I do not think I can discuss the events that transpired Thursday evening without discussing everything leading up to them. I will try to be brief, but friends, this season has been... something. It ain't over yet, but I think it is safe to say that no matter how this thing goes, it will be wild.
Thursday night the Cardinals attempted to sweep the Royals after a dramatic come-from-behind win the night before that included a Yadier Molina go-ahead grand slam that immediately followed a kitten running onto playing field - a kitten that disappeared after the game. It was weird, but a perfect encapsulation of the season so far. The Cardinals have recently been on a tear, propelled by a potent offensive attack that seemingly appeared from nowhere. Up until Thursday the Cardinals had won five straight, scoring forty six (!!!) runs during that time and allowing sixteen. It has been a good week for the Birdos.
With all that, the team was riding high, so even after getting down three runs to none, it never really felt like the Cardinals were out of the game. All a fan had to do was sit back, relax, and wait for the dramatic comeback.
But first, the unpleasantness:
After some errors and misplays the Royals loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the second. Somehow Lance Lynn held them to one run. Then in the top of the third Lorenzo Cain hit a 105 mph comebacker that connected with Lance Lynn. At first glance it appeared to have hit him in the shoulder, but upon closer inspection it became clear Lynn was hit right in the head. Like plum, smack-dab on the side of his head. And he brushed it away somehow. Lynn's luck in stranding runners seems to be a factor in other parts of his life as well. The luck ran out in the top of fifth, though, as a Melky Cabrera triple scored two runs to give the Royals that before-mentioned three-run lead.
Now to the pleasantness:
It all started in the bottom of the sixth when Paul DeJong led off the inning with a hit by pitch and scored on Dexter Fowler double. Yadier Molina singled, moving Fowler over to third, who then scored on fielder's choice and error when the pitcher, Peter Moyla, fielded a comebacker and threw the ball into centerfield. A Kolten Wong sacrifice fly scored a third run of the inning and suddenly the game was tied.
It would become untied the next inning. Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham hit back-to-back singles and Paul DeJong [squints] walked - whoa he walked! Anyway, then Dexter Fowler smacked a ball out into right-center field for the Cardinals second grand slam in as many games. It was great.
I would love to tell you the Cardinals cruised to an easy win after that, but such was not the case. The bullpen got into trouble in the top of the eighth. Brett Cecil allowed back-to-back singles, then struck out Alex Gordon before being replaced by Seung Hwan Oh. Oh did not have much better luck as he allowed a single to load the bases and a double that nearly squeaked over the wall for a grand slam off the bat of Brandon Moss. After a sacrifice fly made it a one-run game, Mike Matheny brought in Trevor Rosenthal who was able to induce a fly-out from Lorenzo Cain.
The Cardinals tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth sparked by none other than Tommy Pham. Pham walked with two-outs, then raced home on a double by Paul DeJong. Trevor Rosenthal closed out the game in the ninth. The Cardinals are a game back in the National League Central with their sixth win in a row.
lil scooter's lil player of the game
For the first time, this honor is bestowed on Dexter Fowler, whose .222 wpa leads all players and whose grand slam leads all players in awesome.
Tomorrow the Cardinals take on the Braves as Adam Wainwright is set to face Mike Foltynewicz at 7:15p.m. CST.
Also of note: Chicago lost to San Francisco and Milwaukee is currently losing to the Twins.