This is getting out of hand.
Luke Weaver gave up some decent contact, but still navigated the 1st with speed. He got Harrison to fly out to Pham in CF, Meadows to line out to Garcia at SS, and Marte to fly out to Fowler near the track in RF. He threw just 9 pitches.
The Cardinal offense picked up where it left off the night before, and let Chad Kuhl have a similarly brisk inning. Carpenter tipped a slider into Cervelli’s glove for a strike out, Garcia came up just short on a fly ball to the track in LCF, and Pham popped out to RF. Kuhl threw 10 pitches.
Weaver had to work a lot harder in the 2nd. After Bell grounded out to Carpenter at 1B, Corey Dickerson singled past a diving Wong for a single, and advanced to 2B on a wild pitch during Colin Moran’s 7-pitch battle, which ended in a fly out to LF. But Elias Diaz flew out to RF to strand the runner in scoring position. Weaver’s pitch count jumped up to 31.
Marcell Ozuna busted out of his funk, clobbering a 2-0 fastball onto the berm behind CF for his 4th HR of the season, and 100th of his career. After Gyorko struck out swinging and Fowler flew out to LF, Wong got hit by a pitch, and moved up to 2nd on a good read on a ball in the dirt to Kelly. But Kelly stranded him when he flew out on a promising fly ball to the track in CF. Kuhl was up to 31 pitches as well. 1-0 Cardinals.
Weaver navigated the 3rd about as he did the 2nd. He gave up a lead off single to Jordy Mercer on a grounder up the middle and just past a diving Garcia, and then accepted Kuhl sac bunt, and Harrison’s ground out to SS that moved the runner up to 3B. He then overpowered NL Rookie of the Month Austin Meadows, pulling the string on a 1-2 change up to get a swinging strike out. He was at 48 pitches.
The top of the lineup didn’t muster anything in the 3rd. Weaver tried getting creative by dropping down a bunt and letting his legs do the work, but he bunted the ball right to Kuhl, who threw him out with ease. After Carpenter popped out to short LCF, Greg Garcia lined a single to RF, but Pham flew out to deep RF to strand him. Kuhl was at 41 pitches.
Weaver had his best inning in the 4th. He got several bad swings on his change up, including the 2 that Starling Marte & Corey Dickerson swung over the top of to complete their strike outs. He also got Bell to fly out easily to LF. Luke had thrown 67 pitches.
Kuhl was in a groove now. Ozuna disrupted him with a comical, 106mph comebacker that knocked his glove off his hand and went for an infield single, but Gyorko struck out swinging, Fowler flew out to LF, and Wong struck out swinging. Both K’s were rather ugly. Kuhl’s pitch count was up to 56.
The Pirates tied it up in the 5th. Luke Weaver hung a change up to Colin Moran, who crushed a no-doubter to the seats in RF. Weaver recovered to get Diaz to pop out to LF, gave up a single up the middle to Mercer, strike out Kuhl, and get Harrison to line out to CF. Weaver was up to 90 pitches. It would be ok. 1-1 Tie.
The Cardinals picked their starter up and grabbed the lead back in the bottom half. A pair of walks by Weaver & Garcia came after a ground out to SS by Kelly, and strike out by Carpenter, which brought up Tommy Pham with a runner in scoring position. Tommy unleashed a pair of bad swings on some filthy Kuhl sliders before finally barreling one, and singling to LF to drive in Weaver. Ozuna then worked a full count, but grounded out on Kuhl’s 83rd pitch. 2-1 Cardinals.
Austin Gomber made his major league in relief of Weaver. After walking Meadows while working out some butterflies, he struck out Marte with a curveball in the dirt, and got Bell to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. He flashed 94mph heat and a 12-6 curveball. He threw 11 pitches.
Kuhl returned for one more inning. He got Gyorko to ground out to 3B, Fowler to fly out to the track in RF, and Wong to ground out on a comebacker. He was at 92 pitches, and he afternoon was through.
Gomber returned for a second inning of work and held the Pirates in place. He got Bell to ground out to 1B, then retired Moran on a couple of questionable check swing strikes. Elias Diaz then gave an elevated fastball a ride to the track in RF, but Fowler caught it with his butt against the wall. Gomber had thrown all of 24 pitches.
Tyler Glasnow relieved Kuhl. He walked Kelly to start the inning, but got Gomber to bunt into a 2-6 fielder’s choice, struck out Carpenter, and got Garcia to ground out on a come-backer. He threw 18 pitches.
The Pirates made a lot of hard contact off Gomber in the 8th, but sometimes baseball is good, and it all worked out. Mercer led off with a deep shot to the track in the LCF gap, but Marcell Ozuna ranged over and made a good, leaping catch for the first out. David Freese then pinch hit, and stung a line drive right at Ozuna in medium LF. Finally, Josh Harrison laid into a fastball and also lined out to the track in LF on Gomber’s 32nd and final pitch of his highly successful debut.
Kyle Crick relieved Glasnow. He got Pham to quickly ground out to 2B before walking Ozuna, but retired Gyorko on a high fly ball to the track in LCF and Fowler on a pop out to 2B.
Bud Norris came in to try to close this one out, but immediately served up a home run to Austin Meadows. He was trying to bust him in, and Meadows was able to get enough wood on it to send it 369 feet down the RF line. Norris recovered to strike out Marte, Bell, & Dickerson. It would be ok. 2-2 Tie.
The Cardinals had a murderer’s row due up in the 9th to face Richard Rodriguez, in Wong, Kelly, & Bader, and it was Kolten Wong that brought the thunder.
Cardinals win 3-2.
Luke Weaver: 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 1 HR, 57 GSc, 90 pitches.
Chad Kuhl: 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 1 HR, 57 GSc, 92 pitches.
- Luke Weaver has allowed 12 runs on 20 hits in the 2nd inning this season, through 12 starts. He labored in the 2nd today, but escaped unscathed.
- Weaver’s change up was very strong today.
- Weaver batted for himself in the bottom of the 5th, then was replaced by Gomber in the top of the 6th. Goold said it was because of a short bench.
- That’s Wong’s 2nd walk off HR this season.
The Cardinals look to take 3 of 4 in the series tomorrow, sending Michael Wacha to face Nick Kingham. Game starts at 1:15 CST, and can be viewed on FSMW.