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Cardinals @ Giants 9.18 recap - Reyes impressive as Cards pull one game closer to wildcard spot

Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

St. Louis Cardinals @ San Francisco Giants

Alex Reyes vs. Albert Suarez
3:15 p.m. CT
AT&T Park - San Francisco, California

Today's Lineups -

Matt Carpenter - 1B Denard Span - CF
Aledmys Diaz - SS Angel Pagan - LF
Brandon Moss - LF Brandon Crawford - SS
Stephen Piscotty - RF Hunter Pence - RF
Yadier Molina - C Brandon Belt - 1B
Jedd Gyorko - 3B Eduardo Nunez - 3B
Randal Grichuk - CF Joe Panik - 2B
Kolten Wong - 2B Trevor Brown - C
Alex Reyes - RHP Albert Suarez - RHP

Some News -

  • The Mets took their finale with the Twins 3-2, pulling into sole posession of the first NL wildcard spot -

  • Speaking of the Mets, Jacob deGrom has been shut down for the year, will undergo elbow surgery -

  • Cincinnati downed the Pirates 7-4 -

  • Milwaukee defeated the Cubs 3-1 -

Things that happened -

The Cards threatened in the first when Aledmys Diaz hit a double down the left field line, and then got to third on a Brandon Moss sac fly, but the inning ended on a great play on a Stephen Piscotty grounder on the line by Eduardo Nunez.

In Alex Reyes' return to the rotation, he dominated from the off, starting with a 6-pitch 1-2-3 frame.

Yadier Molina's leadoff single in the second was erased when Yadi aggressively tried to take second on a ball that got away from Trevor Brown.  Unfortunately, it wasn't far enough away to justify being so aggressive.  Oops.  Ill-advised at best.

Home plate umpire Brian O'Nora left the game after he got his bell rung by a Hunter Pence foul ball.  A short delay while the umpires regrouped for a 3-man coverage of the game.  Eduardo Nunez picked up an infield single, and was clearly on Reyes' mind.  He walked Joe Panik, but Alex bore down and stranded them.

In the third, a couple of hanging breaking balls from Suarez put him behind 2-0.  Matt Carpenter hit the first one to the right field corner for a double, and Diaz followed up with a blast to the left field seats.  Nunez made a heck of a play on a liner to end the inning.  Cards up 2-0.

Reyes and Suarez exchanged some low stress half innings.  Suarez got a double play ball to work around a walk to Piscotty in the fourth, and stranded Randal Grichuk on third in the fifth.  Bruce Bochy seemed uncomfortable with how Suarez was pitching and had the bullpen active for a couple innings before he ultimately pulled him.   Reyes didn't break a sweat as he worked through the middle innings only allowing one baserunner, another infield single to Nunez.  Nunez moved around to third on an errant pickoff throw and a sac fly, before getting stranded.

Suarez' final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 60 pitches.

Cory Gearrin pitched an effective sixth.  He featured a nasty slider that made Diaz, Moss, and Piscotty all look silly.

Reyes allowed his first baserunner not named Nunez in the sixth - Denard Span singled to right.  Then on the ninth pitch of a battle with Brandon Crawford, the Giant shortstop tapped a swinging bunt in front of the plate.  Reyes pounced on it and made a wild throw that went out of play (on a play he should have just eaten).  That put runners on second and third with one out.  Reyes struck out Hunter Pence, and then walked Brandon Belt.  That brought up Nunez.  He skied a fly ball to left to end the inning.  It was the definition of a stressful inning, but Alex allowed nothing in the score column.

Gearrin pitched the seventh as well.  He continued his silly-swing-inducing ways with that slider of his.  He struck out 5 over his two innings of work.

Reyes' seventh was much less stress-inducing - he went 1-2-3.  Jhonny Peralta pinch hit for him in the eighth, so he was done.  His final line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 84 pitches thrown.

Bruce Bochy used 4 pitchers to get through the eighth.  Josh Osich threw one pitch.  Kolten Wong took the 94-m.p.h. fast ball into the right-center gap.  It rolled all the way to the deep corner in that weird outfield.  Kolten had an easy triple without a play.  George Kontos came in to face pinch hitter Jhonny Peralta.  Peralta drove Wong in, singling over Angel Pagan's head in left.  Bochy went to Javier Lopez.  Lopez got Carpenter to ground into a double play.  Then Joe Nathan came in to get Diaz to ground out.  The four hurlers threw a total of 12 pitches.  Cards up 3-0.

Kevin Siegrist in the eighth. He allowed a single to Pagan, but no damage done.

Steven Okert was in to get Moss out.  He didn't.   Moss 'beat the shift', slicing a grounder into left.  Bochy kept up his train of pitchers, bringing in Matt Cain, who's apparently a reliever now.  Yadi did a nice hit and run thing to put runners on the corners.  But then he got thrown out on the bases for the second time,  like a nincompoop.

Seung-Hwan Oh came in to do his final boss thing.  He did so, with very little resistance.  Cards win 3-0.

Final Notes -

  • Here's the BrooksBaseball breakdown of Alex Reyes' day.  He topped out at 98.9 mph.  According to Brooks, he threw 25 four seamers, 25 two seamers, 23 changeups and 11 curveballs.  He got 6 whiffs with his changeup, and froze some more.  That change is fun to watch.
  • Fangraphs
  • Game notes - CardinalsGiants

Looking ahead -

Tomorrow, Carlos Martinez and the Cardinals come over to my neck of the woods (relatively speaking) to take on Tyler Anderson and the Rockies at Coors Field in Denver.  The game begins at 7:40 CT.