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St. Louis Ambushes Kluber 6.26.18

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Matt Carpenter goes 5-for-5, and Carlos Martinez rounds into form.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Events

1st Inning

After a long delay for the second straight night, the game finally got underway at 8:40 CST. Carlos just did not have it early on. He was missing with all of his pitches, and Cleveland was making contact with everything. Francisco Lindor led off by slapping a 3-2 fastball into CF, and Michael Brantley followed with another 3-2 count, that ended in a walk. After Ramirez worked a third 3-2 count and flew out to CF, and Alonso popped out to Molina near the netting, it looking like Carlos would escape with no damage. But Lonnie Chisenhall blooped an RBI single to short CF, and Jason Kipnis followed with an RBI single to RF before Carlos could finally strike out Gomes and escape the 31-pitch inning. 2-0 Cleveland.

Matt Carpenter quickly got 1 of those back. Kluber tried to sneak a curveball down-and-in to the Cardinals third baseman, but let it catch too much of the plate. Carpenter put it an inch over the RF wall, and Chisenhall just missed bringing it back in. Kluber settled back in to strike out Pham, surrender a single to Martinez, strike out Ozuna, and get Molina to fly out to Brantley in LCF. Kluber threw 19 pitches. 2-1 Cleveland.

2nd Inning

Carlos didn’t earn himself much of a strike zone with his rough 1st inning, so his 2nd took a little extra work. But nevertheless, he was able to strike out Naquin & Kluber swinging, and get Lindor to pop out to LF in a 12-pitch frame. He was at 43 total.

Then the unthinkable happened: the Cardinals got to Kluber. Munoz found himself in a 2-2 count and pushed a cutter on the outer half to RF for a lead off single. Bader followed by working a full count and drawing a walk, and Wong pulled a hard grounder off Alonso’s glove at 1B to load the bases. Carlos then got in on the action by lining a sac fly to CF to tie the game, and Carpenter worked a long PA and ended up hitting a sinking liner to RF for an RBI single. Then, after Pham lined out to CF, Jose Martinez delivered the fatal blow. He got his full body into an inside, 1-1 sinker and put it in the visitors’ bullpen for a 3-run blast to chase the Cleveland ace. Sam Otero relieved, and got Ozuna to ground out to 3B. 6-2 Cardinals.

3rd Inning

Carlos made the lead stand up, though he looked much more like he did in the 1st than the 2nd. Brantley greeted him with a single to CF, to where Ramirez flied out soon after. Trouble started brewing as Alonso lined a single just over Wong’s reach. Carlos then saw an 0-2 count to Chisenhall fritter away to 3-2, but he bore down and struck out the right-fielder, and then got Kipnis to fly out to LF. He was up to 67 pitches, however.

The Cardinals then got to Otero in the 3rd. After Yadi led off with a weak ground out to SS, Yairo Munoz went to work. The young SS worked a 2-2 count and then fouled a fastball right off his left ankle. After a long visit from the trainer, the visibly hobbled Munoz saw a ball and then fouled off 6 straight pitches before grounding out to SS on the 14th pitch of the at-bat. Harrison Bader then chopped an infield single over Otero’s head, and Kolten Wong followed with a blast into the Cardinals’ bullpen. Carlos then provided the 3rd and final ground out to SS to end the frame. 8-2 Cardinals.

4th Inning

Carlos rebounded to set down Cleveland in order in the 4th. He got Gomes to fly out to Pham in CF, Naquin to ground out to SS, and pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer to strike out swinging. He threw 8 pitches in the inning, and was at 75 total.

Josh Tomlin relieved Otero. Showing no mercy, Carpenter led off by somehow pulling a low-and-away fastball over the shift to RF for a single, and Tommy Pham reached safely when his harmless grounded scooted under Lindor’s glove for an error. After Jose struck out swinging, Ozuna grounded a single past Lindor to LF, and Yadi followed with a sac fly to LCF to keep the scoring streak alive. Garcia struck out to end the inning. 9-2 Cardinals.

5th Inning

Carlos had all-of-a-sudden found his stride. He struck out Lindor swinging, got Brantley to ground out to 2B, and got Ramirez to fly out to LF on his 88th pitch.

In their 5th try, Cleveland finally put up a zero. Tomlin got Bader to chop out to 2B (though Bader made it close,) Wong to pop out to LF on 1 pitch, and Carlos to ground out to 3B.

6th Inning

Carlos ended his evening on a high note. He got Alonso to pop out to 3B on the first pitch, and then after Chisenhall got another bloop single, Carlos struck out Kipnis swinging, and Gomes looking. He was at 103 pitches, and he was done.

The Cardinals tacked on another run in the 6th. Carpenter was the catalyst, leading off by working a full count against Tomlin and yanking a double into the RF corner. Then, after Pham & Ozuna grounded out to SS, Marcell Ozuna pulled a single to LF. Brantley booted the ball, allowing Carpenter to score, though the official scorer gifted Ozuna the RBI. Molina grounded out to SS to end the inning.

7th Inning

Brett Cecil relieved Carlos, and set the Cleveland offense down in order. He got Naquin to pop out to CF on the first pitch, pinch-hitter Erik Gonzalez to fly out to CF, and Lindor to ground out to SS, with the help of a great play by Greg Garcia in the hole.

Oliver Perez (yes, that Oliver Perez) relieved Tomlin. Featuring an occasional Johnny Cueto shimmy, he got Garcia to ground out to SS, before he walked Bader. But the veteran lefty was able to strike out Wong swinging, and pinch-hitter Francisco Pena looking to navigate the inning.

8th Inning

Greg Holland relieved Cecil. He continued his unlikely resurgence by getting Brantley to ground out to a perfectly positioned Garcia behind 2B, Ramirez to line out to RF, and Alonso the ground out off the 1B bag.

George Kontos relieved Perez. Matt Carpenter made him his latest victim, socking a 1-0, middle-middle fastball into the RCF bleachers. Kontos recovered to get Pham to ground out on a come-backer, Gyorko to strike out swinging, and Ozuna to pop a cookie out to 2B. 11-2 Cardinals.

9th Inning

Mike Mayers wrapped this one up. He got Chisenhall to flare out down the LF line, Kipnis to fly out to LF, and Gomes to strike out looking. Cardinals win 11-2.

Final Lines

Carlos Martinez: 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 0 HR, 8 K, 1 BB, 64 GSc, 103 pitches

Corey Kluber: 1.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, 2 HR, 2 K, 1 BB, 8 GSc, 48 pitches

Notes

  • Man it was good to see Martinez return to form, even if it came with the help of a Cleveland offense that had thrown in the towel.
  • Bader’s walk against Kluber in the 2nd was just the 13th Kluber had allowed this season.
  • Carpenter went 5-5 against 4 different pitchers, with Kluber being the dual entrant.
  • Carlos Martinez has a career 1.97 ERA in inter-league games (BAL, CLE, CWS, DET, HOU, KC x3, MIN x2, NYY x2, SEA, TBR, TEX, TOR x2.)

The Cardinals will look to complete the sweep tomorrow, sending Jack Flaherty to face Shane Bieber in a battle of outstanding rookies. Game starts at 7:15 CST, and can be viewed on FSMW.