After getting crushed in the first game against a team that is literally employing multiple A ball quality players, the Cardinals beat the Padres like the bad team they are. Sorry to Padres players who totally won’t read this but let’s face it: half of you guys should be in the minor leagues. I’m not going to fact check that, but the fact that I could even semi-plausibly say that is about all you need to know about the Padres.
The Cardinals wasted no time against Jhoulys Chacin. Matt Carpenter has the day off so Kolten Wong got to be the leadoff hitter. He doubled, and Tommy Pham followed with a double of his own. Pham advanced to third on a flyout by Paul DeJong and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Dexter Fowler. Four batters into the game, it was 2-0 Cardinals.
The Cardinals added a run in the third, beginning with... a leadoff hit by Wong. Chacin then loaded the bases by hitting DeJong with one out and Yadier Molina with two outs. Jedd Gyorko hit a soft groundball that was well-placed between the shorstop and third. Corey Spangenberg dove for it, stopped it, but couldn’t grab the ball so Gyorko was awarded an RBI single. 3-0 Cardinals.
In the 4th, Greg Garcia hit a line drive single to lead off the inning. He eventually reached third from a sac bunt and a flyout to advanced the runner. Pham walked, putting runners on the corner with two outs. Chacin decided to throw it over and it bounced before it got to the first basemen, who couldn’t handle it. 4-0 Cardinals.
Meanwhile, Luke Weaver had no such issues. The biggest issue he faced was the wrath of the foul ball in the first inning. In a 20-pitch first, the three batters he retired in order hit eight foul balls, including five with two strikes. This was not a strategy they were able to duplicate as he had a 10-pitch 2nd inning and 10-pitch 3rd inning, only ruined by a 2-out single by the pitcher, Chacin, to break up the perfect game. (I’m allowing myself to say “break up the perfect game” only because it was the opposing pitcher who ruined it.)
He finally ran into some problems in the 4th. With two outs and a man on first, he walked Wil Myers. That’s understandable. Even though he is struggling, he has a 11% BB rate and a .217 ISO so kind of a guy you would expect to walk. But then he hit Spangenberg on an 0-2 pitch and that’s less understandable. He was able to strike out Jabari Blash, total Padres name, with the bases loaded.
The bottom of the 5th was a strange one. Chacin to this point has had very little control. He had only walked one guy, but he also hit two and threw it wild towards first base. Things got worse. He hit Fowler to begin the inning. After striking out Molina, he walked Gyorko on five pitches. With two outs, he hit Garcia with a pitch. That’s four hit by pitches by Chacin in one game. With Weaver batting, he imploded. Weaver swung twice to make it quickly 0-2. Then nothing else came particularly close to the plate. On 1-2, he bounced it into the other batter’s box, but Austin Hedges made a great stop. Then he threw a wild pitch, it hit off the backstop and went right back at home. Hedges whiffed on the ball so Chacin tried to grab it and Fowler stepped directly on his foot, which was blocking the plate. He stayed in to walk Weaver on another ball that wasn’t anywhere close and that was it for Chacin.
Weaver was the opposite. He got stronger as the game went on. After allowing yet another hit to Chacin in the 5th, this one a double, he struck out the next two hitters to end the inning. He had a quick 6th, including a strikeout of Myers, and then finished his outing in the 7th by striking out the last two batters he faced. In all, he struck out TEN batters.
Seung Hwan Oh replaced Weaver in the 8th and did not fare well. He gave up a single and then a triple to the first two batters he faced. He even got to 0-2 on both hitters, but it didn’t matter as he couldn’t put them away. With Carlos Asauje up - a lefty - Matheny brought in Tyler Lyons. The man on third did not score. Popup, strikeout, strikeout by Lyons. Lyons is on an absolute tear right now.
The 9th was eventful for a 5-1 game. Wong singled, then stole second, and then stole third. He shouldn’t have stole third as the throw beat him by a mile, but he had a nice slide and Spangenberg wasn’t quick on the tag. Pham walked and then stole second. Then DeJong struck out. IBB to Fowler. Strikeout by Molina in one of the worst PAs of the night. He just swung at three straight pitches and maybe one of them was an actual strike. In danger of not scoring with men on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out, Gyorko lined a single up the middle, but Pham was thrown out at home. (Weirdly, they called him safe even though he was clearly out. Instant reply for the win for once)
John Brebbia pitched the 9th and allowed a solo homer to Spangenberg, but got the other three guys out for the win.
- Weaver line: 7 IP, 10 Ks, BB, HBP, 3 hits - He had a 1.13 FIP on the day, which I’m guessing will give you a win most of the time
- Weaver and Lyons combined line: 8 IP, 12 Ks, BB, HBP, 3 hits; Rest of bullpen (Oh and Brebbia): IP, 2 ER, 3 hits, HR (no strikeouts or walks by either).
- Wong really wants to bat leadoff - he went 3-5 with 2 SBs and 3 runs scored. (I have no stake in this, though I would SELL SELL SELL on him being anywhere near a .400 OBP guy.)
- Gyorko continues to kill the Padres. Tonight, he did not homer - I believe for the first time in his career facing the Padres - but he did got 2-4 with 2 RBIs. So you know, Padres fans still fuming at him I’m sure.
- The benefactor of the Carpenter off-day went to Greg Garcia, who replaced Carpenter by going 1-2 with 2 HBPs. Carpenter doesn’t exactly get hit a lot, but getting on base three times with only one of them being a hit is VERY Carpenter. Garcia raised his wRC+ to 95 on the year.
- I appreciate that Padres names continue to be a thing. Manuel Margot. Carlos Asauje. The classic Yangervis Solarte. Hell, Corey Spangenberg is straight up boring by their standards.
Tomorrow, the Cardinals go for the series win with Carlos Martinez facing off former Cardinal farmhand Luis Perdomo. Martinez has allowed 3 ER or more in 6 of his past 9 starts so maybe facing the Padres can begin a long run of amazing starts from him.