The Cardinals set out with a lot of questions to answer, and did their best to put those behind them. Matt Carpenter ambushed the first pitch he saw from Robbie Ray, and put in the RF corner for a leadoff double. Pham followed with a deep-count walk, and Tyler O’Neill singled to LF to load the bases. Ozuna struck out on a bad, low fastball called third strike, but Yadier Molina bailed him out by inside-outing an inside fastball to CF to score 2. Jedd Gyorko followed with another single to CF, which score O’Neill from 2B. Yairo Munoz then corked a double to the RF wall that scored Molina, but saw Gyorko cut down at the plate. Jedd looked safe to the eye of many, but no good replay angles appeared to be available. Wong grounded out to 1B to end the rally. The Cardinals made Ray throw 30 pitches in the inning. 4-0 Cardinals.
Carlos started without his control again, but was able to limit the damage. Jon Jay led off with a hot shot to 3B on which Gyorko was charged with a fielding error, and Goldschmidt & Lamb knocked a pair of singles to RF to put the Diamondbacks on the board. But Carlos was able get Pollock to fly out to CF, Peralta to strike out waving through a slider in the zone, and Descalso to pop out to 2B. Carlos threw 28 pitches of his own in the inning. 4-1 Cardinals.
The Cardinals looked like they might just have Ray’s number, as Carlos led off the 2nd with ground-rule double mashed to the swimming pool in RCF. But Ray was able to get Carpenter to chase a slider in the dirt, Pham to watch a perfect fastball down-and-in for another 3rd strike, and O’Neill to fly out to CF. Ray was up to 47 pitches, though.
Carlos found his slider in the 2nd. First, he got John Ryan Murphy to ground out to SS. Then he struck out Ahmed flinching at a sick, back-up slider, and concluded the inning by getting Ray to wave through another slider. Carlos was at 39 pitches.
3rd time’s a charm for Ray, as he finally set the Cardinals down in order. He got Ozuna to fly out easily to RF, and Yadi to pop out to SS to start the inning. Then, he left a fastball in the meat of the plate, which Gyorko torched, but right at CF A.J. Pollock for the final out. Ray’s quick inning put his pitch count at 56.
Carlos built on his strong 2nd inning in the 3rd. He struck out a helpless Jay, who oscillated through another slider, before Goldschmidt pulled one just past a diving Gyorko in the hole for a single. But Jake Lamb pulled a sharp grounder to Carpenter at 1B, who turned it into an impressive 3-6-1 double play. Carlos had thrown 51 pitches through 3.
Suddenly, Robbie Ray had set down 9 in a row. He struck out Munoz with a slider down, before getting Wong to roll over on another slider to 2B. He polished off the inning with a strike out of Carlos on his 70th pitch.
Carlos worked himself out of trouble again in the 4th. Though he got Pollock to chop out to 3B to start the inning, David Peralta got a hold of a first-pitch fastball and sent it to the wall in RCF for a triple. But Carlos was able to get Descalso to pop out softly to Gyorko on the infield, and then struck out Murphy, getting him to whiff on an outside, 98 mph fastball, his 60th pitch of the game.
The good news in the 5th is that the Cardinals broke up Ray’s batters-retired streak. The bad news is that despite Pham’s clean single to RF, Carpenter grounded out to SS, O’Neill got swing-happy and struck out hacking at a fastball up-and-in, and Ozuna struck out chasing another slider down. Ray was up to 87 pitches.
Carlos got himself in trouble again, and the Diamondbacks were able to chip away at the Cardinals’ lead because of it. He fell behind 3-0 to #8 hitter Nick Ahmed to start the inning and, after he fought back to 3-2, he dropped slider at the bottom of the zone that home plate ump Andy Fletcher called ball 4 instead of strike 3. Ray was left to bat for himself (remember this) and bunted Ahmed to 2B. So of course, after Jay grounded out to 3B, Paul Goldschmidt brought him home with an RBI single to RF. Carlos got Lamb to ground out to 2B, with the help of a wide-ranging Kolten Wong and fully-stretched Matt Carpenter. Carlos was still at just 76 pitches. 4-2 Cardinals.
