After a series win against the inscrutable Mets, the Cardinals traveled up to Chicago to face off against... oh, the White Sox. Well, that's cool too. The Cards sent Michael Wacha (2.93 ERA, 3.06 FIP, 3.46 xFIP) out to the hill while the White Sox (who were wearing black socks tonight. embrace it, I guess.) countered with young lefty Carlos Rodon (3.80 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 3.88 xFIP).
ALSO, tonight was the triumphant debut of one Stephen Piscotty! With the weird DH-enabled game moving Matt Holliday to the non-fielding part of the batting order, there was an open outfield spot for Piscotty to patrol. We'll see Stephen play first base sometime soon, I'm sure.
And speaking of batting order, here's the one your Cardinals chose to roll out tonight:
Kolten Wong - 2B
Randal Grichuk - CF
Matt Holliday - DH
Jhonny Peralta - SS
Jason Heyward - RF
Yadier Molina - C
Matt Carpenter - 3B
Mark Reynolds - 1B
Stephen Piscotty - LF
... so, yeah.
The oddball lineup proved pretty effective against Rodon, getting to him in the 2nd and not letting up. Jhonny Peralta stroked a fliner in to CF that Adam Eaton dove for and whiffed on, resulting in a fielder-aided triple. Matt Carpenter drove him home, ending an 0 for 17 drought, for a 1-0 advantage. Piscotty's inaugural plate appearance ended inauspiciously as he waved at a ball well inside that hit his foot, striking out on three straight pitches.
In the top of the 3rd a Holliday single and Heyward double set the stage for a Yadi bases-clearing single to raise the tally to 3-0 Good Guys.
Michael Wacha mowed through White Sox batsmen for three innings, setting down 9 in a row.
And then in the top of the 4th, fireworks. Reynolds walked, Piscotty got his first major league hit on a sharp one-hopper to 3B that ate him up a bit, and Wong was HBP. If you're keeping score at home, you'll see that the bases are loaded here. The Stillwater Stinger unloaded them in a hurry. This ball is crushed, friends and neighbors. The 7-0 score looked pretty comfortable at this point.
But the Sox wouldn't go quietly, countering in the bottom of the frame. Adam Eaton set the tone with a battling 10 pitch walk after getting behind 0-2 that led off the inning and became Wacha's first baserunner allowed. Tyler Saladino singled to put two on, then Jose Abreu singled to RF to score Eaton and end the shutout. A Melky Cabrera sac fly scored Saladino and the Cards' lead was cut to 7-2.
After getting lit up for 7 runs in 4 innings, Rodon was sent to the showers in favor of Daniel Webb. He gave up a solo home run to Mark Reynolds to give back a run and put the Cards up 8-2.
In the 5th, the Sox would again cut into the Redbird lead. A Geo Soto solo home run and a Saladino two run shot chipped away to the tune of a 8-5 score.
Wacha's night ended when Seth Maness was brought in to start the 6th.
Wacha's night: 5 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 2 HR, 100 pitches
It got a little adventurous in the 7th. With Sam Tuivailala pitching, Eaton walked. A Saladino grounder to 1B fielded by Reynolds who tried to go to 2B but threw it wide and into LF. Piscotty then made a bad throw of his own to 3B which hit the runner and put runners at 2B and 3B. But Tui was able to snag an Abreu comeback chopper and Kevin Siegrist struck out Melky to get out of the jam.
And, sure it's a save opportunity. You know what that means. Trevor Rosenthal allowed a single to Carlos Sanchez. Saladino looked like he ended the game on a chopper to SS that Peralta made a nice play on, but the call was challenged and overturned. Runners now at 1B and 2B. But Abreu grounded to 3B to close it actually, officially end the game.
- Jhonny Peralta had not hit a triple since 2012.
- 3 walks tonight for Mark Reynolds.
- Matt Carpenter went 2 for 5 and had a Run Matted In!
Join us tomorrow for more additional baseballing action. Fastball throwin' Lance Lynn (2.79 ERA, 2.78 FIP, 3.30 xFIP) and John Danks (4.98 ERA, 4.48 FIP, 4.53 xFIP) will be the pitchers. The first of which (pitch, I mean) due at 7:10pm Central.