Tonight featured Dakota Hudson vs. Ross Stripling. Hudson had 5 days rest since Shildt decided to skip his last start and pitch the youngster in the bullpen. The Cards were fortunate tonight in many ways, including pitching around 7 unintentional walks, but relied on doubled from Molina and DeJong and 7 key strikeouts from the bullpen. And if you only watch 1 play of the game, watch the Ozuna play. I describe it below, but only VEB user countrystuff can do it true justice. Please read the game thread, and look for the green about 75% of the way down the page. You won't regret it.
With 1 out in the top of the 1st, Turner sharply grounded a 3-2 fastball up the middle for a base hit. Hudson threw a 1-2 slider in the dirt to Bellinger. It bounced off Yadi’s chest protector and got away for a wild pitch to move Turner to 2nd. Bellinger lined a 3-2 slider to right for a base hit to put runners at the corners. But Hudson struck out Pollock and Muncy back-to-back on sliders to end the inning. The Cards started a little 2-out rally in their half of the 1st as DeJong worked the count to line a 3-2 double down the left field line and Ozuna walked. Yadi drove a ball to the track in left that one-hopped the fence to clear the bases and give the Cards a 2-0 lead. But the Dodgers challenge took a run off the board, as the replay showed the ball hit the Central Bank sign in left on the bounce, which is considered over the fence and out of play under the Busch Stadium ground rules. If the ball had hit that sign on the fly, it would have been a home run. So instead, Yadi got a ground rule double, Ozuna was ordered returned to 3rd base and the lead was only 1-0. Fowler grounded out to 1st to end the inning.
In the 3rd, Hudson got into to a jam after striking out the pitcher Ross Stripling by issuing back-to-back walks to Joc Pederson and Justin Turner to bring Cody Bellinger to the plate. Bellinger just walloped a 2-1 center cut fastball up the middle past Hudson’s head, but DeJong was positioned perfectly, dove for the catch and stepped on the bag to double off Pederson for an inning-ending double play. The Cards had a chance for some insurance in their half of the 3rd. Carpenter worked an 8-pitch walk. Goldschmidt grounded into a 5-4 force, and DeJong walked on 4 pitches. After Ozuna flew out to left, Yadi ripped a hanging up-and-in changeup down the left field line and into the corner for a double. Goldschmidt scored easily and DeJong scored as well, just beating the tag at home. The Cards led 3-0, with Molina providing all the RBIs.
With 1 out in the 4th, the lefty Muncy popped one to the 3rd base area, but there was no one there, as the Cards were lined up into an extreme shift with Carpenter basically playing shortstop right by the bag. After that ball dropped for a hit, Enrique Hernandez grounded a ball through the hole for a base hit with Carpenter guarding the 3rd base line. Taylor grounded a ball to Wong, who had to run to his left to get it. He spun around, bobbled it and couldn’t get it out of his glove in time for the double play, but he did get the out at 1st. With runners and 2nd and 3rd and 1st base open, the Cards walked Austin Barnes intentionally to bring up the pitcher Ross Stripling and Hudson struck him out to strand the bases loaded.
With 2 out in the 5th, Bellinger laced a 3-1 curveball down the right field line and into the corner for a double. Hudson had Pollock in the hole 0-2, but Pollock worked the count to 3-2, and on the 8th pitch, softly grounded a ball to 3rd for Carpenter. Carpenter took his eyes off the ball, lifted his glove too early preparing for the throw, and the ball snuck under his glove. The scorer ruled it a hit, apparently reasoning that Pollock would have beat out any throw to 1st. But the scorer also gave Carpenter an error on the play, concluding that Bellinger would not have been able to reach 3rd base had Carpenter not misplayed it. This play put runners at the corners for Muncy, who walked to load the bases for Enrique Hernandez. With Hudson laboring and having thrown 100 pitches, Shildt brought in Brebbia from the pen after the righty Hernandez was announced. Brebbia blew a 1-2 fastball by Hernandez for the strikeout, and the Dodgers stranded the bases loaded for the 2nd straight inning.
Goldschmidt got us an insurance run in the bottom of the 5th with 1 out when he skied an 0-2 high fastball over the left field wall to extend our lead to 4-0. DeJong hit a 3-2 fastball for his 2nd double of the day off the right-center field wall, but he was stranded at 3rd following ground balls to short by Ozuna and Molina. Brebbia issued a leadoff walk to Taylor to start the 6th, but struck out Barnes, got the lefty pinch hitter Verdugo to pop to 3rd and struck out Pederson to end the inning. The lefty Caleb Ferguson came out to pitch the 6th for the Dodgers and gave up a leadoff bloop hit to Fowler, but struck out Wong and Bader and got the pinch hitter Jose Martinez to fly to right.
