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Cardinals vs Giants recap: Molina goes yard in 2-1 win

Wacha pitches seven strong innings in Grichuk-less, Heyward-less victory.

100.0 MPH off the bat
100.0 MPH off the bat
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Before this game even started, it was a wild one, and then it started and wild stuff sort of kept happening. The Cardinals won, it's important to say right away. But look at this craziness.

Before the game came this news:

Then early in the game came this news:

And at various points, various other wild stuff occurred:

  • Ostensible backup center fielder Peter Bourjos got passed over as backup center fielder twice--once before the game, when Matheny chose Heyward to start in center field, something he hadn't done since 2013; and again when Heyward left the game, Tommy Pham jumping out of the bus from Memphis and into center at Busch.
  • Wacha bunted a fastball in the fourth inning that, if he hadn't hit it, would have absolutely brained him right in the third eye. As it was he nearly caught it on his pitching hand, which surely would've broken some phalanges/hearts.
  • Yadier Molina in let's say the eighth inning took a foul ball right to his right wrist, one of the most fragile and important parts of your body. He sank stoically to the ground for a bit but seemed fine eventually.
  • The gosh darn ump himself also got beaned by a fastball at one point--Molina simply whiffed on a pitch by Wacha and it sped undiminished toward the ump's right shoulder. After it smacked him, he staggered away from the plate but ultimately stayed in the game.
  • Kolten Wong made a spectacular double play in the sixth by tagging Brandon Belt on the butt. Not wild exactly--but a pretty great visual pun.
Anyway, the Cardinals won, and eventually some of those injured players will return:

Here are some other things about the game and stuff:

Michael Wacha

He was really good:

  • 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K;
  • 92 pitches (66 strikes), 11 swinging strikes;
  • 11 GB, 5 FB (2 IFFB), 1 LD.

Do you all remember when Wacha had two really good pitches--his fastball and changeup--and then a curveball that he threw because hey you gotta throw something else sometimes? Well his curve is a really good pitch now, even if his command of it is still not as great as for his other pitches. Still, he threw it 22 times tonight, 15 of them for strikes.

Young Michael allowed one run all night, and it came in the at-bat immediately after the aforementioned Wong double play. Brandon Crawford, a lefty, was up with two outs and one on, and he lined a double in the gap that Pham couldn't reach. (I don't think even Bourjos could've gotten to it.)

Here's the at-bat:

Not a terrible pitch, #3. It was a fastball down, and Crawford inside-out-ed it for surprising power.

But that was all the runs the Giants scored. Here's how the Cardinals scored their first run:

Yadi, and then the Eighth Inning

It was Yadi. He hit a home run--into Big Mac Land no less!

And here's what happened in the eighth inning:

  • Yadier flied out to left (he'd already hit a dinger, okay, chill out);
  • Stephen Piscotty hit his first ever major-league triple, just out of the reach of the Giants' center fielder;
  • Brandon Moss was intentionally walked--he should do this more often, har har;
  • Mark Reynolds hit a double-play ball that--intentionally??--was a little TOO easy for shortstop Brandon Crawford, who grabbed it and instead of tossing it to the second baseman took it himself, do-si-do-ing long enough to let Moss slide into him and possibly alter his throw. At any rate: wild throw to first, Piscotty scores, 2-1 Cards.
  • Bourjos then pinch h--whoa wait that's Reynolds getting thrown out at second to end the inning!

Trevor Rosenthal then entered to add one last soupcon of wildness to the game, walking pinch hitter Andrew Susac with two outs to bring up pinch hitter Buster Posey.

Buster walloped a high 99-MPH fastball way out to center field, where Bourjos waited patiently to haul it in and end the game.


  • Not every game needs notes.
Fangraphs' WPA graph:

Source: FanGraphs

The second game of the series features the well rested ahem Lance Lynn versus new Giant Mike Leake Ryan Vogelsong. It takes place tomorrow night at 7:15 central.