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Carpenter walks it off in game one of the doubleheader in 8-4 win

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The game went poorly for the first eight innings, but thankfully baseball is a nine inning sport.

MLB: Game One-Toronto Blue Jays at St. Louis Cardinals
One word: awesome
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Only those who watched this game from the first inning until the last know how many times the tone of this game changed. At first the Cardinals appeared to be in the midst of pitcher’s duel that really felt like a future 1-0 loss because when you don’t score against Mat Latos, you probably don’t score at all. Then it seemed like it would be a quick and painless blowout by the Blue Jays. At one point, the Blue Jays had the bases loaded, nobody out and already held a 3-0 lead. Also Jonathan Broxton pitched and we’re always a few pitches away from a blowout loss when he comes into the game. After we escaped that inning, it felt inevitable that the Cards would get SO CLOSE to coming back and winning, but falling short at the last second. What I’m saying is that I clearly don’t have any faith in this team apparently, just by my gut feelings.

As you have probably surmised from basic reading skills, the Cardinals pulled out the win. Despite my feelings, the extras were all Cardinals. The Blue Jays sent six batters to the plate in both the 10th and 11th innings. The Cardinals loaded the bases both times. It was a relatively comfortable extra inning experience except for that irrational, inescapable fan brain that told you the Cardinals would screw it all up and the Blue Jays would hit a bunt single that became a comedy of errors as the runner made it to home entirely based off errant throws.

Unlike in the 10th, when Jose Martinez hit an opposite field flyball to deep-ish right field to end the inning, the results were different the next time through. Aledmys Diaz hit a first-pitch popup in shallow left field with nobody out and the bases juiced. Nobody could have scored on this out (though some of you probably thought they would try!) Carpenter came to the plate. He looked at the first six pitches thrown to him, which included two pitches pretty much smack in the middle of the plate. The first was strike one and Carpenter always takes strike one. The second strike was a hanger on the top of the strike zone that Carpenter didn’t expect at all so he refrained from swinging. Ball 3 was on the outside corner that was clearly a ball but Carpenter occasionally gets a strike call on those pitches. Then J.P. Howell threw the fattest, most hittable curveball I’ve ever seen and Carpenter hit a long, high fly ball in the right field seats. It made the previous three and a half hours worth it.

Carlos Martinez started the game and he looked much better than his past three starts. Through his first five innings, he looked amazing. He had a mistake pitch to Russell Martin, who took full advantage on his solo home run. But otherwise, he struck out seven and walked none in the first five. Unfortunately, the 6th inning happened. He walked the bases loaded, though I will defend Martinez and say that the second walk should have been a backwards K. He also committed a dumb error, throwing it to centerfielder. The error didn’t end up costing the Cards, but it was symptomatic of the Cards problems in general. With a lefty warming up and the bases loaded, Martinez stayed in the game to face left-handed Ryan Goins, who hit a two-run single to make the score 3-0.

The Blue Jays added a fourth run the next inning as the rusty Tyler Lyons made his first major league appearance this year. It was also his first appearance in a professional game in probably a week or so. He loaded the bases with a single, walk, and hit by pitch before even getting a single out. But he got out of it with only one run allowed, thanks to two strikeouts to the final two hitters after a sacrifice fly scored the fourth run. He pitched an uneventful 8th inning too and probably would have pitched the 9th if not for his spot in the order coming up.

Even though Mat Latos was pitching, the Cardinals didn’t really get anything going offensively until the 5th inning. Kolten Wong led off with a leadoff double and promptly got picked off at second base when Martinez missed his bunt. In the 7th, with Jose Martinez at second and two outs, Randal Grichuk singled him home and then... promptly got thrown out trying to go to second. Look Cardinals, maybe just accept that being aggressive isn’t for you on the basepaths. You’re so bad at it. Like astronomically, inconceivably bad at it. So cut that shit out please.

In the 8th, the Cardinals shortened the lead again when Matt Carpenter hit an RBI single to make the score 4-2. All of this was set up for a 9th inning that didn’t seem to produce surprises. Molina doubled to lead off the 9th but we’ve been there before and plus, we needed two runs. Two outs later and Molina was still on second base with Grichuk up to the plate. Since you’re reading this, you can guess what happened? Grichuk HOMERED! And then the Blue Jays wallowed in self-pity waiting for their inevitable loss, which thankfully came true.

Notes

  • Carlos Martinez line: 6 IP, 8 Ks, 3 BBs, HR, 50% GB rate - Pretty good start, all things considered. The ER looks a lot better if Brett Cecil is brought in to get Goins out, even though none of you have any faith in Cecil.
  • Molina will get overshadowed in this game, but he had a pretty damn good game. He went 2-4 with two doubles and a(n intentional) walk. The double was in the 9th too.
  • After initial shakiness, Lyons looked really good. Hopefully, Matheny will be more loose with using him than he has been in the past week.
  • This is my last note as there is a game 2 in about an hour and well, you’ll want to watch that. It’s somebody named Casey Lawrence versus Adam Wainwright. I will not be watching the game but here’s to a winner.