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Cards Come From Behind Again and Walk it Off Again with a 4-3 Win in Game 1

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MLB: Game One-Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Before today’s game the Cardinals added 8 players to the roster. You can get caught up on all the roster moves by checking out my article here. The Reds added 5 players too, and both squads have 17 pitchers. The Cards have an 8-man bench and the Reds have a 5-man bench for this doubleheader, with the Cards at 33 players on the roster and the Reds at 30.

After last night’s walkoff win in Game 2 of yesterday’s doubleheader, the Cards were looking to do it again. I talk about the Cardinals history of back-to-back doubleheaders in an article here. The Cards rested Dexter Fowler, Kolten Wong and Paul DeJong in this game, with Jose Martinez in RF batting 5th, Tommy Edman at 2B leading off and Yairo Munoz at SS batting 8th. Miles Mikolas took the hill for the Cardinals for the first game, and he did not pitch poorly, allowing only 4 hits in 6 IP, and did his usual job in not walking anyone. While he did give up a 2-run HR, the main issue at first in this game was that the Cards’ bats were silent, as they only had 2 hits through 6 innings and could not solve Reds’ starter Tyler Mahle.

But the Cards came back again in exciting fashion to pick up a walkoff win for the 2nd game in a row with some exciting plays along the way.

With 2 outs in the bottom of the 1st, Eugenio Suarez lined a center-cut fastball to left-center for a base hit, but was stranded there when Aristedes Aquino lined out right to Carpenter at 3rd. Reds’ starter Tyler Mahle struck both Tommy Edman and Matt Carpenter out and got Paul Goldschmidt to fly out to shallow left field to end the inning. To lead off the top of the 2nd, Tucker Barnhart torched a center-cut fastball that screamed off of his bat at over 95 mph right at Mikolas on the mound. Mikolas reflexively stuck his glove out and basically caught it in self-defense for the out.

After fouling a ball off of his own foot, Freddy Galvis drove a fly ball to the right-center field gap, with Bader shading him the other way a little bit. Bader raced over in a full sprint, dove and made the catch with full extension in an amazing play.

Nick Senzel grounded out to Yairo Munoz at short to end the inning.

After the first 2 Cards’ batters didn’t get the ball past the pitcher in the bottom of the 2nd, Yadier Molina poked an outside slider to right field for a 2-out base hit. With the count 2-2 on Harrison Bader, Mahle threw a split-finger fastball in the dirt that got away from the catcher for a wild pitch to move Molina to 2nd. On the 9th pitch of the plate appearance, Bader half-swung at a curveball and grounded it to Joey Votto at 1st base. Votto made an underhand toss to Mahle covering the bag, but Mahle dropped it and kicked it into foul territory on the first base side. Molina scored on the error to give the Cards a 1-0 lead, and Bader ended up at 2nd base. Munoz lined out to center to strand Bader there.

Jose Iglesias led off the top of the 3rd by sticking his bat out and blooping an outside slider to right for a base hit. The pitcher Mahle couldn’t get the sacrifice down and struck out on a foul bunt. Josh VanMeter lined a center-cut fastball that bounced off of the base of the wall near the right-center field bullpen for a double to move Iglesias to 3rd base. It was unclear if Martinez could have made that catch, but it appeared that he gave up on going back on it a little early to play the carom. After he made that decision, at least the defense kept the run from scoring right away. With the count 1-2 on Joey Votto, Mikolas threw an up-and-in fastball and a low-and-in slider, both of which looked like strikes on television and right on the corner, but both of them were called balls. Votto then lined a 3-2 slider to right, deep enough to score Iglesias from 3rd on a Sac Fly to tie the game 1-1. Suarez then drove a low fastball over the center field wall just past the outstretched glove of the leaping Bader for a 2-run HR to give the Reds a 3-1 lead. That was Suarez’s 40th HR of the year.

Aquino lined a ball to Munoz at short that he leaped for and caught for the 3rd out.

Tucker Barnhart struck out and Freddy Galvis flied out to center to start the top of the 4th. Galvis decided to take a shortcut to go back to his dugout and trotted right by Mikolas on the mound. Mikolas took offense and started chirping. Shildt got out of the dugout with both benches and bullpens emptying. Molina tried to escort Galvis back to the dugout and play stopped for several minutes.

With order restored, Senzel struck out to end the inning. After the first 2 Cardinal batters grounded out in the bottom of the 4th, Jose Martinez lined an up-and-away cutter to right for just the 2nd Cardinal base hit of the afternoon. Molina flew out to center to strand him there. Neither club got a baserunner in the 5th, with Mikolas striking out 1, and Mahle striking out 2.

