The Wild Card race appears to have a simple solution: Just win baby! You probably don't even have to win a lot! The Giants have been the worst team in the 2nd half and are currently undergoing maybe the worst collapse of all time. The Mets have lost more than half of their starting rotation, half of their infield is injured, and they traded for Jay Bruce. Like they wanted to improve their team, they saw Jay Bruce, and thought "Yes please." Who knows why? They also just lost two straight to the Braves.
I'll leave you with the same amount of suspense this game had: the Cardinals won. The Rockies scored the first run of the game, same as yesterday, but after that it was all Cardinals. Adam Wainwright walked the first batter he faced. One thing that you can't really do at Coors Field is walk people. He paid for the walk when the Rockies got two straight 2-out hits to drive in the 1st run of the game. Fortunately, Nolan Arenado thought he could make it to third on a slow grounder to LF, presumably thinking Brandon Moss would go for the out at home. But Moss knew his limitations and made the easier and surer out at third base to end the inning.
The Cardinals immediately tied the game in the top of the 2nd when Matt Adams absolutely destroyed a ball towards right field. They weren't done scoring. Jhonny Peralta got hit by a pitch, Randal Grichuk doubled, and then Wainwright drove both in with a double of his own. Wainwright has a .259 ISO this year. His wRC+ is 89. Something the DH. Cardinals ended up stranding the bases loaded to end the inning keeping the score at 3-1.
In the 4th, with a man on second, Jedd Gyorko hit a ball to dead center for a two-run home run. The Rockies responded with a home run of their own. It was by none other than former Cardinal Daniel Descalso. If you want a good example of the Coors effect, Descalso is hitting .279/.373/.459 with 8 homers in 260 PAs. He hit 10 total home runs with the Cardinals in his career. Good for him though.
The Cardinals blew the game open in the 5th. With Yadier Molina on from a single and an Adams walk, Grichuk hit a 2-out single towards left field that scored Molina and put runners on 2nd and 3rd thanks to an error by David Dahl. With that Jorge de la Rosa was taken out of the game. It was mentioned on the broadcast that it is likely to be his last game at Coors Field. He has been with the Rockies since 2008. That's nine years. On the bench, the camera had a close-up and he had tears in his eyes. Woof. It was like when Wilmer Flores got traded from the Mets, except there's no happy ending here. He's leaving the Rockies.
ANYWAY, Wainwright singled home both runs, giving him 4 RBIs for the day and 18 RBIs for the season. Billy Hamilton has 17 RBIs on the season. He has 395 more PAs than Wainwright. The Rockies responded to this inning with a solo shot by Charlie Blackmon. Look if the Cards are going to score multiple runs in an inning and the Rockies will respond with solo shots, I am ok with this. This time it was Charlie Blackmon and this was a pop-up that somehow kept going.
The Cardinals scored another run in the 6th. With a 9-3 lead, Wainwright came back out with 90 pitches. With one out, he allowed another home run, this time to Gerardo Parra. That was the end of his day. Dean Kiekheifer replaced him and got two quick outs. The Cardinals added a 10th run in the 7th when Hazelbaker drove in Grichuk, who had doubled to lead off the inning.
Michael Wacha, in an audition for the playoffs, threw two scoreless innings where he looked pretty good. He faced seven batters. He struck out one, induced three groundballs, got one popup, and the other two were line drives. While line drives aren't great, not allowing a single flyball at Coors Field is a pretty good sign. Trevor Rosenthal pitched the 9th and things did not go as well. On the bright side, he didn't walk anybody! On the other hand, he didn't miss many bats. He allowed a run on three hits and now his season BABIP is .441, which seems impossible. That's got to be in the upper echelon of highest BABIPs allowed by a relief pitcher over a minimum of 30 innings. Importantly though, the Cardinals won and are now tied for the lead in the Wild Card. WOOO!
- Wainwright line: 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Ks, 2 BBs, 3 HRs, 7 hits - While this start will not inspire you about Wainwright for the future, this was at Coors Field. So that's not a terrible line.
- Gyorko went 2-4 with a walk and hit his 27th home run of the year. Mike Trout has 27 homers. Trout has a lot more PAs than Gyorko. You know what I'm saying. Gyorko is better than Trout.
- Adams got the start versus a lefty and because it's baseball, it worked out perfectly. He went 1-3 with two walks and a home run. And that homer was a beauty.
- Grichuk had a day. He went 3-4 with two doubles, a walk, 4 runs scored, an RBI, and of course a strikeout for his lone out. Keep doing you man.
- Stephen Piscotty did not look good today. He struck out three times. While no strikeout really looks good, I'm pretty sure he swung at an obvious ball and looked horrible each time. He did get a hit, though it was a generous one. He hit a hard hit groundball literally right at Descalso. Descalso did not move at all, and it got under his glove.
- Seriously, the de la Rosa stuff is bumming me out. It's not quite making me not enjoy the win, but I just feel bad for the guy, and I've always sort of liked him from afar.
Tomorrow the Cardinals go for the sweep and lone possession of 1st place of the Wild Card, pending Braves competence. Luke Weaver pitches tomorrow and faces a fellow named German Marquez. He is making his first career major league start. Contrary to popular belief, the Cardinals do well against rookie pitches. Should be a good one.