Today, the Cardinals take on the Pirates. They have won eight of their last ten contests, including the last two against the Bucs. This hot streak has propelled our heroes into a dead heat with the Brewers for (1) 2nd place in the Central (3 GB Chicago), and (2) 1st loser in the second NL Wild Card race (3 GB Colorado). (If you’d have told me a month ago that the Rockies were going to sweep the Dodgers and give them their ninth straight loss, I’d have called you a liar. Stranding a 92-win squad for a full 9 games beginning September 1 has got to be some kind of a record.) Michael Wacha leads a reinforced Cards lineup against the struggling Ivan Nova and the struggling Buccos:
If the Cardinals win today, they will be a season-high 7 games above .500.
Michael Wacha was, in a word, masterful. All three pitches were on—The curve curved, the change changed, and the fastball hit 99 on the gun at points—as Wacha was supremely efficient through eight innings. His final line: 8.0 IP, 7 K, 0 BB, 0 R, 95 pitches, 68 strikes. In honor of VHS, I will tell you Wacha’s game score: 79. His opponent’s was 22.
The Cardinals scored early and often.
Kolten Wong walked following a Matt Carpenter strikeout. He moved to second on a Paul DeJong single, then to third on a Jose Martinez flyout. Yadier Molina sealed the deal, driving him in with a single. 1-0 Cardinals.
Carpenter walked, Wong flied out, DeJong singled, and Martinez reached on a fielder’s choice to bring Yadi to the plate. At this point, the Cardinals broadcast noted that Yadi’s brother Bengie Molina was in the spanish language broadcast booth, and they ceded the audio to Bengie and his buddy in the espanol booth for Yadi’s PA. What transpired can be chalked up to brother magic:
This was a pretty nice 3-run shot, boys. 4-0 Cardinals.
Randal Grichuk knocked a wallscraper dinger to right-center. It didn’t look like it was headed anywhere special off the bat, but that sucker carried, proving once again that Grichuk has got some pretty solid power in those forearms. 5-0 Cardinals.
Wade LeBlanc relieved Nova, whose line could not have been good. The Cardinals jammed the sacks on a series of hits, errors, and walks, and then Wacha helped tack on an insurance run with his first career sacrifice fly to drive in Stephen Piscotty. 6-0 Cardinals.
Angel Sanchez toed the rubber for the thus-far hapless Bucs. Wong and Martinez singled on either side of a DeJong popout, and Yadi drove in his fifth run of the night with a sacrifice fly. 7-0 Cardinals.
John Gant oversaw an uneventful ninth inning, and the Cardinals won, 7-0.
The Cardinals swept the Pirates. Also relevant: the Brewers swept the Cubs soon thereafter. Thus, the Cardinals and Brewers remain tied, but now they are 2 games behind the Cubs for the Central. Brewers social media were feeling their oats after this sad-sack pathetic tweet from the Cubs team:
It was, yes. Thanks for asking. https://t.co/grwuUGSPf9— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 10, 2017
WACHA IS GOOD! WE BLEW OUT THE PIRATES! THE CUBS GOT SWEPT! WE SWEPT THE PIRATES! WE’VE WON A LOT OF GAMES IN SEPTEMBER!
That’s all I’ve got. We have an off day tomorrow before taking on the dog poo Reds on Tuesday. Here’s to hoping that we win out and the Cubs, Brewers, and Rockies lose every game they’ve got left.