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Reds @ Cardinals recap 4.17 - Eric Fryer helps secure series win

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Wacha solid, Fryer has a good day offensively and defensively as Cards squeak out a series win against Cincinnati.

There wasn't a good Eric Fryer picture, but this one is pretty awesome
There wasn't a good Eric Fryer picture, but this one is pretty awesome
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Reds @ St. Louis Cardinals

Jon Moscot v. Michael Wacha
1:15 p.m. CT 
Busch Stadium - St. Louis, Missouri

Today's Lineups -

Zack Cozart - SS Matt Carpenter - 3B
Eugenio Suarez - 3B Stephen Piscotty - RF
Joey Votto - 1B Brandon Moss - LF
Brandon Phillips - 2B Randal Grichuk - CF
Jay Bruce - RF Matt Adams - 1B
Devin Mesoraco - C Jedd Gyorko - 2B
Adam Duvall - LF Greg Garcia - SS
Scott Schebler - CF Eric Fryer - C
Jon Moscot - RHP Michael Wacha - RHP

Some News -

  • Yadier Molina collected his Gold and Platinum Gloves for his defensive work in 2015 before the game today -
  • Ruben Tejada went 2-for-5 in Springfield yesterday, and will play another game there today before the front office makes a decision on his return.
  • Milwaukee @ Pittsburgh -
  • Chicago @ Colorado -

Things we were looking for -

Today we see a more "getaway" type lineup.  So far, I think Mike has done a pretty decent job of managing the rotation of guys through first, left, and center, and getting guys out of blowout games at appropriate times.

Things that happened -

Top halves -

Things didn't start great for Wacha and Co., but it could'a been worse.  Zack Cozart doubled and Eugenio Suarez singled to put runners on the corners with nobody out.  With Joey Votto up, a great pickoff move cut Suarez down.  Joey knocked in the first run of the day - a sacrifice fly to left field.  A pretty diving catch from Randal Grichuk coming in on a soft fly ball hit by Brandon Phillips ended the inning.  Reds up 1-0.

Matt Carpenter showed a nice example of a do-or-die barehand play coming in to retire Devin Mesoraco for the second out of the second.  Adam Duvall doubled, and they intentionally walked the eighth place hitter Scott Schebler so they could strike out Moscot to end the inning.

It took Michael just 7 pitches to mow through the top of the Reds lineup in the third.

The Cardinal defense let down in the fourth.  Phillips reached base on a fielding error by Garcia.  The next batter, Jay Bruce, hit a hot shot back to Wacha, which he was able to knock down.  He had to scramble to gather the ball, and when he did, he threw it wide, allowing Phillips to come all the way around to score, and Bruce to go to second.  Mesoraco smacked a hanging breaking ball into right field to plate Bruce and retake the lead.  Duvall then grounded into what was called a double play on the field.  The Reds challenged that Duvall beat the play out at first. It was super close and could have gone either way, but the call was upheld. Schebler struck out to end the inning.  Reds lead 3-2.

Michael worked around a 1-out single from Zack Cozart in the fifth.

Brandon Phillips singled leading off the sixth.  A couple batters later, he tried his best to steal second base.  Eric Fryer had other ideas.  He nailed Phillips with a great throw, and Gyorko laid a nice tag at the other end.  It was pretty!

Wacha's final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5K, 80 pitches thrown.

Matt Bowman and Kevin Siegrist tagteamed the seventh.  Siegrist came in after Bowman allowed Jordan Pacheco to double with two outs.  Siegrist struck Cozart out with three straight pitches.

Kevin Siegrist came back for the eighth.  The highlights were Votto watching a 3-2 fastball go by on the outside corner to get wrung up and Phillips going to a knee swinging through a nasty changeup to end the inning.

Trevor Rosenthal came in to do the closer thing in the ninth.  We got a fun new defensive alignment.  Diaz stayed in at short, Gyorko to third, Garcia to second, and Carpenter to first.  Also Yadi came in to catch.  Rosenthal struck out two with nasty changeups, and looked pretty good doing it.  He notched the save, and secured the series win.  Cards win 4-3.

Bottom halves -

Moscot fared better in his first inning than his counterpart did.  Brandon Moss reached on a fielding error by Phillips from his shift-position in shallow right field.  Moss was the only baserunner - everyone else popped or flew out.

The second inning was more fun, and it was due to the bench folks that got some rare starts today.  Jedd Gyorko got things started by tying the game.  He smacked a homer just over the wall in center field.  Greg Garcia singled into right, and Eric Fryer doubled to right, and in doing so, drove Garcia in to give the good guys a lead.  Cards lead 2-1.

An uneventful 1-2-3 third for the Cards.  The three (Piscotty, Moss, Grichuk) did see 20 pitches between their three ABs.  "Battled", I think they say.

In the fourth, Garcia notched a 2-out single, a grounder into right field.  Fryer followed it up with a single of his own to maintain his 1.000 batting average, but Wacha grounded out to end the inning.

Matt Carpenter tied the game up leading off the fifth, homering into the Cardinal bullpen.  Game tied 3-3.

Garcia reached base yet again in the sixth, this time getting hit by a pitch.  Fryer worked a walk.  That marked the end of the game for both starting pitchers.  Matheny elected to send Jeremy Hazelbaker to the dish to pinch hit for Wacha with a couple runners on, and Bryan Price went to his 'pen for Blake Wood.  With two on and two out, Hazelbaker lined out hard to Cozart, who was in the right place.  That ended the threat.

Moscot's final line: 5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 102 pitches thrown.

Tony Cingrani allowed a leadoff walk to Carpenter and a warning track fly ball from Moss, but he kept the game tied.

Aledmys Diaz pinch hit for Matt Adams to start off the eighth.  That prompted Price to go to Ross Ohlendorf.  Diaz walked.  Eric Fryer, he of the 1.000, didn't disappoint.  He knocked a double in the left-center gap, plating Diaz to regain the lead.  Cards lead 4-3.

Final Notes -

  • I thought Wacha was pretty decent today.  He certainly made a couple mistake pitches that got hit hard, but the runs allowed were more on the defense than his pitching (although "defense" includes a throwing error from Wacha himself that allowed a run).  I was impressed that Mike took him out when he did, Wacha only having thrown 80 pitches, but with two runners on, it was the time to go for it.  It didn't work out, but good process.
  • Eric Fryer, huh?!  He's now 6-for-his-first-6 in his Cardinals career.  Today, he was 3-for-3 with two doubles, a walk, two RBIs, and a caught stealing from behind the plate.
  • Fangraphs
  • Gamenotes: RedsCardinals

Looking ahead -

Tomorrow, the Cardinals welcome old friends John Lackey and Jason Heyward and the rest of the Cubbies to Busch.  Lackey will be opposed by the guy that replaced him in the rotation, Mike Leake.  The game starts at 7:09 CT.