Ray’s streak came to an abrupt halt in the 6th. Yadier Molina got a 1-1 slider to his liking at pulled it for a no-doubter to the 5th row of seats in LF. Then, Jedd Gyorko went with a 1-2, outside fastball and put in the Cardinals bullpen down the RF line, to chase Ray from the game. 6-2 Cardinals.
Andrew Chafin, another lefty, relieved Ray, and coaxed a trio of ground outs to the left side of the infield to escape the inning. He got Munoz to pull a ground out to SS, Wong to slap a grounder against the shift, but right to the lone infielder on the left side, and then got Carlos to also ground out to SS.
Carlos finished off his evening strongly. He got Pollock to chase a 95 mph fastball under his chin for strike 3, and then got Peralta to fly out to the track in CF. Daniel Descalso worked a full count and drew a walk, but Carlos struck out Murphy, again with a 98 mph fastball. He was up to 96 pitches, and his night was complete.
Chafin returned to strike out Carpenter to start the 7th, then yielded his place to Joey Krehbiel, who was making his major league debut. Stepping towards home like Greg Holland, the young righty shook off the jitters while walking Pham, and recovered to get O’Neill to pop out to 1B, and Ozuna to ground out to 3B.
Mike Mayers relieved Martinez. The flamethrowing righty got Ahmed to fly out to RF to start the inning. Then, after pinch-hitter Ketel Marte singled up the middle, Jay grounded another ball up the middle, which was converted into a 6-4-3 double play on a slick pair of plays by Munoz & Wong.
Krehbiel returned for a full inning encore. He got Yadi & Jedd (a package deal tonight) to ground out to SS, before Munoz beat him with a clean single to LF. But the rookie reliever was able to get Wong to fly out to LF to end the inning.
Greg Holland came in to pitch the 8th, and got touched up for the first time since he was recalled. Goldschmidt greeted him with a single to LF, and traded places at 1B when Lamb grounded into a 4-6 fielder’s choice, which Wong almost made a double play. Then, Pollock grounded a potential 6-4-3 double play, but Wong had to rush, and spiked the throw, which Carpenter couldn’t keep it in front and watched bounce into the Cards’ dugout. David Peralta brought him home with a bouncing RBI single to RF. Then, pinch-hitter Chris Owings launched a fly ball to LF, but it died in the middle of the warning track for the final out. 6-3 Cardinals.
Archie Bradley pitched a perfect 9th for the Diamondbacks. He got pinch-hitter Jose Martinez to fly out to RF, Carpenter to ground out softly to 2B, and Pham to fist a ball into the dirt and be retired by the catcher.
Bud Norris closed this one out. He got Murphy to fly out to RF on the first pitch, battled Ahmed for 7 pitches and struck him out swinging with a slider, and got Marte to ground out to SS. Cardinals win 6-3.
Carlos Martinez: 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 0 HR, 7 K, 2 BB, 61 GSc, 96 pitches
Robbie Ray: 5.0+ IP, 6 ER, 9 H, 2 HR, 7 K, 1 BB, 27 GSc, 94 pitches
- Jon Jay’s 1st inning single was originally ruled an E5, but was changed in the 3rd inning. That hit snapped an 0-28 streak.
- The Arizona Diamondbacks have 31 triples. The St. Louis Cardinals have 3 triples.
- Carlos had no idea where his change-up was going most of the game.
- Carpenter fouled a ball off his foot in the 8th, and was visibly hobbled.
- After being named NL Player of the Month, Paul Goldschmidt provided an encore by going 4-4, with a 2-out RBI.
- Throwing error aside, Kolten Wong is feeling it on the defensive side of the ball. I’m begging (begging) for his bat to come around.
- Jim Edmonds talked at length about how some players don’t like to work out during the season, but how much better he felt when he did. It was a lesson taught to him by Scott Rolen. “You’re trying to get that old, bad blood out out your legs. Those (pitchers,) when they run the next day - they’re trying to get blood out of their arms.” Like it’s motor oil.
The Cardinals will look to clinch the series tomorrow, sending Jack Flaherty up against Zack Greinke, in a second-straight fire emojis match-up. The game starts at 8:40 CST, and can be viewed on FSMW and MLB Network, if out of market.