The Cardinals began the afternoon with a bang. Matt Carpenter continued his resurgence, turning a belt-high fastball into a no-doubter over the Clemente wall in RF. Jose Martinez followed him with a double down the RF line, but Pham grounded into a 6-5 FC that saw Martinez erased, and then Ozuna grounded into a tailor-made 4-6-3 double play. Williams threw just 11 pitches. 1-0 Cardinals.
The Pirates answered in kind in the bottom half. After Jack Flaherty induced a pair of 5-3 ground outs from Harrison & Cervelli, he served up an absolute bomb to CF to Starling Marte. He recovered to induce another ground out, this time to 2B off the bat of Bell. Not to be beaten by his counterpart, Flaherty threw an even more efficient 9 pitches. 1-1 Tie.
Williams found another gear in the 2nd. He struck out Gyorko & Fowler with a fastball & slider, respectively, and then got Peña to harmlessly fly out to LF. He was at 26 pitches.
Conversely, Flaherty had to work a little more in the 2nd. He got Dickerson to fly out to RCF, and Moran to ground out to 1B. Polanco worked him to a full count and drew a 2-out walk, but Flaherty was able to get Mercer to ground into a 5-4 FC to end the inning. He was up to 27 pitches.
The Cardinals manufactured a run to reclaim the lead in the 3rd. Jairo Muñoz led off with a hot ground ball single through the hole between 3B & SS, and moved up to 2B on Flaherty’s sac bunt. Then, after Carpenter flew out to RF, Jose Martinez singled him home with a line drive single up the middle. Martinez tried advancing on the unsuccessful throw home and was thrown out with ease. Williams was up to 42 pitches. 2-1 Cardinals.
Given a lead for the second time, Flaherty made sure to keep it. He got his counterpart to ground out to SS before striking out Harrison. Cervelli battled him in a 10-pitch PA that culminated in a walk, Marte legged out an infield single that featured a good diving try by second baseman Jedd Gyorko. With the Pirates threatening, Flaherty was able to induce a 5-3 ground out from Bell. He was up to 47 pitches.
The Cardinals tacked on in the 4th, but at the price of one of their outfielders. Tommy Pham led off with a double torched down the LF line, and Marcell Ozuna followed with a flair single to short RCF. After Gyorko popped out into foul territory on the first pitch he saw, Dexter Fowler caught an errant fastball square to the side of his shin, just below the knee cap, which loaded the bases. He was in a great deal of pain, and was lifted in favor of Harrison Bader. Francisco Peña avenged him with a sac fly to deep LCF, and Muñoz beat out an RBI infield single down the 3B line. Williams had to work this frame, but only saw his pitch count rise to 65. Nevertheless, his afternoon was through. 4-1 Cardinals.
Flaherty kept the Pirates in stasis. He got Dickerson to pop out to CF, before surrendering a soft single on a grounder up the middle to Moran. But he was able to get Polanco to ground into a 4-6-3 double play, confirmed by replay. Jack was at 57 pitches.
Richard Rodriguez relieved Williams. The Pirates tried implementing an over-shift on Matt Carpenter, but the Cardinal third baseman countered with a perfect bunt to the left side of the infield for a lead off single. But Martinez struck out, and Pham & Ozuna flew out to the track in CF & RF, respectively.
Flaherty kept sticking it to the Pirates. He struck out Mercer on a check swing at a slider, got pinch hitter Adam Frazier to fly out to CF, and got Harrison to ground out to 3B. He was up to 75 pitches.
Tyler Glasnow relieved Rodriguez. The flamethrowing righty struck out Gyorko, allowed a single & SB to Bader, and then got Peña to pop out to RF and Flaherty to strike out looking, around an intentional walk to Muñoz.
Flaherty just kept rolling. After nearly hitting Cervelli twice, he struck the Pirate catcher out on a rare change up, and then struck out Marte with a slider. After Josh Bell double just out of Pham’s reach in CF, Dickerson popped out to LF. Flaherty was at 88 pitches and, in light of his 120 pitch CG last time out, his afternoon was through.
Glasnow remained in to face the top of the Cardinal order. He got Carpenter to fly out to LF, surrendered an infield single to Martinez, but got Pham to ground sharply into a rather clumsy 6-4-3 double play.
With a pair of lefties due up, the Cardinals turned to Tyler Lyons. The struggling lefty allowed a lead off single to CF by Moran, then moved him up to 2B when Peña tried to backhand a slider in the dirt. He then fell behind Polanco, but battled back and struck him out. Matheny then turned to Jordan Hicks, who promptly induced a pair of weak ground outs on 3 pitches to Mercer and pinch-hitter Austin Meadows.
Kyle Crick relieved Glasnow. After allowing a lead off single to RF by Ozuna, the Pirate righty got Gyorko to pop out to the catcher in foul territory, then struck out Bader & Peña.
Hicks remained in for a full inning of work. He got Harrison to ground out to 2B before Cervelli lifted a single over the head of a leaping Wong. Marte then chopped a ball high in the air towards 3B, which required a great throw from Gyorko in order to retire him. Hicks finally got Bell to ground out to 2B to end the inning.
Edgar Santana relieved Crick. He got Muñoz to ground out to 3B, Wong to pop out to SS, and Carpenter to strike out swinging through an elevate fastball.
Bud Norris closed this one out. He got Dickerson to pop out to Muñoz in shallow LF, and Moran to pop out to Pham in short CF. And then, after falling behind 3-0, he got Gregory Polanco to strike out swinging. Cardinals win 4-1.
Jack Flaherty: 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 59 GSc, 88 pitches
Trevor Williams: 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 35 GSc, 65 pitches
- Hard to choose which of fielding and baserunning Jose Martinez is worse at. But boy can he hit.
- Tyler Glasnow getting relegated to long relief is certainly a development.
- Flaherty seemed to be fighting to find his command most of the game, but he never let the Pirates take advantage of that.
- Lyons didn’t look good, but fortunately Polanco is in a rut.
- This was the Cardinals’ first win against the Pirates this season. 5th time’s a charm.
- Starling Marte’s home run in the 1st came in his first PA back from an oblique strain.
Jack Flaherty has yielded a total of 3 earned runs over 19.1 innings in his last 3 starts for #stlcards.— Mark Tomasik (@retrosimba) May 26, 2018
The Cardinals look to take the series tomorrow afternoon, sending the undefeated Miles Mikolas to face Jameson Taillon. Game starts a 12:35pm CST, and can be viewed on FSMW.