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5.21.16 Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks Recap: Long Ball Aids Cards' Victory

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Dinger camps are my favorite kind of camps.

Yadi is all smiles after his first home run of the season.
Yadi is all smiles after his first home run of the season.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

This beautiful day of May 21

The Cardinals have hit three awesome home runs

Mike Leake is the belle

He really pitched well

Rosenthal struggled, but the Redbirds still won

The Game

The Cardinals wasted no time getting the offense going today. Matt Carpenter led off the game with a single and consecutive walks to Stephen Piscotty and Yadier Molina loaded the bases with two out in the bottom of the first.  Unfortunately, Randal Grichuk struck out to end the inning.  Worry not, Cards fans, we managed to score two runs the very next inning.  After Matt Adams reached on an error, Jedd Gyorko (getting the second consecutive start at second base) parked a Robbie Ray fastball over the wall in left field.  2-0 Redbirds.

(I fell asleep for a couple of inning here.  Luckily, nothing happened.)

The Diamondbacks threatened in the fifth inning.  With runners on the corners and two out, the pitcher's spot came up.  Chip Hale chose to leave Ray in the game and let him hit.  He grounded out to end the inning.

Matt Adams hit a solo home run to left center field in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.  The FS1 announcers: "Shift on this!"  I prefer the classic

but I understand the constraints of national television.

The scoring continued in the seventh.  Stephen Piscotty, who appears unwilling to concede that sometimes players don't get on base, hit a double in the gap, followed by Molina's first home run of the season.  Cue smiling, leaping, happy Yadi.  The home run made it 5-0 Cardinals, but he still got a curtain call because HE IS YADIER MOLINA AND WE LOVE HIM.  Adams beat the shift again with an opposite field double, followed by a Gyorko single.  6-0 Cardinals.

Because nothing can ever be easy, Mike Matheny brought in Trevor Rosenthal to pitch the ninth, and he promptly gave up a two-run home run to Rickie Weeks, Jr.  I had a different limerick already written about how the final score was 6-0, so I was particularly upset by this development.  But even more important than my recap is the fact that Rosie looked bad.  He gave up three singles, a home run, and a walk, needing 34 pitches to get three outs.  It was ugly, but hey - at least we won the game. I'm gonna go ahead and keep my head in the sand on Rosenthal for now.

ETA: Mike Leake was really good today!  I totally forgot to mention that!  His final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 0 R.  After starting the season 0-349721, this is his third straight win and his third straight game allowing 2 or fewer walks and 1 or fewer runs.  Seems like maybe he's finally figured it out.

Notes

1. Don't look now, but Matt Adams' slash line has improved to .291/.344/.477.  He hit to the opposite field twice today - once for a double and once for a home run.  If he can hit for power against the shift...I don't know how to end that sentence.  I am not some huge Matt Adams advocate, but I find myself writing about him a lot because I think there's a distinct possibility that we were wrong when we said he was bad.  I don't know.

2.

Look, I'm not saying that Jason Heyward isn't going to get better than he is now (although he is injured again), I'm not saying that Jason Heyward is as bad as his numbers are this season so far, and I'm not saying that Stephen Piscotty is a better player than Jason Heyward.  What I AM saying, though, is that I think Stephen Piscotty is as good as his numbers are this season so far.  I really, really like him.  And not just because he's single-handedly saving my fantasy team, and not just because he has the best walk-up song in baseball - though these things are admittedly big helps.

3. The announcers really don't like the Dbacks new uniforms.  I actually laughed out loud at this comment from one of them: "I look at the Cardinals uniforms, and I think, 'classy.'  I look at these uniforms and I think, 'WHAT.'"

4. Rubber game tomorrow at 1:15 CT.  Jaime Garcia takes on Zack Greinke.  It could be a pitchers duel or it could be something else.  Greinke has been pretty bad this year, but he's still Zack Greinke.