading into the evening (14.8% K%, 2.18 BB/9), but with a 7-0 record and a 1.87 ERA.
On paper, it seemed a favorable matchup for the Cardinals, and the game began very promising. Wacha was dealing early, and struck out the side in the first (but did also walk Justin Turner). In the bottom of the inning, Kolten Wong reached on an error and Matt Carpenter hit a line drive base hit to right field. Matt Holliday's ground out allowed the runners to advance, and a second ground ball by Jhonny Peralta scored Wong. 1-0 Cardinals.
Wacha continued to deal - for awhile, anyway. Three up, three down in the second inning; three up, three down in the third inning; two strike outs, a walk, and a ground out in the fourth inning. It was around this time that I started thinking we might see something special tonight. Though I had my eye on Wacha's pitch count, which was creeping up slowly and unfortunately, kind of like one of these:
Came far too close to stepping on this guy/gal yesterday. pic.twitter.com/B2PbfKQtr1— Austin (@azta110790) May 31, 2015
Then, like a rattlesnake strike, Wacha's no-hit bid ended quickly, sharply, and painfully in the sixth inning. After Joc Pederson grounded out, Wacha gave up a hard-hit double to Justin Turner. He threw 12 pitches to Adrian Gonzalez, hitting 100 pitches during the at-bat, and finally hitting AGon to put him on base. This is about the time I wanted Wacha removed. Mike Matheny had other thoughts. Wacha stayed in the game and gave up a single to Kendrick, which tied the game 1-1. Randy Choate was up and ready in the bullpen, and I thought, "surely, Wacha is done now." No such luck. Wacha stayed in to pitch to Andre Ethier. Ethier popped up to Jon Jay, but with two outs in the inning, Yasmani Grandal hit a three-run home run to give the Dodgers the lead. Finally, Matheny cried uncle and brought in Seth Maness to finish out the inning.
Matt Carpenter and Jason Heyward (who came in for Matt Holliday in the fifth inning) hit consecutive singles in the bottom of the sixth, but a double play ball from Peralta erased their efforts and ended the inning.
The Dodgers added another run in the eighth with consecutive singles from Kendrick and Ethier, and a single from Alberto Callaspo - all off Mitch Harris, who pitched the seventh inning, as well. As the home team never really threatened again in this game, this is where I leave you. Dodgers win, 5-1.
1. Matt Holliday worked a walk in the fourth inning, extending his consecutive on-base streak to 44. Matheny replaced him with Heyward in the fifth, likely because Holliday got on base to continue his impressive streak, and because Holliday has been battling the flu. Heyward came into play right field, and Grichuk moved over to left.
2. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the President of the U.S. Golf Association graced the FOX broadcast team with his presence. It was about as boring as you can imagine. They completely ignored the game in favor of really inane golf talk. Basically the only good thing to come of this was Brandon McCarthy calling them out.
what a treat it is for fans of the Dodgers & Cardinals to have the president of the US Golf association in the booth today.— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) May 31, 2015
3. Despite the way things ended - which I strongly believe is entirely on the manager - Wacha pitched really well tonight. He struck out seven in 5.2 innings of work, and got quite a few swings and misses (he did walk three batters, though, which was not great). He dominated the first five innings, and it's actually a damn shame that this performance will end up being little more than an afterthought.
Michael Wacha's K/9 is up half a K because of this game alone.— VanHaterstein (@VanHicklestein) May 31, 2015
4. El Gallo looks to take the rubber game for the Redbirds tomorrow. He will face Brett Anderson at 1:15 CT.
5. Happy VEB day, everyone! Wish I could have been there, and sorry it was kind of a crappy game. Hope you all got an Ozzie bobblehead and hope you had/are having a great time. Have a cherry vodka and sprite for me.