Homer Bailey came out firing fastballs to Carpenter. He eventually left one out over the plate, but Carpenter lined out to Winker in RF. He then pitched around the Cardinals’ one consistent offensive threat, Tommy Pham, and walked him on 5 pitches. He then struck out Paul DeJong and picked off Pham to end the inning. He was at 14 pitches.
In his return from a back strain that cost him 2 starts, Adam Wainwright was warmly greeted by the troublesome Billy Hamilton with a looping single just over Wong’s head. It would be alright. Zack Cozart then stroked a curveball into LF for another single. It would be alright. Joey Votto battled him to a full count and, naturally, stroked a curveball over the wall in RF, just beyond Grichuk’s reach. It would be alright. A pair of walks and a bloop single that was misread by Grichuk followed before Winker grounded out to Carpenter, who then fired home to catch Duvall trying to score. It would be alright. With Brebbia warming in the bullpen, Matheny intentionally walked Barnhart so Wainwright could face and strike out Bailey to end this ridiculous inning. It would be alright. Adam faced all 9 Reds batters, and threw 45 pitches, about half of which were bad curveballs. It would be alright. 3-0 Reds.
Fortunately, the Cardinal offense resolved to pick Adam up. Jose Martinez, who was left in the batters box the inning prior, socked a lead-off double off the wall in LCF, and Yadier Molina served a single to RF. Kolten Wong, Randal Grichuk, and Greg Garcia then followed with doubles down the 1st base line, into RCF, and into LCF, respectively, to give the Cardinals an improbable lead. Wainwright sacrificed Garcia to third with nobody out, but Carpenter and Pham struck out. Bailey was now at 31 pitches. 4-3 Cardinals.
Gifted a new ballgame, Wainwright did his duty to make it stand up. He got Hamilton and Cozart to fly out weakly to CF and LF, pitched around and walked Votto, and got Duvall to ground out to SS. He was suddenly having a rather nice outing, reflected by his pitch count.
The Cardinals tried to keep their feet on the proverbial gas pedal. DeJong led off with clean single to LF, and Jose Martinez followed with a walk. Molina gave a grooved fastball a ride the the warning track in CF, which allowed runners to advance a spot, but Wong and Grichuk popped out into foul territory. Bailey was at 49 pitches.
Wainwright had another good bounce-back inning. He got Gennett to ground out to 1B, and Suarez to line out to 3B. Winker battled him to a full count and managed a walk, but Barnhart lined out to 1B to end the inning. Wainwright looked sharper, if still not yet his old self. He was at 88 pitches, however.
The Cardinals were clearly not impressed with Bailey’s offerings. Greg Garcia accepted a 4-pitch walk, and was advanced to second by Wainwright’s second perfect bunt. Carpenter then received a walk, and Tommy Pham asserted himself with a looping, RBI single to RF. DeJong chopped an infield single to load the bases for a locked-in Jose Martinez, who promptly crushed a grand slam a couple rows deep into the seats in RF.
The Cardinals weren’t done. Molina kept the pressure on and singled past a diving Cozart in the hole as SS, and Reds manager Brian Price was forced to pull the plug on his beleaguered starter. Lisalverto Bonilla relieved and allowed a single to Wong, struck out Grichuk, and walked Garcia to bring up the pitcher’s spot with the bases juiced. Wainwright had already batted once this inning, but the long, top half of the inning and high pitch count caused Matheny to opt for Luke Voit instead. Voit rewarded his manager with a 2-run, ground-rule double down the RF line. Matt Carpenter then followed with a 2-run triple to almost the same spot. 13-3 Cardinals.
With the game comfortably in hand, Matheny turned to the on-again-off-again Brett Cecil, who proved himself “on-again.” He got his counterpart, Bonilla, to strike out swinging, and then got Hamilton and Cozart to ground out to 3B and SS, respectively.
The Cardinals were finally held silent, in the 5th. Bonilla got DeJong to fly out to RF, and struck out Martinez & Molina. Enjoy this uncharacteristically brief paragraph.
