The Cardinals enter play tonight mired in a 7-game losing streak, looking very much the lesser son of the greater sires of the 21st Century Birdos squads. The day so far has brought a lot of news for the club:
- Pride Night is going to be a thing!
- Kolten Wong has been recalled from his rehab assignment, and Jhonny Peralta was unceremoniously put on waivers to make room on the 25-man.
- Chris Maloney, the worst third base coach at any level of baseball that I have ever had the misfortune to watch get my guys out by hilarious margins, has been reassigned to who cares where. Mike Shildt is replacing him.
- Bill Mueller, John Mabry’s lieutenant in the coaching-how-to-hit-poorly department, is taking a leave of absence (which is to say, he is getting shitcanned). The Memphis hitting coach, Mark Budaska, is taking his seat.
- Pop Warner was promoted to be some kind of coaching godfather.
- Yadier Molina is a late scratch from the lineup. Some have excitedly speculated, on the darker corners of the internet, that he is protesting his friend Jhonny Peralta’s ignominious dumping.
So, let’s see what happens tonight. Michael Wacha toes the rubber vs. Jeremy Hellickson. Hellickson, if you’re not familiar, was a highly touted prospect who just never quite developed into the ace he projected as. Wacha, I am pretty sure you know. Geaux Cards!
The Phillies started the scoring off in the third with two outs. Howie Kendrick doubled, Tommy Joseph singled to drive him in, and Aaron Altherr tripled to score Joseph. I looked at my phone and sighed, simultaneously remembering my recapping duties and nodding sagely to myself, muttering something about how we were going to lose again and I should just phone in the recap and say something pithy about how bad the team is.
In the bottom of the frame, Matt Carpenter reached on an error, and Dexter Fowler put him on third with a sharp double to deep right. Stephen Piscotty sacrificed a flyball to centerfield to advance both runners, and Jedd Gyorko drove in Fowler with a single. The Cardinals had a good shot to keep the carousel going after Tommy Pham traded places with Gyorko on a FC 5-4 and Diaz hit a frozen rope ground rule double down the right field line, but after an intentional walk to Kolten Wong, lucky charm Eric Fryer let us all down by working a full count, then striking out impotently. 2-2 Cardinals. Yes, I know it’s a tie, but a tie feels like a win these days.
In the top of the fourth, Freddy Galvis reached first on an error charged to Wong with one out. Hellickson stepped into the box and showed the bunt, so Wacha ran a fastball up over the top rung of the ladder to Hellickson. it worked perfectly, as Galvis was already almost to second base when Hellickson got under the bunt and popped up, into a double-play. Neither Hellickson nor Galvis could be reached for comment.
The stalemate, at any rate, continued until the Cardinals had two outs against them in the bottom of the fifth. Aledmys Diaz, scuffling somewhat this year, drove a pitch into centerfield for his first dinger since May 1. He looked very happy jogging the bases, and I felt very happy for him. Cardinals lead, 3-2.
Matt Bowman relieved Wacha in the top of the seventh, and struck out the side. He looked good too, even apart from the pretty results he achieved.
Rosenthal took over in the eighth, and Odubel Herrera hit a BABIPPY infield single. However, the threat ended quickly, as Howie Kendrick and Tommy Joseph were struck out. Herrera stole on the latter strikeout, and earned this as his just reward:
Seung Hwan Oh stepped in for the ninth. He gave up a quick double to Aaron Altherr, and Franco moved him to third with a groundout. Oh reared back and found another gear for his fastball, hitting 95 several times and climbing the ladder on Knapp and Galvis. Galvis fouled a few off with two strikes, and finally shot a flare down the left field line. Tommy Pham came to the rescue though:
Cardinals win, 3-2.
Dexter and Aliyah Fowler’s daughter is friggin cute.
I have checked and confirmed that it is indeed possible to score more runs than the other team, and when you do it is considered a “win.” More research is needed to determine what a “win”’s function is, but I will report back if possible.
Good game, guys! Losing streak over. See you tomorrow!