In the opener of this 3 game series in the land of beer and cheese, Carlos Martinez (3.12 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 3.29 xFIP) and Brewers rookie Ariel Peña (4.50 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 5.73 xFIP in just 8 innings pitched) were your starters.
Adams' first start since coming off the DL! Holliday off the DL!
#STLCards activate All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday (right quad strain) from the 15-day DL. Matt Adams in starting lineup tonight— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 15, 2015
Although the plan was for Adams to come out of the game early.
Carlos Martinez owned the Brewers for 8 innings. Easily hitting 99 mph early on, and touching 100, Carlos mixed in 89-90 mph changeups and a liberal dose of curves. El Gallo was able to keep the (admittedly diminished) Brewers line-up in check. But his excellent pitching performance was just part of his story.
Meanwhile, Jason Heyward went 3 for 4 with a walk, capping off his game with a decisive 10th inning second deck bomb to give the Cardinals the lead and the win.
Things looked promising in the first, as Heyward hit a ground rule double to center and Jhonny Peralta ripped a hard grounder to third. Elian Herrera made a nice play on Peralta's grounder to end the inning, but the team looked to have some life and appeared to be able to hit Peña hard.
One part of the Martinez story tonight was his 3rd inning double off the base of the left field wall. He would be stranded, but it was an absolutely legit double and just another Good Carlos Thing that happened.
In the bottom of the 3rd, Yadi thought there were 3 outs after Carlos emphatically struck out Peña on three pitches, but alas there were only 2 away. If anyone has a gif of Carlos' reaction post it below!
Cardinals threatened in the 4th. Heyward walked, then stole 2nd. The throw beat him, but he avoided the tag on the slide. He's a nifty slider. Sliding is maybe the 8th tool or so, but it's still fun to watch a great one. Peralta grounded out to move Heyward to 3rd, but he would be stranded again.
Stephen Piscotty made a terrific catch on a Herrera liner to deep left field. Carlos showed his appreciation:
Despite how good the Cardinals looked, it was the Brewers that broke out first. In the 5th, Khris Davis took a 98 mph heater into deeep center. Yadi had set up well outside and the pitch just missed middle-middle.
But the Cards came right back in the 6th. Heyward rang a double off the right field wall and Peralta singled him home to tie it up! Corey Knebel relieved Peña. Matt Adams ripped a liner to Lind at first. Lind caught it and basically fell down on the 1B bag for a double play.
In the bottom of the 6th with two on, Herrera laid down a nice bunt but Martinez fielded it and made an amazing throw to 1st to get him. Yet another Good Carlos Thing.
After putting Ryan Braun on, Adam Lind chopped to Reynolds at 1st. He gets the force, goes home, and Yadi gets the tag down for a nifty double play!
Fast forward to the 8th, Carlos allowed a Logan Schafer single in the still-tied game. With two outs Carlos picked off Schafer at first to end inning. It would be the last Good Carlos Thing of the evening:
El Gallo's line: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 103 pitches, 1 Double, 1 Ridiculous fielding play, 1 Pick off, Game Score 77
This is his second highest game score of the season, after the 80 he posted against the Dodgers on May 31st.
Going to the top of the 9th, Francisco Rodriguez in. Jon Jay drew a 2-out walk and was replaced by Peter Bourjos to pinch run. Greg Garcia was selected to pinch hit for Carlos. Selected over Holliday, Moss, Grichuk... and grounded out to end the inning.
Kevin Siegrist took care of the 9th.
And in the 10th: Lind boxed a Matt Carpenter (who went 0 for 5 tonight) grounder to put a runner on. Piscotty hit into a fielder's choice, but it wouldn't much matter as JASON HEYWARD LAUNCHED A BOMB OF A HOME RUN DEEP INTO THE RIGHT FIELD STANDS! 3-1!
Trevor Rosenthal locked down the win, and his 44th save, with nuclear 101 mph heat.
- Pirates and Cubbies split their twin bill today. With the Cardinals winning tonight, that puts the Pirates 3 games back and the Cubs back 7. Pirates elimination number is 16 while the Cubs sit at 12.
Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Tomorrow! HOTME Jaime Garcia (2.33 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 3.40 xFIP) and Wily Peralta (4.14 ERA, 4.48 FIP, 4.43 xFIP) perform amazing feats of baseball hurling! Game time is 7:10 pm Central! BE THERE. Be There. be there. (echos trail off...)