Starters today: Adam Wainwright and Junior Guerra
Today’s game was broadcast via Facebook, in case you want to catch up on some videos of people making Chicken Taco Biscuit Bites or pictures of your neighbor’s baby in between pitches.
I think we all came into this game worried about what to expect out of Adam Wainwright. And although this game gave some reasons to be maybe not quite as pessimistic as after his last start, overall it left more questions. A small data point, but part of a larger narrative that can’t be ignored: by the 7th inning, the top velocity Wainwright could muster was 88 mph. He also gave up a hit to relief pitcher Dan Jennings - the first time that he’s given up a hit to an RP ever.
But all in all, the important point remains: no matter how effective or lucky the pitching is, it doesn’t matter if the Cardinals don’t hit. Through the first 4 innings, the Cardinals only managed a single hit off Guerra (who had a 6.58 FIP last year across 21 games). Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong both continued to struggle, posting 0 for 4 lines. To be fair, the Cardinals had some hard hit balls, but the luck wasn’t there for them.
Brewers scoring roundup:
2nd inning - Hernan Perez hits a HR off an 87 mph fastball right down the center of the plate
3rd inning - Eric Thames smashed a HR to right field.
5th inning - Jonathan Villar grounds out but scores Orlando Arcia from 3rd.
At this point, the Cardinals were down 3-0. In the bottom of the 5th, in the highest leverage situation up to this point in the game, Adam Wainwright was left in to bat for himself with 2 runners on. Admittedly, due to Yadier Molina serving his suspension, the Cards were down a bench player. However, that still does not account for the fact that the reason the Cardinals have a short bench in general is because of the 8 man bullpen which is in no way necessary. Although the Cardinals would ultimately get 2 more innings out of Wainwright, this was definitely a missed opportunity.
The Cardinals bullpen was effective today, with Tyler Lyons and Greg Holland both pitching hitless innings.
The Cardinals bats woke up in the ninth inning, starting with a home run by Tommy Pham (confirmed after the longest replay I can remember in some time), followed by singles by Marcell Ozuna and Jose Martinez. Unfortunately, they could not capitalize on the two singles, stranding both runners.
Cardinals head to Cincinnati next to take on the Reds.