Tonight, the Cardinals invest a ton of promotional time and effort to celebrate the major cultural touchpoint of 1977. That’s right, the release of Fleetwood Mac’s Grammy award-winning Rumours album.
The Cardinals lineup:
- Harrison Bader (RF)
2. Tommy Pham (CF)
3. Jose Martinez (1B)
4. Marcell Ozuna (LF)
5. Yadier Molina (C)
6. Jedd Gyorko (3B)
7. Yairo Munoz (SS)
8. Kolten Wong (2B)
9. Luke Weaver (P)
Fine, but it’s no Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Stevie Nicks. That’s a lineup you can get behind.
Luke Weaver got off to a rough start early (unlike Rumours, which starts off with the exuberant folk-influenced ”Second Hand News” before immediately transitioning into the instant-classic “Dreams”), giving up two runs in the first inning by allowing a single and a walk before a Freddy Galvis double.
Weaver continued to look shaky over the following innings (like the personal relationships of the members of Fleetwood Mac while recording Rumours, plagued by alcohol and drug abuse and creative differences), although he managed to pitch innings 2-5 unscathed.
A lot of the credit for keeping the game in check should go to Kolten Wong’s defense, which looked sharp across a number of plays, including an absolutely beautiful glove flip to start a double play (almost as beautiful as the drop D guitar tuning on “Never Going Back Again” on the album Rumours).
However, in the sixth inning, just as Weaver appeared to be settling down a bit (like how Songbird on the album Rumours grounds side one of the album with its melancholic acoustic guitar and piano), the Padres rallied to put another two runs on the board with a double/triple/single in succession by the bottom of the order (the second run being an inherited run given up by Austin Gomber, who replaced Weaver with one out in the sixth). The Padres lead increased to four (also the number of members of Fleetwood Mac who recorded the original version of “I Don’t Want To Know” for Rumours, as Stevie Nicks was initially left off the track).
In the sixth inning, the Cardinals offense, unable to string together a succession of hits (unlike the banging three tracks that open side 2 of Rumours) to this point, were finally able to score. Jose Martinez singled followed by a Marcell Ozuna homerun - the first extra base hit by the Cardinals since game 1 of the series - cut the Padres lead in half. 4-2 Padres.
The Cardinals bullpen fared better after the sixth - Gomber and Mike Mayers combined for a 1-2-3 7th inning and John Brebbia pitched a clean 8th inning that was also very efficient at just 10 pitches (perhaps as efficient as engineer Ken Caillat’s sound mixing on the API console for the album Rumours).
Tommy Pham made some strong contact in the 8th inning, only to be robbed by a diving catch by Manuel Margot, who truly made a case for himself as the star of the game (unlike Fleetwood Mac during its Rumours phase, who didn’t have a single star in the group, instead getting virtuoso performances from all members of the band).
Brebbia came back out for the 9th and distinguished himself with another solid 1-2-3 inning (similar to how Fleetwood Mac distinguished Rumours by use of unusual percussion elements, like maracas and conga drums).
The Cardinals almost got a rally started in the 9th when Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch, but the slow-footed Molina was caught up in a double play off the bat of Jedd Gyorko. A groundout by Yairo Munoz ended the game (in a much less inspiring fashion than Rumours, which ends with the electric harpsichord-infused “Gold Dust Woman”).
The Cardinals somehow managed to go the entire series without taking a walk, stymieing their ability to put together a solid offensive run (unlike Rumours‘ run at the top of the charts, lasting 31 non-consecutive weeks).
The Cardinals follow up this disappointing series with a critical home series against the resurgent Cubs (which will hopefully be better received than Tusk, Fleetwood Mac’s follow-up to Rumours, which was initially met with mixed reviews).