Lance Lynn breezed through the first 2 innings, not even breaking a sweat. He looked much better than he has for a while. I think he likes the cooler weather. No sweat!
An arrival from the Cueto trade, Brandon Finnegan started for Cincinnati. He is projected for an ERA and FIP rating north of 4.0. Not a bad pitcher, but the projection systems aren't too excited.
The offense was not able to do anything in the first inning, and then Peralta nonchalantly grounded out to begin the 2nd. After the quick dispatch, #31, Finnegan carved up Stephen Piscotty in a hasty strikeout. Grichuk then of course hit a home run, as we all thought he would (or strike out). Finnegan challenged Randal, but it didn't work out too well.
Skip Schumaker looked more serious than ever in the outfield tonight. Tony Cruz started at catcher batting 8th in the order, where he should be batting. Luckily for us, Tony got on base, because Matt Carpenter teed off on a pitch breaking down and in, which resulted in his 25th home run!
With one out, Tommy Pham ripped a single into the outfield. Since his call up August 17th, he's hit well over .300 and has 4 home runs. Matt Holliday introduced his return for us with an extreme line drive on a weird pitch that floated up in the zone which really wasn't that far from a screaming home run. The dude can hit some weird pitches with his line drive inducing batting style. 4-0 Cards after the 2 run home run and RBI double.
Back to Skip, he is not doing very well at baseball this year. Tonight he grounded out and hit it to shallow left for an out in the 4th inning. And by the end of the 4th inning, Lance Lynn started to develop a glistening sheen. The Reds made him work. But he didn't falter, retaining the shutout into the 5th as well as into the 6th, only allowing 3 hits. Dude was on tonight. He even got a hit which Skip Schumaker could not catch.
And it was nice that Lance was on, because Matt Carpenter hit another home run, #26 of the season! At this point, I was called in to work, so I sort of lost track where I was at in the game. It was just a brief excursion but when I turned the game back on, there was much judging about Randal Grichuk getting hit on the hand going on. Ultimately, they had him bat longer and called it a foul ball instead of rewarding him a base.
Randal did have his base through artificial means, however, drawing a walk from his experience at the plate. And I don't mean experience as usual, I mean it as it must have been an experience for the Grich to make it through a plate appearance without crushing a home run (or striking out).
The Cardinals offense was running on all cylinders tonight... Mark Reynolds hit a ball very sharply into left field for a double. Still nobody out in the sixth. Then Matt Adams had a goofy single through the legs of his teammate, the other first baseman! Then Tommy Pham made Frazier look comedic, with the ball ricocheting off Todd's glove and making itself into a hit. Greg Garcia got a chance with 2 outs, but ended the inning mercifully by flying out to center.
Joey Votto did away with the shutout by hitting his 29th home run tonight. The guy has been stuck on a bad team, but he is back to his old self this season, one of the very best hitters in baseball. Votto is at .433 wOBA, .462 OBP, and worth 7.4 fWAR in 2015. Want to be a Cardinal, Mr. Votto?
This game also included an absolutely belted home run by, Peter Bourjos? Well ok! One of the most crushed home runs I've seen in a long time. I think Peter maybe had some built up frustration! Wow. 4th home run by the Cardinals of the night, 10-1 lead. The ball was 101 mph off the bat for PB's home run and was past Big Mac Land.
The offensive carousel continued with Mark Reynolds hitting one toughly down the third base line for another double. Eventually it finally ended but it was an exciting rush of an inning.
Sokolovich looked good out of the bullpen, albeit vs a listless Reds offense. Pete Kozma, Brandon Moss, and a whole array of characters were in the game for the Cardinals tonight for the blowout. Moss was hitting the ball hard but to the wrong places, like in the stands or one of the highest pop flies I have ever witnessed. That is ok, because Tartamella got his first major league hit tonight, whoever the heck that is (a defensive catcher not noted for his hitting I guess, weird night!).
Eventually the Reds were able to get out of the inning, and Sam Tuivailala was the pitcher for the Cardinals in the 9th. Skip Schumaker finally got a hit! DeJesus tripled then, beyond the reach of Jon Jay who was in right field. Tuivailala powered through the rest of the game though, and the Cardinals buried the Reds 10-2.
- Matt Carpenter, my pick for the Cards 2015 MVP, was 2 for 3 tonight, with 2 home runs and 4 RBI
- Mark Reynolds was 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and Randal Grichuk was 1 for 2 with a home run
- 9 different Cardinals players got hits tonight, including a Lance Lynn hit, the first MLB hit by defensive specialist minor league catcher Tartamella, and monster home run by Peter Bourjos!
- Lance Lynn looked overpowering at times, moreso than his line of 6IP and 4K and 3H would make it seem. He walked no one and didn't allow a run. Lynn appears to be turning a corner after having around a .400 wOBA against in August and September. It was nice to see the big guy not be crushed by hitters tonight, but it perhaps complicates things for the postseason starter situation... I'm still most comfortable with Martinez/Garcia/Lackey at this point.
- Finnegan gave up 7 hits but struck out 7 Cardinals for a weird line. 3 of those 7 hits were home runs, however. He was charged for 6 of the 10 runs. His weird night is best illustrated by his FIP vs his xFIP, 8.74 to 2.42.
- Magic # is 7 now, with the Pirates blowing out the Rockies at the time of this writing.
This was a tough one to follow and cover, with an insane amount of hits and lineup shuffling and managerial moves to get players in at different positions and give them a chance to play wherever. The Cardinals are 40 games over .500! Just 4 more wins til 100. A 4 game series at home vs the Brewers begins tomorrow at 6:15pm. Wouldn't it be neat if the Cards could pull off back to back sweeps? OK ok I'm getting greedy here.
R.I.P. Yogi Berra