Following a rather calamitous 13-5 defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Braves, a team which by most accounts is spending its 2016 season preparing for a future which will almost definitely be brighter than its present, today seemed like it would be a different story.
After all, taking the hill for the St. Louis Cardinals was Adam Wainwright, who after a somewhat uninspired start to the 2016 season has re-emerged as the team’s top starting pitcher. And taking the hill for the Braves was Mike Foltynewicz, a player whose name I totally knew how to spell before beginning this recap. Anyway, let’s check the lineup for the Cardinals...
- Kolten Wong, 2B
- Stephen Piscotty, CF
- Brandon Moss, RF
- Matt Holliday, LF
- Matt Adams, 1B
- Jhonny Peralta, SS
- Yadier Molina, C
- Jedd Gyorko, 3B
- Adam Wainwright, P
After Matt Carpenter was removed from last night’s game, his absence from today’s lineup was a bit of a concern, though according to the broadcast, he had a scheduled off-day anyway. Which, since he’s coming off of an injury, is fair. Plus, it’s the Braves! As for Stephen Piscotty in center field, while this does make the Cardinals defense quite a bit weaker than if Tommy Pham or Jeremy Hazelbaker were playing in center, it allows more of the biggest bats on the team to play. And who cares, it’s the Braves, and the Cardinals with Waino pitching should be able to get to Folty (a nickname I assume the Braves’ starter has heard once or twice in his lifetime).
Top of the first: Well, okay, that happened.
I am not, by my nature, a BABIP complainer. In the end, every team is going to be hurt by balls in play about as often as they are assisted by it. With that said, the top of the first was...less than ideal. And after the first two Braves batters, Ender Inciarte and Erick Aybar, were retired, and Freddie Freeman fell to an 0-2 count, things seemed like they would go well. But then Freeman walked, and new Brave Matt Kemp doubled. Then Nick Markakis hit a single, scoring both Freeman and Kemp. Next, Adonis Garcia singled, advancing Markakis to third. THEN Jace Peterson singled, scoring Markakis and advancing Garcia to third. Then, mercifully, Anthony Recker popped up to second and the inning ended. Braves 3, Cardinals 0.
Top of the second: Oh come on, baseball, be cool for once
Our new nemesis Folty led off the inning with a single, and then Inciarte singled, putting runners on the corners. Next up, Erick Aybar cleared the bases with a triple, and with no outs recorded in the second, all but one Braves starter had reached base. Sweet! After issuing a walk to Freddie Freeman, Wainwright got Matt Kemp to ground into a fielder’s choice; however, Aybar scored from third. That was the last of the scoring for the inning. Braves 6, Cardinals 0. And the Cardinals would need a cheap-drinks-at-Mobil-on-the-Run-providing day to pull off a victory. But there was plenty of time.
Folty was annoying today, man.
Brandon Moss was able to drive in a run on a sacrifice fly in the 5th, but aside from that, Mike Foltynewicz was solid. Not “dominant”, per se, but after being spotted a lead, he surrendered only one run in six innings, walking two and striking out four.
Bottom of the 8th: False hope!
With one out, Matt Holliday reached on an infield single, because baseball. Following a Matt Adams flyout, Jhonny Peralta, who unlike me spells his name correctly, doubled to left. Next, Yadier Molina hit a single which scored Peralta. Unfortunately, while Tommy Pham managed to draw a walk in a pinch-hit appearance, Greg Garcia grounded out to first base and the inning ended at 6-3.
Aaaaaaand that’s how the game as a whole would end.
John’s John of the game
While I commend Peralta’s aforementioned RBI double, my award of John of the game, unfortunately, goes to Braves closer Jim JOHNson, who sat down the Cardinals 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 9th. Striking out both Kolten Wong and Brandon Moss swinging with a Stephen Piscotty fly out sandwiched between.
It wasn’t a fun game, and it wasn’t a fun series, and unfortunately the Cardinals went 2-4 in a six-game run against two of the worst teams in the league, the Braves and the Cincinnati Reds. But the Cardinals get another shot against the Reds tomorrow. Hopefully sports will stop being bad momentarily.