Mikolas escaped the 6th by striking out Votto and inducing two long flies to the track in left by Suarez and Aquino, forcing Ozuna to make 2 catches at the wall. Mahle then retired the Cards in order for the 4th time in the bottom of the 6th. After 6 IP and 89 pitches, Mikolas was done for the afternoon, and Ryan Helsley came in to pitch the top of the 7th on 6 days of rest. After Barnhart flied out to center, Galvis flied a low 99 mph fastball to right-center just like the VanMeter fly ball in the top of the 3rd. It looked like Martinez was settling under it, but then all of a sudden it dropped and one-hopped the wall, with Galvis standing at 2nd with a double. It does not look like Martinez is seeing the ball well in right field, as he was in position plenty of time to just drift back and catch it. Helsley struck Senzel looking at a close 3-2 slider on the outside corner that could have been called a ball. Iglesias popped out to 2nd to end the inning.

With 1 out in the bottom of the 7th, Mahle hit J. Martinez on the left triceps area above the elbow with an inside fastball. Martinez ran out of the box holding his arm and threw his helmet in frustration. Mahle was done after 90 pitches, and the Reds brought righty Robert Stephenson in to pitch to Molina. Molina flied a slider to center field for the 2nd out. On the 2-2 pitch, J. Martinez actually stole second base, with the throw from Barnhart being short! Galvis almost caught it right by Martinez’s helmet. The pitch was also a curveball, which helped matters. Either way, it was an extremely unusual call that worked out when Bader softly lined a 3-2 center-cut fastball to left for a base hit to score Martinez and cut the Reds’ lead to 3-2.

Munoz flied out to right to end the inning.

Helsley retired the Reds in order in the top of the 8th with a strikeout of Votto to end it. Lefty Amir Garrett came out to pitch the bottom of the 8th. Dexter Fowler pinch hit for Helsley and worked a 3-2 walk to bring up the top of our order. Garrett tried to pick Fowler off of first base 3 different times. On the third try, he sailed the throw for an error into the stands in foul territory down the 1st base line. Fowler advanced to 2nd base. Fowler was only awarded one base because of Official Rule 5.06(b)(4)(H), which says the runner only gets one base if the pitcher throws it into the stands on a pickoff play. It would have been 2 bases if a different fielder had done it on a different play. Edman grounded a hanging slider through the hole for a base hit to move Fowler to 3rd base. After Paul DeJong was announced as a pinch-hitter for Matt Carpenter, the Reds countered with righty reliever Michael Lorenzen. DeJong flied out to medium center field, deep enough to score Fowler from 3rd base on the Sac Fly to tie the game 3-3.

On the 0-2 pitch to Goldschmidt, Edman raced for 2nd base. Lorenzen threw a slider in the dirt. Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart picked the ball out of the dirt and made a strong throw to 2nd base, with Edman just barely sliding under the tag with his left foot. The Reds challenged the call, perhaps arguing that Edman slipped off the base, but the call on the field was upheld. Goldschmidt sharply grounded a ball to the right side, but Galvis made a diving stop and threw Goldschmidt out from his knees. Edman moved to 3rd on the play With 2 out, Ozuna struck out badly on sliders to end the inning, with the last one in the dirt.

Carlos Martinez came out to pitch the top of the 9th. DeJong stayed in the game at SS with Munoz moving from SS to 3B. Martinez struck out the side, getting Suarez, Aquino and Barnhart on sliders.

In the bottom of the 9th, J. Martinez worked a 3-2 walk to lead off the inning. Tyler O’Neill ran for Cafecito. Molina drove a high-and-outside 97 mph fastball to the gap in right-center that bounced on the track and went over the wall for a ground rule double to move O’Neill to 3rd. If the ball had stayed in play, the game would have been over. With Bader at the plate, the Reds lined up in a defensive alignment with 5 men in the infield playing in. With Senzel trying to hold down the fort in the outfield in center, Bader skied a hanging slider to deep right field. Senzel raced over for it, but it dropped near the track for a walkoff base hit.

O’Neill scored the winning run and the Cards won the game 4-3 for their second walkoff win in a row. Let’s play 2. I’ll see you in a few hours.

Odds and Ends

Jake Woodford pitched today’s game for Memphis against Iowa, so he will not be taking the September 4th spot start that the Cardinals will need. The Redbirds lost 6-5 with Woodford allowing 5 runs in the first inning. He settled down after that to strike out 8 batters in 6 IP, but the damage was already done. Adolis Garcia hit a solo HR and John Nogowski hit a 2-run shot. Memphis scored 2 runs in the top of the 9th, but came up just short. The Memphis season ends tomorrow and they will not be going to the playoffs.