About the only positive things you can say about this game are first, that Dexter Fowler hit a home run on Jackie Robinson Day, and second that the Cards did not have to play a doubleheader. Starter Daniel Ponce de Leon continued to struggle to throw strikes, and got knocked out of the game after 41 pitches and only two outs. The club will have to rethink his spot in the rotation. The Indians outhit the Cards 20-6 and it could have been worse, because they left 12 men on base. Cardinal hurlers threw 234 pitches, which included 8 from a position player, and you can expect to see Ryan Meisinger and perhaps even Rob Kaminsky recalled tomorrow from the Alternate Training Site to provide some relief help.
Cesar Hernandez led off the game by popping a high 2-1 fastball to 3rd. After Jose Ramirez walked on 5 pitches, Francisco Lindor smoked a 3-2 hanging curve past Wong at 2nd for a base hit. Ramirez, who was running with the pitch, advanced to 3rd on the play. With Carlos Santana at the plate, Lindor tried to steal second on the 1-1 pitch. It was a curveball, and Lindor would have been safe even if Yadier Molina’s throw had not sailed to the right and gone into centerfield for a throwing error. Ramirez scored to give the Indians a 1-0 lead and Lindor went to 3rd base on the play, which was scored stolen base, E2. After Santana worked a 3-2 walk to put runners on the corners, Franmil Reyes drove a high-and-outside fastball over the right-center field wall for a 3-run HR to extend the Indians’ lead to 4-0.
Tyler Naquin grounded a low-and-in 2-1 cutter to Goldschmidt, who knocked it down for the 3-1 flip. Jordan Luplow worked a 3-2 walk after being behind in the count 0-2. Roberto Perez also walked on 5 pitches, and Ponce’s night was over after 41 pitches, only 17 of which were strikes. Jake Woodford came in to pitch after 3 days of rest and struck Delino DeShields out swinging at a 1-2 center-cut 94 mph fastball to get out of a half-inning that took about 25 minutes. Kolten Wong sliced a 2-2 fastball to left-center to lead off the bottom of the 1st, but DeShields raced forward and made a diving grab for the out. Paul DeJong chased a high-and-outside 1-1 fastball, but sharply grounded it up the middle for a base hit. Paul Goldschmidt lined a low-and-away fastball to right-center, but DeShields jogged over to catch it. Brad Miller grounded an 0-1 center-cut fastball up the middle for a base hit to move Goldschmidt to 2nd. But the runners were stranded when Carpenter flied a low-3-2 fastball to left to end the 1st inning, which took almost a total of 40 minutes.
Hernandez sliced an 0-2 middle-away fastball down the 3rd base line for a base hit to lead off the top of the 2nd. Ramirez fouled off several tough pitches, then lined a high-and-outside fastball to right for a base hit to move Hernandez to 3rd. The next play was like a scene from the Bad News Bears. Lindor grounded a first-pitch low curve to Goldschmidt, who fired to the plate. Hernandez was supposed to stay in a run down long enough for Ramirez to get to 3rd. Hernandez didn’t run hard back to 3rd base, and instead just jogged back far enough for Molina to tag him out. By that point, Ramirez was almost all the way to 3rd base, so Molina started running down that base line to run him back to 2nd base. By this point, no Cardinal defender appeared to be covering any base at all, and Lindor was three-fourths of the way to 2nd base himself, with Wong between 1st and 2nd base. Instead of going all the way back to 2nd base, Ramirez just hesitated off the base, allowing Dylan Carlson to sneak in from center field to cover 2nd. Molina quickly flipped to Carlson to throw Ramirez out at 2nd. So what we had here was your basic fielder’s choice and 3-2-8 double play. According to the postgame show, that was the first 3-2-8 double play since 1961.
