Tonight’s game featured two pitchers trying to bounce back from poor performances to start the season - Carlos Martinez against the Mets (game score 36) and Jhoulys Chacin against the Padres (game score 29). Chacin, a free agent pickup for the Brewers in the offseason, parlayed a significant increase in his slider usage last year into a fairly respectable year (albeit with an INSANE home/away ERA split at 1.79 and 6.53).
To the highlights!
Dex will get a hit. Dex will get a hit. Dex will get a hit. Dex will get a hit. Dex will get a hit. Dex will get a hit. Dex will get a hit. Dex will get a hit. Dex will get a hit. Dex will get a hit. Dex will get a hit. Dex will get a hit. Dex will get a hit.
Hey, it worked again! Dexter Fowler doubled to lead off the game and later scored. 1-0 Cardinals.
Fowler walked to lead off the 3rd, after which Tommy Pham absolutely scorched a ground rule double. A Matt Carpenter groundout would bring Fowler home, and Pham would score on a Marcell Ozuna single. 3-0 Cardinals.
Fourth inning, Yadier Molina takes the first pitch deep to left field for his third home run of the season. Last year, he hit his 3rd home run of the year on May 14th. In 2016, it was on July 20th. In 2015, August 17th. If my calculations are correct, I believe this positions him to hit his 3rd home run next year on Monday, January 14, 2019. Ooh, that’s Ratification Day, so we’ll have two things to celebrate! 4-0 Cardinals.
In the 6th, Ozuna would score off a Molina sac fly in foul territory. Christian Yelich had a tough call there - clearly getting the second out of the inning was valuable, but the chance that Ozuna could score was pretty high. Paul DeJong then reached on a single. Next a Comical Confluence of Events™ led to another run: Kolten Wong (getting a slow jump out of the box) manages a single after the ball was deflected by Eric Thames. Jonathan Villar would then incur a throwing error, allowing Paul DeJong to score and Wong to advance. 6-0 Cardinals.
You may have noted that up until this point, I’ve only addressed the top of the innings. And that’s because Carlos Martinez was not giving the Brewers a lot to work with. Although his velocity was a bit lower than expected (mostly low 90s) in the early innings, he managed to fully shut the Brewers down - getting 16 consecutive outs from the 2nd through the 7th. At 101 pitches after the 8th and his spot coming up in the order, it was possibly a question marl as to what Matheny would bring Martinez back out (actually it was not), but Martinez came out to bat and hit a single, and then came back out to attempt finish out the game. Although he would get Lorenzo Cain out to start off the 9th, after a single by Travis Shaw and an error by Yairo Munoz (brought in for Matt Carpenter in the top half of the 9th), Martinez was pulled for Sam Tuivailala. Tui is not getting a lot of juice on his pitches, and it bites the Cardinals here - Villar fights through a 9 pitch AB before dropping one in centerfield. With bases loaded and 1 out, Matheny goes back to the bullpen and brings out Bud Norris, who induced a 1-2-3 double play to end the game.
Notes: Kolten Wong...still kind of does not look great yet, guys. My hope (and the likeliest explanation, imo) is that he one of those players that gets a kink in his rhythm and just needs a bit to shake it out. | Is Mike Mayers dead, you guys? I mean, I’ve seen him in the background on TV, but is this a Weekend at Bernie’s situation? | Martinez finished the night with a very snazzy 10 Ks to 2 BBs | Cardinals open at home against the Diamondbacks tomorrow at 6:15 pm.