On Friday the Birdos will square off against the Nationals in the first game of a best of three-game set. Mike Leake will face the supremely talented Stephen Strasburg. The Cardinals have some work ahead of them, as Strasburg has been one of the top pitchers in baseball since he entered the league in 2010, striking 10.41 per nine-innings during that time. Who will our fearless manager send to face him? Here are the lineups:
Have you ever gone to work with a list of things you needed to do and throughout the day you work on the list and feel like you are getting a lot done but then consult your list at the end of the day and realize you ain't done... er, anything?
Yeah, me, too, and apparently so have the Cardinals.
It was like, they technically did all these things, but not really well enough. The Cardinals scored two off Stephen Strasburg right away in the first, but were unable to do any more damage against him while he was still throwing hittable pitches. Mike Leake did give the Cardinals seven innings and really did not look too bad, but he gave up two homers and the team that hits the most homers is usually the one that wins.
The first inning of the game was really just a clinic in all things Cardinal-y. Strasburg had yet to settle in and the Cardinals were making him work. Matt Carpenter started off the game with a lengthy at bat that resulted in a single to right.
Strasburg: Here take this.
Matt Carpenter: lol nice try, but no.
Then, after a Piscotty flyout, Matt Holliday stroked a double to left that registered 103 mph off a pitch below his knees that scored Carpenter from first (MMI).
Strasburg: What about this one?
Matt Holliday: Nice pitch, Stevie... for me hit. Psych.
Then Matt Adams poked a single through a shifted infield that scored Holliday from second (MMI-2).
Strasburg: Well this guy swings at everything. Surely he will...
Matt Adams: Take this pitch the other way? Don't mind if I do. And don't call me Shirley.
Then Randal Grichuk struck out swinging and Aldemys Diaz flew out after a Gyorko double to end the threat.
The rest of the game seemed to move on rather quickly. Both pitchers had appeared to settle in after allowing one-run and two-runs in their respective halves of the first inning. I actually watched a trailer for that cute romantic-comedy coming out this June that stars Daenerys Targaryen - Me Before You - and it could not have been more than three minutes long, but I swear I missed three innings of baseball somehow.
I do know that by the fourth, things began to trend in an unwelcome direction for our beloved Birdos. The inning began with a single to Anthony Rendon and slowly unraveled from there. Bryce Harper, who, in accordance with my prophetic dream, had an uneventful day at the plate, popped up for the first out, but then a stolen base, a walk, and single tied the game. A sacrifice fly gave the Nationals the lead. And then, after a quite a battle with a 1-2 count, a Danny Espinosa home run put the Cardinals in a five runs to two hole. They would get close to overcoming it after a Matt Adams opposite field two-run homer off relief pitcher Blake Treinen (scoring Holliday, MMI-4), but not enough to take the first game of the series.
- Strasburg has a really prominent arm vein and it freaks me out a little.
- I prefer Mike Leake's clean-shaven look to the weird goatee thing he had before.
- I know Yadier Molina cannot and should not play everyday, but gosh darn it are stolen bases annoying and it is so nice when they do not happen.
- Aww, this photo is cute:
- Grichuk made an outstanding play in centerfield, running all the way from right-center to left-center and laying out for the diving catch.
- And here it is:
- Oh look, Jonathan Papelbon is still a jerk.
- The Blues also lost tonight so that is a big, fat bummer.
LIL SCOOTER'S PEST OF THE GAME/HONORARY WELINGTON CASTILLO AWARD:
With .205 win expectancy added and a two-run jack for the game winning RBI, this revered acknowledgment goes to none other than Danny Espinosa. Congrats Danny.
BUMMER FANGRAPHS WIN EXPECTANY GRAPH:
Tomorrow Jaime Garcia squares off against Joe Ross at 1:15 pm. See ya then!