Late start tonight. Michael Wacha takes the hill tonight for the Cardinals; Rubby de la Rosa for the Diamondbacks. This is a getaway day and a really weird lineup. Our outfield features Stephen Piscotty in CF, Brandon Moss in RF, and Matt Holliday back in LF. For those of you just tuning in, Piscotty has for all intents and purposes never played CF. Also, Diaz is still batting 8th, even as he leads the NL in several offensive categories. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Things to watch: Wacha had zero K's but good results against the Padres his last time out. Look for him to pitch to less contact in this desert arena with moon gravity (what I'm trying to say is that the ball carries in Arizona). Rubby de la Rosa has been variously described as "not bad," "horrible," and "who?" All I know for sure is that his name is fun to say, and I refuse to believe it rhymes with "scooby." D'Backs are wearing the same jerseys they wore the last time I saw them in person, in the 2001 postseason. Way better than what they're working with these days.
Things That Happened
The D'Backs started the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd. Brandon Drury (who?) popped up into shallow center and Diaz followed it out, but never really had a bead on it. Meanwhile, our non-CF-playing CF kind of hung back, it dropped, and Drury got a double. (He was almost at second by the time the ball dropped, as it was a popup and he was running hard.) Chris Herrmann (who?) then took a half-swing at a well-located Wacha changeup and because Arizona I guess, deposited it over Brandon Moss's head into the place where the fans sit. D'Backs lead, 2-0. As Tim McCarver is fond of saying in situations like this: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Birds threatened in the 2nd and 4th, but let the snakes wriggle out of their talons.
In the bottom of the 4th, the D'Backs struck again, this time on an absolute bomb solo shot from Drury (seriously I don't know who any of these people are, guys). D'Backs lead, 3-0.
In the bottom of the 7th, with 2 outs and Chris Owings on second, the Cardinals elected to IBB Nick Ahmed, who probably didn't know what that felt like before today. They did this to get to Rubby, who was hot hot fire tonight. The D'Backs pulled Rubby, and the die was cast. If the Cardinals tear open the Arizona bullpen after that IBB, Mike Matheny did a thing right tonight. Rubby's final line; 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K.
Wacha came out in the top of the 8th. His line was encouraging: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB (1 of those intentional), 9 K.
El Birdos threatened again in the top of the 9th, with a hit from Matt Holliday and a walk to Brandon Moss. Unfortunately, Yadi hit into a double play and Matt Adams hit an almost-blast that was actually an out. D'Backs win, 3-0.
The vaunted Cardinals offense did not get a hit during the stretch including the fourth through eighth innings. They had 3 hits on the night. Rubby pitched out of his mind.
The home plate ump tonight was terrible. He was squeezing Wacha pretty hard, especially on the lower part of the zone, which is exactly where Wacha needed to keep it to avoid dingers. Pay special attention to the green boxes inside the zone in the lower part:
Wacha did good, except for one of the two dingers (the solo shot to old what's his face). The first one, like I said, was a good pitch and a bad swing. Say hey, Arizona.
It is too late for me to get too worked up about this game. You're gonna lose a few here and there, and at least we have a good pitching performance by the other guy to blame it on tonight.
Next up: Cards return home tomorrow to face Bryce "Make Baseball Fun Again" Harper and the Montreal Natinals. Game time is like 7 PM CDT or something like that. Mike Leake vs. Stephen Strasburg.