Luis Castillo started the game off trying for an immaculate inning. But after he struck out Carpenter and Pham on 6 pitches, Jose Martinez worked a 2-2 count and launched his 4th home run in his last 3 games, to RCF. Then, Marcell Ozuna launched a titanic shot off the concourse in LCF. It was demolished. Yadier Molina also got a hold of a Castillo offering, but his hard-hit comebacker resulted in a 1-3 putout (though it did knock Castillo’s glove off his hand. Castillo threw 20 pitches.
Michael Wacha had a similar start, striking out Schebler on 3 pitches, and Barnhart on 6, before surrendering a bomb to Joey Votto that one-hopped the wall in RCF for a double. But Wacha busted Gennett inside, and got the Reds’ second baseman to strike out swinging. He threw 14 pitches.
Castillo rebounded in the 2nd. He got Gyorko to pop out to medium CF, before striking out Fowler looking at a change up that backed into the zone, and Munoz with another that dropped off the table. He was now at 33 pitches.
Wacha kept rolling. He got Suarez to fly out to CF, and struck out Winker swinging with a fastball. After he lost Duvall to a BB, he got Peraza to line out to RF. He was up to 29 pitches.
The Cardinals tacked on in the 3rd. Wacha battled Castillo and earned himself a 9-pitch walk, Carpenter followed with a single to RF and, after Pham struck out again, Martinez drew another walk to load the bases and bring out the Reds’ pitching coach. Castillo then got Ozuna to pop out to 1B, but Yadier Molina ambushed a first-pitch fastball and scorched a bases-clearing double to the wall in CF. Gyorko struck out on Castillo’s 63rd pitch, but the damage was already done. 5-0 Cardinals.
Wacha repaid his counterpart in kind with a lead off walk in the 3rd, but he recovered to get Schebler to roll into a 4-6 fielder’s choice, Barnhart to pop out to LF, and Votto to tap out to 2B on a check swing. Wacha was at 44 pitches.
Castillo got a much-needed quick 4th inning. He struck out Fowler on 3 pitches, got Munoz to line out to RF, and Wacha to tap out to 2B. He had thrown 74 pitches.
Wacha started making mistakes in the 4th. Leaving everything up, he was punished by Gennett, who tomahawked a single up the middle, and Eugenio Suarez, who launched a cutter into the upper deck in LCF. While searching for his feel, Wacha got Winker to line out to RF, surrendered a double to LCF by Duvall, got Peraza to bloop out to RF, and Castillo to strike out swinging. The tough inning saw Wacha’s pitch count up to 65. 5-2 Cardinals.
Castillo kept his turn-around going. He got Carpenter to flare out to shallow LF after a long battle, got Pham to fly out to CF, and Martinez to strike out swinging. He was up to 91 pitches.
Wacha bounced back from his rough inning by setting down the top of the line up in order. He got Schebler to ground out to 2B, Barnhart to line out to 1B, and Votto to strike out on a foul tip into Molina’s glove. Wacha found himself at 79 pitches.
Castillo ended on a high note. He got Ozuna to ground out to SS, walked Molina, and then struck out Gyorko and Fowler. He was up to 110 pitches, and his afternoon was through.
The Reds finally got Wacha’s pitch count up to its terminal limit in the 6th. He got Gennett to fly out to RF, but walked Suarez so that when he jammed Winker and got him to fly out to LCF, he was removed from the game. Mike Mayers relieved him, and got Duvall to ground out to SS with 1 pitch.
Austin Brice relieved Castillo. The side-arming righty looked to have the inning in hand, getting Munoz and Bader to quickly ground out to SS, but Carpenter battled him to a full count and popped a thunderous HR to RF. Then Pham singled up the middle and stole 2B, but Ozuna’s frozen rope to CF was directed right at Scott Schebler, who made a rather awkward, but successful, catch. 6-2 Cardinals.
Mayers returned to try to eat some innings, but was unable. Jose Peraza greeted him with a double to LF and, after PH Brandon Dixon struck out, Scott Schebler doubled down the RF line. After Mayers got Barnhart to pop out to LF, he was removed in favor of Austin Gomber. The strangely wild lefty walked Votto, but got Gennett to pop out to CF. 6-3 Cardinals.
The Reds tried to get some extra outs from Brice, but Yadi’s lead off single up the middle used up the last of the leash they had on him. David Hernandez relieved him and got Gyorko to fly out to the RF track, walked PH Greg Garcia, then got Munoz to fly out to RF, and Bader to ground out to SS.
Sam Tuivailala relieved Gomber. He promptly got Suarez to ground out to SS, but then served up a mammoth home run to RCF by Jesse Winker. Curt Casali and Jose Peraza followed with singles up the middle, and Dixon connected for a deep fly ball to RF, but Harrison Bader made an impressive catch on the warning track. Then, Shebler hit a comebacker to Tuivailala. It took Sam a second to get to the ball, and his throw to 1B seemed to take Carpenter off the bag, but the ump called Schebler out. While the Reds challenged the play, Matheny made a point to argue that Schebler had veered out of the basepath to obscure Carpenter’s vision. Replay was unable to overturn. 6-4 Cardinals.
Hernandez remained in for the 9th. He struck out Carpenter looking, then got Pham to ground out to SS, and Wong to pop out to RF.
Jordan Hicks closed this one out. He struck out Blandino looking at a fastball, deigned to allowed a opposite-fiend single to Votto, then struck out Gennett swinging through a slider, and struck out Suarez swinging through a low, 100mph fastball. Cardinals win 6-4.
Michael Wacha: 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 6 K, 3 BB, 54 GSc, 96 pitches.
Luis Castillo: 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 H, 10 K, 3 BB, 45 GSc, 110 pitches.
- The Cardinals aren’t even halfway done with their slate of games against the Reds this season. 10 games to go still.
- The 1993 Atlanta Braves went 13-0 against the Rockies. They won 104 games. I know you were wondering.
- It’s crazy that Castillo ended up going further into this game than Wacha did.
- Castillo recorded 8 outs on balls in play, against 10 strike outs.
- Though he did not get one today, the Reds’ broadcast noted that Greg Garcia has 30 career pinch hits, 11th all-time in Cardinals history. I was shocked.
- There was a bit of confusion in the 9th, when Yadi couldn’t corral a 101mph fastball in the zone by Jordan Hicks, and it caught the umpire on his wrist. While Jerry Davis was hobbling around, the scoreboard showed the pitch was called a ball. When Davis announced the count was 0-1, not 1-0, Votto and Riggleman objected. Davis told them to go away, his wrist hurt.
- Jordan Hicks is on pace to throw over 86 innings this season. Only 3 Cardinal relievers have eclipsed 80 innings since 2000: Dave Veres in 2002, Ryan Franklin in 2007, and Seth Maness in 2014.
The key to Michael Wacha's success this year has been consistent mechanics. His release point is closer on all his pitches than it has been at any point in his career. Keeps his change great, makes his cutter finally good. https://t.co/5M7UYjF9i3 pic.twitter.com/VGa5NBM6BG— Craig Edwards (@craigjedwards) June 9, 2018
The Cardinals look to complete the sweep tomorrow, sending Carlos Martinez up against Anthony DeSclafani. Game starts at 12:10 CST, and can be viewed on FSMW.