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Happy birthday, America! July 4 Padres at Cardinals Recap: Cards win 2-1

The Cardinals are America's team, so of course they beat the Padres today.

I'm sexy and I know it.
I'm sexy and I know it.
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

El Gallo get some strikeouts on those Padres, please

Just don't let 'em hit 'em throw it by 'em with some ease (I love it)

Love game intuition, watch the Cards, our ace will start

Oh Carlos, I've been hooked, yeah you're the one who's got my heart

Can't hit your

Can't hit your

No they can't hit your breaking ball

(He's got me like nobody)

Can't hit your

Can't hit your

No they can't hit your two-seamer

(He's got me like nobody)

The Game

The Cardinals headed into this game having lost four in a row.  Four. In. A. Row.  For the first time all season.  The horror!!  They also entered the game with an odd ass lineup, which I suppose is the headline for this season.  2015 St. Louis Cardinals: Kicking Your Ass Despite Our Terrible Lineups.  So, Tommy Pham got the start in center field.  I mean, okay - clearly Peter Bourjos has become the last man on the bench, behind all of of Memphis, and behind all the dudes on the DL.  If Kyle Lohse were still on this team, he'd probably be starting ahead of Bourjos.  It's sad - nay, tragic.  STILL, still.  You bat a guy who has never had a major league hit leadoff in a game that is about as must-win as an in-season game can be?  Oooookay....

It turns out that it turned out alright.  But more on that in a minute. Carlos Martinez came into the game with a 9-3 record and a 2.80 ERA on the season, facing Odrisamer Despaigne (I spell checked that shit).  Martinez has been one of the Cardinals' best pitchers,and if not for that unsightly walk rate (3.3/9 before today), he'd be Elite with a capital E.  Despite his fastball looking pretty darn good today, the Padres scored first on a solo home run by Yangervis Solarte.  That's the bad news.  The good news is, that was all the Padres would score today.

In the bottom of the 6th inning, Tommy Pham - Professional Leadoff Hitter - got his first major league hit, and a double at that.  Congrats to Pham!!  Matt Carpenter  followed up with a base hit to score him.  Tie game.  Martinez got into some trouble in the top of the 7th, allowing a hit to Cardinal killer Jedd Gyorko (seriously, are these made up names??), who advanced to third on a bunt by Alexi Amarista, and a ground out by Brett Wallace.  Martinez walked Melvin Upton, Jr. next, and SURPRISINGLY Matheny took him out at a very good time to do so.  Randy Choate came in, did his job, and struck out Yonder Alonso.  BAM.

Our savior, Tommy Pham, started things off in the bottom of the 8th inning, reaching on an error, and stealing a base (!).  Carpenter advanced him with a ground out, and Jhonny Peralta sacrificed him home with a pop up to short right field.  This part was impressive, because Pham's speed was the only reason he was able to score there.  The throw was right on, and may have even beaten him to the plate, but Pham is fast and sneaky and got in there before the tag.  2-1 Cardinals!!  Rosie came in for the top of the 9th to get the save.  Cardinals Win on America's Birthday, just like it was intended to be.

Additional Notes:

1. The Cardinals defense was on point today.  Pham made a phenomenal play in the outfield in the top of the first, to rob Alonso of an extra base hit; Yadier Molina threw out Upton, Jr. trying to steal second in the top of the third; and Wong made an awesome grab on a line drive deflected off of Martinez's glove in the 6th to double up Solarte.  Good stuff, folks.

2. The All-Star Game Selection Show airs tomorrow night on ESPN at 6:30 pm CT.  As of the last vote tally, Matt Carpenter held a narrow lead over Todd Frazier at 3rd, Jhonny Peralta had a huge lead at shortstop, and Matt Holliday was still hanging in there with a top 3 outfield spot. I'd expect to see Rosenthal and possibly Martinez on the roster, as well, and wouldn't be surprised to see Kolten Wong snag a bench spot. Yeah, I still like the all-star game, so what?

3. Happy 4th, everyone!  Have a great day, and please be safe out there.  Remember that a cab/Uber/Lyft costs a LOT less than a DUI.  And no, I won't be your lawyer.