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Cardinals @ Phillies 8.21 recap: Cards power through finale of road trip

Hazelbaker hit one of four Cardinals homers
Hazelbaker hit one of four Cardinals homers
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals @ Philadelphia Phillies

Mike Leake vs. Vince Velasquez
12:35 p.m. CT
Citizen's Bank Park - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Today's Lineups -

Greg Garcia - SS Cesar Hernandez - 2B
Stephen Piscotty - RF Aaron Altherr - LF
Matt Carpenter - 1B Maikel Franco - 3B
Brandon Moss - LF Ryan Howard - 1B
Yadier Molina - C Carlos Ruiz - C
Jhonny Peralta - 3B Odubel Herrera - CF
Jedd Gyorko - 2B Freddy Galvis - SS
Randal Grichuk - CF Peter Bourjos - RF
Mike Leake - RHP Vince Velasquez - RHP

Some News -

Things that happened -

Top halves -

The Cards put the pressure on early.  Greg Garcia led off with a nice line drive single to right, and then Vince Velasquez walked Piscotty and Carpenter, both of whom worked full counts.  Notably, the Cards were being aggressive, sending runners on both of those full counts.  Brandon Moss came up with the bases loaded and nobody out, and nearly put up a 4-spot with one swing.  His mammoth fly ball fell just short of over the fence in center, where Odubel Herrera caught it.  Garcia tagged for the first run of the game.  Velasquez got Yadier Molina to pop up, and after a battle with Peralta, struck him out.  It was an inning where the Cards should have put up more than one, but Vince wiggled out of it. Cards up 1-0.

The second was much less interesting.  Velasquez retired the side in order.

The third was an easy one for Velasquez, too.  Franco made a nice play on a hot Piscotty grounder to get one of the outs.

Brandon Moss didn't allow his next fly ball to be caught - he sent an opposite field homer to lead off the fourth.  Then a couple hits, a Peralta single to right and a Gyorko double to left-center put runners on second and third with one out.  But Randal Grichuk struck out on a ball in the dirt.  But Mike Leake came through.  He singled in both runners to give himself some breathing room.  Cardinals lead 4-0.

Piscotty put another on the board in the fifth, another solo homer, to left center.  Cards lead 5-0.

Jhonny Peralta reached on an infield single in the sixth, but he stayed there.

The sixth was Velasquez' final inning.  His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 106 pitches thrown.

Hernandez pitched the seventh.  He made quick work of the top of the Cards' order.

Frank Herrmann pitched the eighth.  With a couple outs, Peralta doubled in the right-center gap, Jhonny's third hit of the game.  Gyorko made Herrmann work hard in his at bat, fouling off several.  It culminated in a home run the other way to put two more on the board.  With two outs, Grichuk reached on a strikeout/wild pitch, and he scored when Jeremy Hazelbaker hit a long ol' homer to right-center.  That chased Herrmann in favor of Severino Gonzalez, who collected the last out of the inning, but only after Garcia and Piscotty served up nice line drive singles.  Cards lead 9-0.

Gonzalez again in the ninth.  Alberto Rosario picked up a pinch hit single, but he was stranded at second.

Bottom halves -

Mike Leake started things off by striking out Cesar Hernandez.  Aaron Altherr singled.  Maikel Franco worked a walk.  But Leake struck out Ryan Howard and got Carlos Ruiz to ground out.

The second featured three hits- Odubel Herrera grounded a single through to center field.  That was erased in a nifty 3-6-3 double play.  Old friend Peter Bourjos legged out an infield hit, and Velasquez sent a hanging breaking ball to left to put runners on the corners.  Leake left 'em stranded by getting a ground ball out.

Mike had a nice third, striking out two on his way to a 1-2-3 frame.

Ruiz singled to lead off the fourth.  But Leake pitched through the rest with no other issues.

In the fifth, Leake had a nice quick inning in his attempt to make things official as the rain came in.  He kept the Cards 5 run lead.

Franco lined a base hit into left to lead off the sixth.  Then some crazy baseball stuff.  Ryan Howard lined a ball up the middle.  Mike Leake got a glove on it as it went by.  The ricochet  then bounced back and hit Bill Welke's leg, allowing both Franco and Howard to be safe as no one had a play.  That put runners on first and third with nobody out.  But an out later, Herrera hit a fly ball to medium-deep center field, probably deep enough to score Franco, who elected not to test Grichuk.  Leake took advantage and got out of the inning with no damage done.

Mike got through the seventh with just one baserunner - Bourjos took a pitch in the elbow leading things off.  Piscotty made a nice shoe string catch in the inning to rob a base hit.

Mike Leake's final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 8 K, 1 BB, 107 pitches thrown.

Matt Bowman took over in the eighth.  Franco got a lead-off single as the rain came pouring down.  In the end, a bouncer back to Bowman started the inning-ending double play.

Jerome Williams pitched the wet ninth.  He gave up a single but finished it out for a Cardinals winner 9-0.

Final Notes -

  • Easily Mike Leake's best start of the year.
  • Turns out, hitting 4 homers in a game and not allowing any runs is a good way to win.
  • Fangraphs
  • Game notes: CardinalsPhillies

Looking ahead -

Tuesday, The Cards finally return home after a 10 game road trip.  They'll face Jon Niese and the Mets.  Jamie Garcia will oppose him.