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Cardinals Crush the Phillies 5.18.18

Cardinals let a feast-or-famine offense eat against the first place Phillies.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Events

1st Inning

After Michael Wacha weathered another rain delay, he set the Phillies down in order with extreme ease. He got in on Cesar Hernandez’s hands and induced a weak pop out to new SS Jedd Gyorko in short CF. He then got Hoskins to fly out to CF, and Herrera to strike out on just his 10 pitch.

Arrieta, however, did not have his feel for the zone at the start. He walked Tommy Pham to lead off the game after getting ahead of him 1-2, the surrendered an opposite field single to Matt Carpenter (!!!) to bring up the heart of the order. But Jose Martinez grounded into a tailor-made 4-6-3 double play, and Ozuna grounded out to shortstop to kill the rally. After initially appearing to be in trouble, Arrieta ended up throwing just 13 pitches.

2nd Inning

Wacha picked up where he left off. He struck out Carlos Santana with a silky smooth change up to start the inning. Jorge Alfaro then ran into his first double of the season, down the RF line, before Williams lined out to Wong at 2B. Kingery managed an infield single off Wacha’s glove, but Florimon popped out into foul territory to strand runners on the corners. Wacha was at 21 pitches.

Jedd Gyorko led off the 2nd by working an 8-pitch at bat that ended with the new shortstop striking out on a pitch in the dirt, but scooted all the way to the backstop and allowed him to reach 1B safely. It appeared to tip his bat, but the Phillies did not challenge. Unfortunately, the Cardinals could not capitalize, as Dexter grounded into an easy 4-6-3 double play, and Wong grounded out to SS. Arrieta was up to 27 pitches.

3rd Inning

Wacha kept rolling. After Arrieta led off with a clean single through the left side (of course he did), Wacha got Hernandez to ground into a 4-6 fielder’s choice. He then struck out Hoskins with a change up, and Herrera with a back-foot curveball. His extended battle with Hoskins cost him some bullets, and bumped his pitch count up to 39.

Third time was the charm, as the Cardinals finally stayed out of the double plays and did some damage with RISP. Francisco Peña led off with a solid single to CF, and was promptly bunted to second by his battery mate, Wacha. Tommy Pham then legged out an RBI double on a liner into the RCF gap. After Pham moved up to 3B on Carpenter’s ground out to 1B, Jose Martinez blooped a confounding RBI Texas Leaguer into short RF, and Ozuna reached on a routine throwing error by third baseman Scott Kingery and both runners moved up a base when the ball flew into the camera well. Jedd Gyorko then delivered a decisive blow with an RBI single through the left side of the infield. After a wild pitch and a Fowler walk, Wong flew out to LF to end the rally. Arrieta’s pitch count ballooned to 64, and his evening was through. 4-0 Cardinals.

4th Inning

The defense got in on the action in the 4th. Carlos Santana got ahold of a hung change up and sent it deep to RCF, where Dexter Fowler tracked it down at the top of the wall with a remarkable catch to prevent an extra base hit. After Alfaro worked a walk, Williams scorched a grounder off the forearm of Wacha that the Cardinal starter was able to corral and use to retire the lead runner. After a visit from the trainer and a couple of warm up pitches, Wacha got Kingery to ground out on a ball up the middle turned into an out by a whirling Wong. Wacha was up to 56 pitches.

Drew Hutchinson relieved Arrieta. He was rudely greeted by a suddenly, inexplicably red-hot Peña and his well-hit double into the LF corner. Wacha tried to sacrifice him to 3B, but ended up reaching base safely when Hernandez dropped the throw from his catcher at 1B. Hutchinson, up to this point mostly a victim, then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Peña to score, and walked Pham. But Carpenter torched a liner right at Santana, which the Phillie first baseman converted into a double play and, after Martinez singled up the middle and Ozuna worked a walk to load the bases, Gyorko grounded out to 3B to end the rally. 5-0 Cardinals.

