Michael Wacha was given the day off today, so that he can be ready for the playoffs with his innings in a favorable state. So, Tyler Lyons got a rare start tonight. They gave him a start vs the Nationals too, not a bad team. Not as good as everyone might've thought, but still, a good team. But just barely good at 1 game over .500. Luckily for them they are in a bad division. But on the other hand, the Mets are playing much better than anyone thought, and they upgraded.
Lyons (3.82 SIERA) had a tough foe in Max Scherzer (2.69 SIERA) tonight in St. Louis. On Lyons side was his curveball working quite nicely. Scherzer has been one of the best this season, so the Cards' offense had its work cut out for them. Somewhat surprisingly though, Lyons kept them in the game for a while, and it was a good thing.
Until the 5th inning, really the only thing a Cardinal could do vs Max was hit a monstrous solo home run. The Mossman blasted one 454' into right field, the longest home run to that spot. It would seem Brandon Moss is getting dialed in as a Cardinal.
This game was a game of solo home runs. The Nationals ended up with 3 of them, with Ryan Zimmerman providing 2 while the bearded "bastard" (used lovingly) Jayson Werth torched one to center. The Cardinals wouldn't get to Scherzer again until mid-game, where they were able to string together 3 singles in a run scoring alignment: Heyward, Peralta, and Pham with the RBI.
To get back up to speed: the Nationals went to their bullpen in the 7th inning. Thornton was summoned to get the out vs Heyward. Then they brought in another pitcher to face Peralta. Jhonny singled again, this time off of Blake Treinen, who is actually a pretty great bullpen guy. Then, Brandon Moss continued the singles parade with a very sharply hit ball between left and center.
"I was waxing rather psychologically." Tim McCarver stated while the Nats were commiserating in the 7th. Tim called it "a long, strange meeting on the mound." and Matt Williams walked out, while Kolten Wong approached. Another pitcher was brought in. But this did not prevent the Cardinals bachelor capabilities: another single was provided by the offense, and a run scored, this time because of a Wong single.
It was all tied at 3-3, and then the game progressed into the 8th. In my mind, it seemed like Mike Matheny tempted the fates by bringing in Johnathan Broxton here. I don't really think he is quite as good as he's shown and I would have rested him and not brought him into this game. But anyway, the Nationals garnered a base on balls, a sac bunt, and then Ryan Zimmerman perfected his burning hatred for the Cardinals during this game by doubling in a run, and DC went ahead by a run.
Cody Stanley lead off the Cardinals' 8th on offense with a strikeout. McCarver mentioned that this game seemed methodical, and it made a lightbulb go off in my head, as I was thinking the same thing all game in the back of my mind but couldn't really put a word to it. Or maybe another way to put it would be grueling, but maybe that's my living room with no A/C. Whew, it is a hot one today. Drew Storen also made Matt Carpenter look pretty bad and struck him out, so the youngster Cody need not feel as bad. The announcers, talking September baseball, said that greed is good, and talked about wall street. I preferred visiting Wall Drug personally, but I digress.
The Cardinals could not score in the 8th, so the game moved on to the 9th. Steve Cishek pretty much baffled the side with his weirdness, and the Cardinals had one more chance to come back. Heyward lead the inning off with yet another single vs veteran closer Papelbon. Brandon Moss continued his mission back to hitting effectively and yes, singled. But the Cardinals couldn't quite get it done with Pham striking out and Wong grounding out.
- Wong, Peralta and Moss were all 3-5, but Moss had a mammoth home run
- Moss and Zimmerman both had big games but Zimmerman's was ridiculous, over .500 WPA
- Solo home runs and singles determined this game, they had more solo home runs
- Or, you could look at it from the bullpen: Martin, Storen & Papelbon stopped the Cardinals while Broxton flubbed it
- Lyons looked pretty decent, other than the 3 home runs he gave up and 6 hits (but had a 9 K/9)
- This was a frustrating loss because of sequencing I suppose, the Cardinals had 16 hits to the Nats 8
- Scherzer had 10 strikeouts in only 6 innings, pretty sure that is a 15 K/9 on the night
- All of the Cardinals starting position players had a hit tonight, but they still lost
Next game is not til Friday night, when the Pirates sail into Busch stadium and try to defeat a Tsunami at 7:15pm.