It’s August, you guys. The baseball season is simultaneously heating up and winding down. For teams in the hunt (....probably not the Cardinals), every game takes on more relevance and urgency. For teams that hover weakly around .500, not having the decency to either just take the knife out or twist it in a little further (this would be the Cardinals), the season seems to be spiraling slowly and methodically toward the offseason.
How did tonight’s plodding march to October irrelevance go? Pretty well, actually!
Need a win. Let's get a win!— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 1, 2018
⏰ 7:15 PM CT
@FSMidwest, @MLBTV, @YouTubeTV
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Luke Weaver got off to an middling start, giving up 3 baserunners (but no runs) over his first 2 innings. And because Luke Weaver with runners on moves approximately at the pace of a 28.8k modem on tranquilizers, it felt like eternity. Then the third inning happened and we got to see a rare and beautiful bird: a pitcher lifted early in the game before too much damage could be done. After a Trevor Story single and a Gerardo Parro double combined to score two for the Rockies, Weaver was pulled with two outs in favor of Daniel Poncedeleon.
In the bottom of the third, the Cardinals would wrench of one those runs back against opposing starter Kyle Freeland. With Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina on base, Paul DeJong singled to bring home Carpenter. However, the Cardinals were unable to capitalize with 2 on and 1 out, bringing the inning to a close with just the single run.
In the fourth, Ricky Horton started rambling about numbers not telling the story and productive outs and how the runners on base influence home run hitting, and my eyes kind of glazed over and I zoned out. When I returned to consciousness, the Cardinals had tied the game, and I am led to believe that Poncedeleon helped his own cause by putting the ball into play for an RBI with Harrison Bader and Yairo Munoz on second and third.
In the sixth inning, Harrison Bader was fast. You can quibble about other aspects of Bader’s game and the long-term viability of said game, but the kid can RUN. Bader hit a double...zoooooom. Tyler O’Neill hit a single; Harrison Bader scored...zooooooom. But again, the Cardinals were unable to score further, stranding another 2 runners.
In the seventh, I glance at the clock and it’s TEN TWENTY PM. This game feels like it is stuck on a loading screen. The crowd seems a little less listless than I would expect, considering that this game started near the beginning of the First Boer War. This is the approximation of how I feel:
JOE BUCK: Welcome to the top of the 47th— Justin Klugh (@justin_klugh) October 28, 2015
[Sun keeps getting bigger]
[World engulfed by flames]
BUCK: oh god yes
With Jordan Hicks entering the game in the eighth, the Cardinals pitched 4 consecutive rookies (Poncedeleon, Austin Gomber, Dakota Hudson, Hicks). Poncedeleon is the grizzled old man of the group, clocking in at just a bit younger than the youngest kid on Malcolm in the Middle. Hicks would allow a couple baserunners but preserve the one run lead.
Bader was fast again in the 8th, legging out an infield single and stealing a base. After a Matt Carpenter walk, Yadier Molina added insurance runs for the Cardinals by doubling into center. A Marcell Ozuna single would bring home Molina, increasing the Cardinals lead to 6-2.
As we passed 11:00, the game mercifully finally lumbered into the 9th inning. With a four run lead, Bud Norris was unnecessary, so Mike Mayers was tapped to pitch. Despite a walk to Unfrozen Caveman Centerfielder Charlie Blackmon and a deep double by Nolan Arenado, Mayers would finish things out for a win 6-3.
Cardinals finish the series against the Rockies with a day game tomorrow.