Today's #STLCards lineup (9/12):— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 12, 2018
Cardinals were facing off today against Jameson Taillon, coming in rocking a 2.35 ERA over his last 7 games with 3 consecutive wins with 2 ER or less. In return, the Cardinals sent Danial Poncedeleon to the mound, whose 2.67 ERA this season looks pretty good, but also has an iceberg of a 4.86 xFIP underlying it.
In other news, Carson Kelly is not being held hostage anywhere and started the game for the injured Yadier Molina who (we hope) should be back sometime near the end of the homestand with the Dodgers this weekend? Fingers crossed on that. Yairo Munoz continues to play musical position chairs as he starts at SS, after having started at 2B/3B/RF/CF all in the last 11 games.
The Cards got on the board early, with Marcell Ozuna driving in a run in the first. But the Pirates answered back in the 2nd and 3rd inning with a run in each inning and tacked on another 2 in the 6th. Important question: what exactly is a “Jacob Stallings” and how did he drive in 3 times as many runs today as he has in the entirety of the rest of the year? (Apparently he is a 28 year old catcher called up with September call-ups.)
Cardinals had two on with no outs in the 8th, but only managed to add another run. In the 9th, they threatened again to tie with 2 on, 1 out, but couldn’t push across that extra run as Matt Carpenter and Paul DeJong struck out against Felipe Vazquez.
Cardinals lose 4-3, but at least with the two wins to start the series, they are guaranteed a winning season again this year.
Poncedeleon got his first hit of the year, a triple (!!) against Taillon.
Of the other three hits Taillon gave up, 2 were infield hits.
Cardinals are up 2 games in the WC race over the Dodgers, who coincidentally come to town tomorrow.
Mike Mayers had an inauspicious return from the DL, giving up the 2 runs in the 6th.