After suffering back-to-back losses in Minnesota in which the team scored only one lowly run in each, the Cardinals headed to Philadelphia in need of... something. Although the Cardinals manged to split the home-and-home series against the Twins, the team averaged two runs per game, which even in this run environment will not be enough to sustain the pace set earlier in the season, a pace which needs to be continued now more than ever now that the Pirates have begun to heat up, sitting only four games back in the standings as of Friday morning. The pitching staff has been excellent, leading the league in WAR, ERA, ERA- and FIP-, but with the Pirates breathing down their necks in those categories as well as the win column, the offense needed to step up in a big way. Maybe this is what the team had on their mind, in addition to the need for an improved bench, when they announced the roster shakeups this afternoon that replaced Ed Easley and Mitch Harris with Xavier Scruggs and Greg Garcia.
And perhaps all of that makes a series against the league's worst team in the Philadelphia Phillies just what the doctor ordered. The team has had a very rough go of it as of late, having just recently ended a nine-game losing streak in which they were outscored 57-21 getting shutout three times and losing 19-3 on Tuesday in a game that showcased Jeff Francoeur, outfielder, pitching two innings. This game featured the league's best team, record-wise, against the league's worst. Sounds like a trap.
It was not. It was a bloodbath.
The Birdos put up crooked numbers in three innings and scored a run in four. The team's starters were removed in seventh. There was a point where Jon Jay might have been able to score on a passed ball and he just, like, didn't feel like it (and it was totally okay):
THIS TOO! pic.twitter.com/goRtdOtRZi— Scooter Simon (@lil_scooter93) June 20, 2015
Every starter had a least one hit. Every starter minus Heyward and Jay batted a run in. Every starter minus Peralta and Reynolds scored a run. The Cardinals walked ten times. The Cardinals got sixteen hits. The Cardinals hit three home runs, a two-run shot off the bat of Molina, a two-run shot off the bat of Wong, and a solo shot off the bat of Grichuk. Nearly every grounder found a hole, every flare fell in, and every meatball was crushed. The twelve-run attack ended in a resounding victory that the offense absolutely needed.
The pitching staff did surrender four runs, but only after the game was securely in hand. Tyler Lyons, looking darling in the blue caps, gave up the obligatory home run (this of the three-run variety) to Ryan Howard, the little-known St. Louisan, in the bottom of the fifth while under the duress of a climbing pitch count in addition to the rigors of having to run the bases in the inning before. The rest of the game Lyons was able to scatter five hits and one walk over five innings, collecting five strikeouts. Miguel Socolovich gave up a run in the bottom of the eighth and that rounded out the scoring for the Philles, resulting in the 12-4 Cardinal victory, the team's forty-fourth of the season.
- "And what do you do after you've attacked?"
"Nothing. Because I never stop attacking."
- This series will pay homage to the 1960s, tonight featuring 1961 in particular, which is why we were graced with those super awesome throwback jerseys.
- On this date in 1996, Ozzie Smith announced his retirement from baseball at the conclusion of the season.
- I believe the Cardinals are now 3-0 lifetime against the Phillies in games where there is a squirrel appearance.
- Tyler Lyons went 2-for-2 at the plate today. These young, athletic pitchers are fun.
- Tyler's NERD Score is a 9, but to me he is a straight up 10 *winks*
- Oh dear, that was terrible. Feel free to reprimand me in the comments.
- Here, allow me to make it up to you with some help from the wonderful Daniel Doelling.
(@Daniel_Doelling) June 20, 2015
"Hey, Yadi!" "YADI." "HEY!" pic.twitter.com/shMCOIQSQY— Daniel Doelling (@Daniel_Doelling) June 20, 2015
- SO MANY GREAT THINGS!
LIL SCOOTER'S LIL PLAYER OF THE GAME:
I am tempted to just give it to Carlos Martinez, but shoot, let's give it to Yadi. He hit a dinger that opened the scoring for the Cardinals, and also had to highest WPA at .166.
Tomorrow John Lackey, also known as the salty mean face that yelled at Yadi for no good reason, will take the mound against Aaron Harang at 7:15pm.