The Diamondbacks began this series by coming back against the Cardinals in a definitive way, scoring 9 runs in one inning to not only knock out the Cardinals best (?) starting pitcher Jaime Garcia, but also really got to the Cardinals nearly invincible bullpen.
After a rough loss though, the Cardinals offense came back, winning 8-2 with a lot of hitting weaponry as well as a stellar performance by Carlos Martinez (maybe he's the best?). Series tied.
Many would argue that tonight's starting pitcher, Adam Wainwright, is the best. But I don't think they would this season, at least not yet. Before this game he was walking more batters than striking out, and has been worse than Mike Leake, who has not been very good this year really.
He faced a Diamondbacks offense that is #4 in fWAR, and at 104 wRC+, a top 10 offense in the majors, or about as good as San Francisco's hitting. So not the easiest offense to bounce out of a slump with.
But he looked better today along with the Cardinals offense who were currently at .224 ISO going into the game. That will boost your confidence a hair.
Well, he was a big part of the Cardinals offense this game: he had a 3 RBI triple, what the heck? He railed the ball down the line and due to a weird carom and possible misplay by Yasmany Tomas, he was able to wagon all the way down to third making for the 3 extra runs.
That came after an absolutely grinded out Aledmys Diaz at bat which resulted in a walk and just about broke the resolve of the Diamondbacks pitcher Patrick Corbin. Aledmys went 2 for 4 with a home run and a walk tonight.
The 6th was a big inning because not only did the Waino triple make them up 5-3, Stephen Piscotty also got in on the RBI making fun and laced one out into the outfield, scoring Adam from third. Piscotty stole second, and Matt Holliday provided an RBI ground rule double. This offense is really quite impressive at times so far this season. #1 in MLB.
To backtrack to the beginning, the Cardinals started it off by capitalizing on several Diamondback errors, even one by their shortstop who is known for elite defense. Humans can screw up at any time, it's what makes us us (that and death, but that's a whole other topic). So for a bit there Wainwright was up by 1, but he did provide some pitches to the Diamondbacks that they decided to deposit over the wall into their own stadium's personal piggy bank.
In the 4th inning Paul Goldschmidt launched a mammoth blast mostly up in the air but given the man's stature and towering might, the fly ball just so happened to fly over the center field fence. It was just a solo endeavor however.
Down 3-1, the Cardinals did not relent and began to hack away. Aledmys Diaz decided to upend the other solo shot with an even more impressive home run of his own, his 4th of the year. Cards down 3-2.
It was not much later in the 6th inning that the Cardinals broke out to a 7-3 lead with Adam Wainwright's triple and Piscotty and Holliday chipping in. Wainwright continued apace, pitching into the 6th inning. It sure was odd that Matheny left him in to hit, and he did... but could he still pitch?
He was throwing some wicked curves tonight, sometimes even the ones in the dirt made the hitters swing. But he was also letting plenty of runners on since the D-backs had 7 hits against him. This game was encouraging, he had upped his K% and lowered his walk rate. While he did give up 4 runs, there were 2 home runs involved so if he can stop giving up home runs, he will be doing all right I think. He's given up 4 home runs in 5 starts.
Seung Oh was brought in with runners on base and he promptly delivered a swift throw to first to narrowly gun down the runner after a weakly connected hit died in between the mound and home plate. One more out to escape the 6th. And oh did he ever escape, he struck out the 18th batter this year and left those fools on base stranded.
Yadi had a great game today. He looked spry and on top of his game behind the plate, and the double he hit to begin the 7th was rifled into the left field corner. He was even messing with the pitcher by getting too far off the bag at second base, acting like he was going to steal. Yadier was really getting into Burgos' head.
This taunting went on until Gyorko walked, Tejada reached on a fielder's choice, and Aledmys Diaz did it again, the contact king just guided a regular old single out of the infield resulting in his 12th RBI in April.
Oh pitched in the 7th as well and he left the game at a rate of giving up 1 hit in every 4 innings of pitching. He's lights out. He will walk people but if they cannot see the ball to hit it, walking them is fine. Broxton finished up the 7th.
Between Oh and Broxton the Diamondbacks were all but paralyzed after their attack on Wagonmaker, with Broxie giving up only a single to Jake Lamb in the 8th inning. On to the 9th!
Cardinals were up 10-4 and Brandon Moss singled with 2 outs. Delgado on the mound. Kolten Wong was allowed to hit and still looked pretty lost... until he got an infield hit that was hit so slowly to third down the line that his speed was able to enable him to first. Piscotty was up with 2 outs and "biscuits" knocked in Moss. 11-4 Cardinals!
Bowman was properly used today, brought in to pitch when down by 7 runs. He got through the 9th unscathed.
Cards win! They are now 12-9, half a game behind the 2nd place Pirates.
- We saw some glimpses of good Wainwright, there was a string of pitches where he looked better than any other time this season.
- Diaz has only struck out 3 times all month so far.
- Cardinals run differential this year is 2nd only to the Cubs. Nationals have the third best RD.
- Cards have scored more runs than the Cubs, it's just that the Cubs pitching/defense has been better.
- Drury was the WPA champ for the Diamondbacks with his 2 run homer off of Wainwright.
- Piscotty went 4 for 5 with a walk and had the highest WPA of the night. Diaz was 2nd in WPA.
- Cardinals defense looked decent. Also, Wainwright triple! Made him break even on WPA basically.
- Wainwright had a 6.66 FIP tonight and is a replacement level starter this year at zero WAR.
- Grichuk 0-4 with 2 K
- Diamondbacks pitching teamed up for -.580 WPA.
Cardinals had 14 hits to the Diamondbacks 10 hits, it was another offense heavy match for the Cards.
Last game of this 4 game set is tomorrow night at 8:40pm: Wacha at De La Rosa.