Miles Mikolas is good. There. I said it.
He was exceptionally good today, taking care of what is admittedly a pretty weak Giants lineup. He threw 8 strikes and 0 balls to the Giants in the first inning in a 1-2-3 inning. He even struck out a guy. The Cardinals also went down 1-2-3 in the first inning. Matt Carpenter lined out. He had three hard hit outs in his 1-5 day today. The first inning quite literally lasted less than 10 minutes including commercial time.
Mikolas had a much more stressful 2nd inning, needing to throw 13 pitches this time. The horror. He got two groundouts and a strikeout. The Cardinals did not follow suit this time. With one out, Jedd Gyorko lined a single to start the rally. Yadier Molina hit an opposite field bloop hit to right field to put runners at 1st and 2nd. After Harrison Bader struck out, Yairo Munoz singled home Gyorko for a 1-0 lead.
Mikolas gave up his first flyout in the 3rd inning. But then he struck out the next two guys so we’ll call that inning a net positive overall. The Cardinals stranded two in the bottom of the inning. Jose Martinez hit an opposite field ground rule double with one out and Marcell Ozuna walked, but they were not driven in for a run.
In the top of the 4th, Mikolas’ perfect game was ruined by a routine popup that Munoz just... didn’t catch. It his glove, but for whatever reason, he didn’t catch it. He did get out of the inning with his no hitter in tact after four. The Cardinals added a second run in the 4th. Bader doubled to right with one out. With two outs, Mikolas (!) hit an opposite field single to score Bader.
In the 5th, the no hitter was broken by a leadoff double by Nick Hundley, but a strikeout and two popouts later, Hundley was still on 2nd base. The Cards struck out twice in a scoreless 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the frame. Mikolas responded with two strikeouts of his own in another scoreless 1-2-3 inning.
In the bottom of the 6th, the Cardinals made it a blowout. Ray Black walked Gyorko to begin the inning. Patrick Wisdom pinch ran for Gyorko and made it to third base on an opposite field single by Molina. Bader bunted his way on base as the ball made it to the charging first baseman. Wisdom’s slick slide into home plate made everyone safe. After Munoz singled home a 4th run, Mikolas advanced Munoz to 2nd to make it 2nd and 3rd with one out for Carpenter. Carpenter popped out to keep runners in place. Martinez doubled home both to make it 6-0 and he was driven in by a DeJong single to make it 7-0.
Mikolas was cruising through 6, but the 7th ended up being his last. Evan Longoria reached base on another routine play screwed up by Munoz. Two errors on the day for him. Then Brandon Crawford homered. 7-2 Cards. He got the next three hitters out, but Alen Hanson made him throw 11 pitches to get him for the last out, pretty much ensuring that he was done after 7. In the bottom of the inning, Wisdom walked, but Molina got into a double play ball. A Bader single and a Munoz strikeout ended the inning.
John Brebbia came in for the 8th and really? He’s arguably - depending on one’s opinion of Jordan Hicks I suppose - the second best reliever on the team. Geez that’s depressing. Why is he pitching in a 7-2 blowout? His usage this year in general has baffled me. ANYWAY, he had a scoreless inning with two hits allowed and a lone strikeout. To lead off the 8th was Edmundo Sosa making his major league debut. He walked on five pitches. Then Carpenter FINALLY homered. And Danny Mac called it literally right before the pitch.
Giovanny Gallegos made his Cardinal debut and looked pretty good! Hey maybe he’s now our second best reliever? Only kind of a joke. He struck out two in a scoreless inning with his only blemish being a double.
- Mikolas line: 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 Ks, BB, HR - He looked like he was going to throw a complete game - he had 68 pitches through 6 - but the Cardinals adding 5 runs and his 28 pitch inning in the 7th prevented it.
- Seriously, I think John Brebbia might actually be the second best reliever on the team. I do not have a lot of faith in this bullpen.
- I think the first inning was Rob Manfred’s wet dream. Sorry, sorry trying to delete.
- According to the broadcast, this is the first Cardinals sweep of the Giants since 1995 which seems like a really long time given how many good Cardinals teams there have been since then.
- Also, it is absolutely unfathomable to me that the Cards haven’t had a no hitter since Bud Smith. There have been 64 no hitters since he last threw one. The Cardinals have had a Cy Young winner, a player who has been a top 3 vote getter for the Cy Young FOUR times, and largely, good pitching staffs for most of the last decade. And yet. No no-hitters.
Tomorrow the Cardinals start a very, very, very important series with the Milwaukee Brewers. Jack Flaherty is pitching so hopefully the offense doesn’t continue to abandon him and we can win. The Cardinals face off against a bunch of pitchers as it will be a bullpen game. The Brewers bullpen is good so that doesn’t mean it will be an easy win.