Despite Gant throwing 2 IP last night, Shildt brought him out to pitch the 7th and face the 2-3-4 spots in the Dodger order. He walked Turner on 4 pitches with 3 of the 5 pitches too high. Gant got away with some pitches over the plate, but the super hero got Bellinger to pop to 2nd and struck out Pollock and Muncy back-to-back to end the inning. After Ferguson got Carpenter to line sharply to first, the Dodgers brought in the righty JT Chargois, who was recalled from AAA today to replace yesterday’s injured starter Ryu on the roster, to pitch to Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt lined out to deep right-center. DeJong walked and stole second with 2 outs, but Ozuna was way out in front on sliders and struck out to strand the runner.
Mayers came out to pitch the 8th for the Cards and we were treated to a bizarre occurrence on the 3-2 pitch to Hernandez. You would have to see it to believe it. Hernandez skied a slider to the track in left-center by the bullpen. Ozuna thought that he was going to try to rob a home run and he prematurely scaled the wall. But at the last second, he realized the ball was going to be short, descaled the wall, tripped, and the ball went by him on a bounce over the wall for a ground rule double. He was down for a while, and the trainers came out along with Shildt, but he stayed in the game. Ozuna got back to the wall in plenty of time to camp under the ball and just catch it normally. In any case, Taylor worked the count to 3-2 and walked to put runners at 1st and 2nd with nobody out. Barnes flied out to center, and after the Dodgers announced lefty Corey Seager as a pinch hitter for the pitcher Chargois, Shildt brought in Miller out of the bullpen. Miller struck Seager out on a slider, and was left in the game to face David Freese, who pinch hit for Joc Pederson. Freese softly lined to short to end the inning.
Righty Yimi Garcia retired the 1st 2 batters in the bottom of the 8th, but hit Wong with 2 out. Bader tried to bunt for a hit. Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes fielded the ball, but his throw pulled 1B Max Muncy off the bag, and the runners were at 1st and 2nd. The scorer ruled it a throwing error on Barnes, thinking that a perfect throw would have had Bader at 1st. O’Neill pinch hit for Miller and struck out on a slider, and it was up to Leone to finish the Dodgers off in the 9th. Leone walked Bellinger after striking Turner out, but ended the game by getting Pollock to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. The Cards win their 2nd straight despite getting outhit 7-6.
Odds and Ends: The Cardinals won today despite being outhit 7-6. But we are not going to get away with 8 walks forever...Paul Goldschmidt has 8 hits and is batting .195, but 6 out of the 8 are HRs. That percentage is second highest in baseball behind only Mariner Jay Bruce, who has 7 HR out of his 9 hits...Anthony Reyes went walk, double play, walk, before he was pulled yesterday afternoon from Memphis's game after 21 pitches and only 10 strikes. Looks like he still has to work on his control...Yairo Munoz has been playing the outfield and went 3-5 with a HR, but Cards spring NRI Hunter Cervenka spoiled it by giving up a 2-run walkoff single and the Redbirds lost 6-5 to San Antonio...Look for a transaction analysis from me on Thursday on Munoz and the taxi squad...The Royals returned Rule 5 draft pick RHP Chris Ellis to the Cardinals for a $50,000 payment (half of the Rule 5 draft price). We do not have to add him to the 40-man roster, and his minor league assignment has yet to be determined...Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw pitched a rehab start against AA Springfield tonight. He threw 6 IP and gave up 5 hits. Kramer Robertson and Dylan Carlson hit solo HRs off of him in the 6th. Evan Mendoza, Scott Hurst and Irving Lopez hit singles. Kershaw left the game prepared to take the loss, but the Springfield Cards also blew the game in the 9th, as recently promoted 40-man roster player Merandy Gonzales took the loss and blown save...Luke Gregerson pitched 1 IP with 1 SO in a rehab start for Palm Beach...Peoria destroyed Wisconsin 9-0 behind 8 IP from starter Tommy Parsons...The Pirates and Cubs are playing a series against each other but had the day off today, which gives the Cubs more time to decide who to recall when they place LHP Jon Lester on the IL...The Reds beat the Marlins 14-0 behind 5 HR, and scored more runs today than they did in 6 out of their last 7 games combined.