5th Inning

The wheels fell off of the Wacha train in the 5th. After striking out Florimon and Valentin with a pair of change ups, Wacha surrendered an infield single to Hernandez and walked Hoskins. After a wild pitch moved the runners up a base, Odubel Herrera then worked a deep count and lined a 2-run single to CF. Santana tried to keep the rally going, but scorched a grounder into the jaws of the shift for the final out. Wacha was up to 86 pitches, and his night was complete. 5-2 Cardinals.

The Cardinals mounted an unlikely response in the bottom half. After Fowler popped out to LF and Wong grounded out to 2B, the aforementioned, red-hot Francisco Peña launched a no-doubter over the LF bullpen to guarantee the faithful fans that waited out the storm some cheap fountain drinks tomorrow. 6-2 Cardinals.

6th Inning

With the bottom of the lineup due up, Matheny let Wacha stay in the game to try and go 7. What seemed like a poor plan ended up working out, as Wacha sandwiched a pair of easy strike outs to Knapp and Hutchinson around a ground out to 2B by Williams. He had thrown 101 pitches, and his evening was complete.

The Cardinals put the game out of reach in the bottom half. Pham led off with a single through the left side of the infield, then advanced to 3B on an errant pick off and a wild pitch. Carpenter brought him home with an RBI single to RF, and Jose Martinez followed with a dinger to dead CF. Ozuna worked another walk, but Gyorko grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and Fowler popped out to short CF. 9-2 Cardinals.

7th Inning

Brebbia relieved Wacha, and Garcia & O’Neill subbed into SS & LF, respectively. Brebbia quickly got Florimon and Valentin to ground out to 2B, but served up a dinger to Cesar Hernandez. He recovered to get Hoskins to fly out to RF. 9-3 Cardinals.

Right-hander Yacksel Rios relieved Hutchinson. As they did to Hutchinson, the Cardinals very rudely greeted the Phillie reliever, in the form of a long Kolten Wong home run to RF. Then, after Peña struck out, Tyler O’Neill lined his first big league hit down the first base line for a single. Then, after Pham lined an infield single off Rios’ shins, Jose Martinez looped another hit into RF to score both baserunners. 12-3 Cardinals.

8th Inning

Brebbia remained in the game, and was joined by Harrison Bader in CF. He got Herrera and Santana to fly out to said CFer, and then got Knapp to ground out to 2B.

Pedro Florimon, SS, was tasked with giving his bullpen a break, and ended up recording the Phillies’ first 1-2-3 inning of the game. Firing fastballs that touched as high as 90mph, he got Steve Baron to pop out into foul territory while embarrassingly flinging his bat to the backstop, Fowler to ground out to SS, and Wong to ground out to 3B. He required just 14 pitches.

9th Inning

Mike Mayers closed this one out. He got Williams to ground out to 2B, and Franco to line out to CF. After SS pitcher Pedro Florimon socked a no-doubter to the seats in RCF, Valentin struck out looking at a fastball down the middle. Cardinals win 12-4.

Final Lines

Michael Wacha: 7.0 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 8 K, 2 BB, 64 GSc

Jake Arrieta: 3.0 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 33 GSc

Notes

  • The 2 teams had to wait out a 1 hour 35 minute rain delay because Michael Wacha was starting.
  • The Cardinals recorded a season-high 15 hits.
  • This was the first time Michael Wacha eclipsed 100 pitches in a game this season.
  • Herrera’s 2-run single in the 5th extended his on-base streak to 44 consecutive games.
  • Francisco Peña’s last home run came on 5/23/17, a game in which he went deep twice against Kansas City’s Nate Karns.
  • David Rackley took a foul tip off the bat and Francisco Pena square in the face, which ended up concussing him and causing him to leave the game in between the 7th and 8th innings.
  • Jose Martinez is the first Cardinals to record 5 RBIs against the Phillies since Mark McGwire in 2000.
  • Tommy Pham reached base 5 times for the 2nd time this season (also 3 hits & 2 walks, but vs. the Mets on April 24.)
  • Is Wacha the Cardinals’ de facto ace?