The Cardinals have been tearing it up offensively - 62 runs over the last 9 games, with a .760 team OPS in the last week. They match up today against 25 year old Jose Urena, who sports a huge ERA/xFIP split at 3.42/5.55, so of course the Cardinals will impotently flail at his masterful pitching all the game long.
NOTE: Lance Lynn has chosen to bat left-handed today because of “metrics”, including “launch angle”. I mean, this game is meant to be entertainment. This is entertaining. Hence, I support this move. I mean, sure, he failed to lay down a bunt in the 3rd inning, resulting in a forceout at 2nd, but was he really laying down bunts like Ichiro when he was doing it right-handed? No, he was not.
Luke Voit returns to the lineup today after hitting his first major league career home run last night, and he is excited about it.
Lance Lynn effectively worked around putting the leadoff runner on in 4 of the first 5 innings.
In the fifth inning, the Cardinals finally realized that they are allowed to score some runs off Urena - Paul Dejong singled, followed by a home run by Greg Garcia. Garcia, who hit a tepid .133 during June, put the ball 371 feet into the stands to give the Cards a 2-0 lead.
The strike zone seemed, at best, inconsistent today - for example, take this 5th inning AB by Tommy Pham:
Numbers 1 and 2 up there? Those were called strikes. Even accounting for the occasional weirdness of the Gameday zones...yikes.
Lynn began to show signs of struggling in the 6th: Dee Gordon hit a ground rule double, followed by an unusual play on the Giancarlo Stanton AB: Stanton scorched a 118 mph line drive, which Matt Carpenter managed to knock down...only to make a throwing error to allow Stanton to reach base. Christian Yelich then hit a three run home run on the next at-bat. At the time of the home run, Tyler Lyons was warmed up in the pen (likely to face a lefty, which Yelich is), yet Matheny would leave Lynn in to face Yelich and then Ozuna after that. Lynn’s propensity for giving up home runs has gotten truly startling since returning from Tommy John surgery: his HR/9 rate this year is at nearly 2.0 (despite a career 0.7 HR/9 rate).
The Marlins would tack on two more runs in the 6th off of Lyons and some sliders that didn’t effectively slide to increase the lead to 5-2.
Seung-Hwan Oh pitched a clean 9th inning, Trevor Rosenthal pitched a clean 8th inning, John Brebbia an effective if not particularly great 7th. The Cardinals were unfortunately equally offensively ineffective, managing just 3 singles and no runs across the three innings. 5-2 Marlins final score.
Cardinals and Marlins match up again tomorrow at 7:15 pm.