Well the Cardinals won, too, and here are some things that happened in this game of...SORTA WEST COAST BASEBALL.
The Cards' bats came out on fire, really scorching everything starter Jhoulys Chacin threw at them. And yet!
Chacin fooled a grand total of zero hitters in the first. pic.twitter.com/dqRAkYhQbb— viva el birdos (@vivaelbirdos) August 25, 2015
Baseball is cruel.
The main thing here is that Welington Castillo hit a home run, and that that home run made the score 1-0 Diamondbacks.
Another, less important thing is that Welington Castillo being an Arizona Diamondback still seems factually incorrect to me--a Chicago Cub was how I found him, and a Cub he shall forever be.
Two things happened this inning. The first is that Matt Carpenter got off the schneid by hitting a ball SO FAR that the umps decided to let him just round all the bases. This tied the game, 1-1.
The other thing that happened happened in the bottom of the inning, and what it was was the beginning of a trend: the Cardinals turned a crucial double play, an inning-ending one in fact. They should have turned their first DP one inning earlier, but starting second baseman Greg Garcia botched the turn by throwing way wide of first.
So like I just said, Matt Carpenter is great and double plays were important tonight: well in a development few could've predicted, those two things combined to end the fourth inning.
With the bases loaded and one out, Lance Lynn threw a fastball that Aaron Hill hit down the third-base line right at Carpenter. My first thought was: he doesn't have enough time to throw home and the runner on third will score. But no! I forgot about the loophole in the rule book called "Force Outs." But Matt Carpenter did not. He stepped elegantly on third and threw to first. Two outs, inning over, Mark Reynolds fist pump.
This is the inning the Cardinals could have lost this game. Or at the very least it could've ended with Lance Lynn committing physical atrocities against Greg Garcia's person.
Basically all that happened was that one double play was flubbed and the other was achieved, but here are some more words about that:
With one out, Chacin the pitcher singled to turn over the lineup to leadoff hitter Ender Inciarte. Matheny held up the "TURN DOUBLE PLAY" sign, and Inciarte hit a perfect grounder right at Garcia--who had already committed one error behind Lynn tonight. Greg gloved the ball and torqued to throw to second, but his left foot slipped and his throw flew beyond Peralta's reach. Lynn yelled some mighty curses before Yadi calmed him down.
A.J. Pollock singled on a great bunt to third, loading the bases for Paul Goldschmidt, who is the baseballing avatar of Vishnu. Everything was poised for disaster--but it never came. Goldschmidt hit a hard grounder right at Peralta, who threw to Garcia at second, who made what probably felt like the most important turn of his life.
Double play, inning over, Reynolds fist pump.
Here's an example of how real, quantifiable value is created by fast players like Jason Heyward (and theoretically by other even faster players on, say, the Cards' bench): with one on in the sixth and no outs, he drilled a grounder to the second baseman but his speed turned a potential double play into a fielder's choice. He then advanced to third on Yadier Molina's single after Arizona's left fielder bobbled the ball.
Heyward scored when Stephen Piscotty outran a potential double play of his own on a grounder to third. 2-1 Cards. All because Jason Heyward is a fast baserunner (and Stephen Piscotty is, too).
In the bottom frame, Lynn induced another double play, this time to erase a leadoff infield hit (to Garcia of course, who tried and failed to do Kolten Wong's patented up-the-middle jump-throw). This was Lynn's fourth DP, which:
Chris Carpenter was the last Cardinals pitcher to induce 4 GIDP in a game (8/10/2011 vs. MIL).— Chris Tunno (@TunesSTL) August 25, 2015
With two outs, however, Lynn walked Lamb on a strike and gave up an RBI double to Aaron Hill. 2-2 Cards.
Lynn would be pinch hit for in the seventh, so let's pause here to look at his pitching line:
- 6 IP, 9 H (3 infield hits), 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K;
- 95 pitches, 56 strikes, 6 swinging strikes;
- 13 ground balls, 4 fly balls, 2 line drives.
After the Cardinals took the lead on a Tommy Pham single to right, they extended that lead on what Diamondbacks fans would probably describe as an infuriating flared RBI single by Yadier, scoring Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham, who is very fast and has evasive hips. 5-2 Cards.
In the bottom of the frame--look, no one scored. Let's not talk about how hittable Jonathan Broxton looked or whether that's a bad opinion. The point is, the anxiety is over and no one scored.
After Kevin Siegrist dominated the eighth inning, Trevor Rosenthal closed out the game by allowing just the one run to score, on a double by Pollock and an RBI single by David Pollock. Rosie struck out Yasmany Tomas to end the game.
5-3 Cards. Mark Reynolds fist pump.
A few notes:
- "Act 3 is too long."
- Jammy with soft tannins.
- Greg Garcia seemed to hurt his right thumb on a slide into third; he stayed in the game and scored before being replaced by Pete Kozma. What a night for Greg!