Today’s lineup (Ozuna was a late scratch in favor of Tyler MEAT O’Neill because he overslept, of all things):
UPDATED #STLCards lineup (5/23):— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) May 23, 2018
J. Martínez 1B
Facing off against the Cardinals was Jakob Junis, who has been dramatically overperforming his FIP this season (4.43 FIP vs 3.52 ERA). Is this the day the Cardinals could ding him up a bit? Answer: no, not really.
Michael Wacha’s perfectly cromulent line: 6.2 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 K, 0 BB. His only earned run was a leadoff home run by Salvador Perez in the top of the 2nd. The Royals were able to tack on an unearned run against him through a series of unfortunate events: single, fielding error, sac bunt, sac fly.
The issue was that the Cardinals were simply unable to muster more than a measly two runs powered by doubles by Jedd Gyorko and Francisco Pena and a single by Tyler O’Neill, both scored in the second.
The Royals came into this game 15-33, dancing with the possibility of being on a worse pace than 2005 - if there is a single team other than the Reds that the Cardinals should be teeing off on, it is the Royals and their team 5.47 ERA. But I suppose we wouldn’t watch the games if it were that easy to predict.
The wheels came off completely in the 10th inning, and for once it was not Greg Holland that was the crux of the situation. Instead, Bud Norris and his sparkling 36.1% K rate and 4.7% BB rate could not get the job done, giving up a single, single, sac bunt, single before being pulled for Brett Cecil. Unfortunately, Cecil didn’t do much to stop the bleeding, getting an out...but then giving up a single and two walks. Mike Mayers would come in to finally get the third out.
Who disappointed today? Well, Tommy Pham continued his recent struggles, going 0-5 with 3 Ks. Neither Matt Carpenter and Harrison Bader were able to reach base as well. Jose Martinez and Francisco Pena were the only two players to reach base twice, and when that’s the defining line of your game, that’s...not a great place to be.
On the pitching side in the eighth, Jordan Hicks came in, Jordan Hicks threw the ball fast, Jordan Hicks didn’t throw the ball quite as fast as usual, Jordan Hicks still pitched a 1-2-3 inning.
Cardinals travel to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates this holiday weekend, beginning Friday at 6:05 pm. Let’s hope for a regroup and NOT a repeat of the last Pirates series.