Cecil returned for a second inning. Kivlehan promptly beat out an infield single that should have been an error on DeJong when his throw bounced, caught the lip of the infield grass, and ate Voit up. Duvall followed with a clean single through the left side of the infield, but Cecil composed himself and struck out Gennett, got Suarez to fly out to the wall in LF, and got Winker to ground out to SS.
The Cardinals tried not to let Bonilla build on his 5th inning. Wong and Garcia, the U.H. duo, singled and drew a walk to put yet another runner in scoring position, but Grichuk struck out, Voit flew out to RF, and Cecil (!!!) grounded out to 2B.
Cecil made quick work of the Reds in the 6th. He allowed a lead off single to RF by Barnhart to start the inning, but Arismendy Alcantara, pinch-hitting for Bonilla, grounded into a crisp, 6-4-3 double play. Hamilton flew out to CF to end the inning and Cecil’s day.
Kevin Shackelford relieved Bonilla. He was rudely greeted by Tommy Pham, who crushed a ball into the LCF gap, but was saved when a wide-ranging Alcantara made a fantastic catch to rob the Cardinals center fielder of extra bases. Paul DeJong followed with an “infield single” that ate up the second-baseman Gennett, but Martinez grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Brebbia relieved Cecil and bounced back well from his rough outing against Milwaukee, in which he surrendered a 2-run home run to Jesus Aguilar. He got Cozart to ground out to 1B, Kivlehan to fly out to RF, and Duvall to line out to LF.
Shackelford returned for another inning of work, and got the Cardinals in order for just the 2nd time of the afternoon. Carson Kelly lined out to CF, Wong struck out, and Grichuk grounded out to 3B.
Brebbia also returned for another inning of work. He retired Gennett on a hot shot to 1B, on which Voit made a great, diving stop, but Eugenio Suarez followed with an absolute bomb (430 ft) to CF, which gave the Reds their first run since the 1st. The Cardinal righty recovered and struck out Winker and pinch-hitter Stuart Turner. 13-4 Cardinals.
Drew Storen relieved Shackelford. The side-arming reliever got Garcia to line out to RF, struck out Voit, surrendered a ground-rule double down the 3B line to Piscotty, and got Pham to fly out to CF.
Matt Bowman closed it out. Alcantara greeted him with another hot shot to 1B that required another great diving play from
Pujols Voit to convert into an out. He then got Peraza to ground out to 2B, and Cozart to fly out to CF. Cardinals win 13-4.
Adam Wainwright: 3IP, 3ER, 4H, 1K, 5BB, 1HR, 26 GSc
Brett Cecil: 3IP, 0ER, 3H, 2K, 0BB, 0HR
Homer Bailey: 3.1IP, 10ER, 10H, 3K, 4BB, 1HR, -1 GSc
Lisalverto Bonilla: 2.2IP, 3ER, 4H, 3K, 2BB, 0HR
- Hindsight is 20/20 and whatnot, but it sure would have been nice if Adam Wainwright had made a rehab start before returning for today’s start.
- The Cardinals batted around twice.
- Jose Martinez almost had a shot at The Tatis in the 4th. Pham grounded out to end the inning with the bases loaded and Martinez waiting in the hole.
- Brett Cecil has not pitched more than 2 innings in an outing since August 5, 2012, when he was still a SP.
- We now know that Brett Cecil bats righty and does not wear batting gloves. Left-handed relievers are ridiculous.
- Matheny had Brebbia warming in the 1st, 6th, & 7th innings, and then sent him out for 2 innings of work, which seems cruel.
- I’m beginning to get concerned about Brebbia’s HR rate (1.24 per 9).
- Dan pointed out that Lance Lynn, Drew Storen, and Tucker Barnhart all went to the same high school: Brownsburg HS, in Brownsburg, IN. Lynn and Zack Cozart also played together at Ole Miss.
- Zack Cozart apparently named his gift donkey from Votto “Donald” because his son loves Donald Duck.
- David Letterman was at the game today, which FSMW neglected to mention.