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4.8.17 Reds @ Cardinals Recap: ALL HAIL ALEDMYS DIAZ

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The Cardinals offense came alive in a 10-4 victory today.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals
In a season where people have said there is nothing exciting about the Cardinals, I beg to differ.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

White ball sails across

Fire, movement, and purpose

Michael Wacha lives

The Game

The Cardinals entered today’s game in danger of having their worst start to the season in a decade. Incidentally, Mike Matheny seemed eager to get there, choosing to start Matt Adams in left field while actual outfielder and spring training darling Jose Martinez warmed the bench, and somewhere in Memphis, Tommy Pham shed a single tear.

Bronson Arroyo took the mound for the Reds - his first start since 2014. He looks like your mom’s new boyfriend, and he’s still not very good, but kudos to him for getting himself all the way back the major leagues. I am sure it was a long and difficult journey. Anyway, the Cardinals beat him up pretty good, starting in the first inning. Aledmys Diaz pulled a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the first inning. I am EXTREMELY high on Diaz. The man can flat out hit. More on this later. Adams - who was also batting clean up today, because if he’s going to be in the game at left field, you might as well just go full MIKE - walked. Yadier Molina followed with a pop fly down the right field line just out of the reach of everyone who was trying to get it. To his credit, Adams was hustling the whole time with two outs and scored from first easily. 2-0 Cardinals.

(Look, I can say nice things about Matt Adams, okay? I don’t blame him for this predicament we’re in. And he drew a couple of walks today - that was good, too. But I won’t get off this he-shouldn’t-be-playing-left-field boat, and you can’t make me.)

Let’s see, where was I? Right, top of the second inning. Well, wouldn’t you know it, Adams got a chance on a deep, high fly ball off the bat of Zack Cozart. He....did not come close to catching it, and Cozart ended up on third base. Jim Edmonds insisted during the broadcast that it was a very difficult, “once in a lifetime” play and that Adams should not feel bad about it for a second.

Awwwwkward.

Luckily, Michael Wacha was on his game today. He struck out the next hitter to end the threat and the inning. He was cruising today, throwing his fastball at high speeds (95-97 mph) and with late movement. He hiccuped only in the fourth inning, allowing a double to Joey Votto (which, can we really even blame Wacha for that) and a double to Eugenio Suarez. 2-1 Cardinals.

The Birds broke it open in the bottom of the fourth. Jedd Gyorko doubled, Kolten Wong grounded out to push him to third base, and Wacha got a nifty little base hit up the middle to score Gyorko. Dexter Fowler walked, then Diaz hit his second home run of the game. (He finished the day 3-for-4.) 6-1 Good Guys!

It’s a good thing we had a hefty lead, too, because in the next inning, two back to back walks and a balk led to Adams and Molina on third and second with no one out, and we managed to get exactly zero runs. Not to fret, the Cards loaded the bases in the 6th inning, and Jose Martinez (in as a “defensive replacement” for Adams) drew a walk to push another run across. After back-to-back strike outs, Gyorko came through with another big base hit. 9-1 Cardinals.

I have to admit, I kind of stopped paying much attention at this point. Matt Bowman took the 7th and looked good, Jonathan Broxton took the 8th and did not, Sam Tuivalala allowed a solo home run, but finished out the game. Somewhere in there, most of the starters came out, and the Redbirds scored another run. Final score: 10-4. A very satisfying victory, though I reserve the right to remain snarky.

Notes

1.

2. Adam Wainwright pinch hit in the 8th inning. Because if you have the chance, in a 9-3 game you’re winning, to let one of your starting pitchers bat while two position players sit on the bench, ESPECIALLY if that starting pitcher has previously suffered season-ending injuries during an at-bat, you just have to do it. But Waino got a base hit, and that was pretty fun, I admit. The quest for who is the Cardinals’ best-hitting pitcher continues.

3. Grichuk struggled today. He came up several times in big spots, but could not get on base. His lone hit came in the later innings after the game was pretty much in the bag. I’m still not sure what to make of him. Maybe, “he’s just not very good” is the answer, but I’m not ready to accept that.

4. Michael Wacha! 6.0 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 6 SO. Very encouraging start from a guy who may not have made the rotation if Alex Reyes hadn’t been injured, and who will make a big difference in the Cardinals’ playoff aspirations if healthy and effective.

5. Tune in tomorrow - same bat time, same bat channel (or not, I have no idea how or where you watch the game). Carlos Martinez faces off against Scott Feldman for the rubber game match.