Not every day you see the centerfielder covering second base for the double play. Dylan Carlson = a threat on both sides of the ball. #STLCards— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) August 29, 2020
Stream: FSGO - https://t.co/Wtb1XFCuDM pic.twitter.com/DXjimeslJO
After all that, there was 2 out with Lindor remaining at 1st base. Woodford’s 1-1 pitch to Santana was a high curve that slipped out of his hands and was too high for Molina to grab, with the ball sneaking behind him. Lindor advanced to 2nd on the wild pitch. Molina’s throw made the play close, but DeJong wasn’t able to get the swipe tag in time. Santana then drove an up-and-in 3-over the right field wall inside the foul pole for a 2-run HR to extend the Indians’ lead to 6-0.
Reyes grounded a first-pitch handing slider to short to end the inning.
Molina flied a high-and-outside 2-1 fastball to shallow center to lead off the bottom of the 2nd. After Tyler O’Neill worked a 3-2 walk, Dexter Fowler drove an 0-2 up-and-in fastball into the bullpen in right-center for a 2-run HR to cut the Indians’ lead to 6-2. In light of recent events and it being Jackie Robinson Day, this must have been a very special moment for Mr. Fowler.
Dylan Carlson struck out after failing to check his swing on a low-and-away changeup. Wong grounded a 2-2 low-and-away change to 2nd to end the inning. Naquin struck out swinging at a tailing outside 2-2 fastball to lead off the top of the 3rd. Luplow tapped an outside 2-2 fastball to left of the mound for Woodford for the 2nd out. Perez lined an outside 2-1 fastball for a base hit to center. DeShields grounded a low-and-away 3-2 fastball back to the mound. Woodford tried to make a behind-the-back stop with his glove hand, knocked the ball down in front of him and fired to first, but DeShields beat out the throw to 1st base for a base hit to move Perez to 2nd. But both runners were stranded, as Hernandez flied a hanging 2-2 slider to right to end the inning. DeJong popped a high 2-0 fastball to short to lead off the bottom of the 3rd. After Goldschmidt worked a 3-2 walk, Brad Miller popped a 1-1 inside fastball to short and Carpenter flied an 0-1 center-cut fastball to center to end the inning.
Ramirez struck out swinging at a 2-2 hanging backdoor slider to lead off the top of the 4th. Lindor flied an outside curve to left. And Santana grounded a first-pitch inside fastball to 2nd to end the inning. Molina worked a 3-2 walk to lead off the bottom of the 4th, despite starting out behind in the count 0-2. O’Neill struck out swinging at an outside 1-2 slider. Fowler tapped an outside 1-2 change back to the mound for the 1-6 force. Fowler beat Lindor’s return throw to 1st base. Carlson struck out swinging at a high 3-2 fastball to end the inning. The 3-1 pitch was a fastball that looked like it was outside by a few inches but called a strike anyway.
Junior Fernandez came out to pitch the top of the 5th. Reyes grounded an inside 0-1 change down the 3rd base line and into the left field corner for a double. Naquin smoked a hanging 1-0 change off the screen then the foul pole in right for a 2-run HR to extend the Indians’ lead to 8-2.
Luplow popped a first-pitch inside fastball foul to Molina for the 1st out of the inning. Perez lined an 0-2 hanging slider to left-center for a base hit. Carlson raced over to cut it off. Perez decided try for 2nd, but Carlson fired an accurate throw and Wong slapped the tag down quick for the out.
Did the Indians not read our tweet from earlier? We said Carlson is a threat on BOTH sides of the ball. An outfield assist for the Cardinals CF. #STLCards— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) August 29, 2020
Stream: FSGO - https://t.co/Wtb1XFCuDM pic.twitter.com/qHt2T4zDQq
DeShields lined a first-pitch center-cut fastball to right for a base hit. Hernandez struck out swinging at a 3-2 changeup low and out of the zone to end the inning. Righty Cam Hill came on in relief of Indians’ starter Triston McKenzie in the bottom of the 5th after McKenzie had thrown 84 pitches. Wong smoked a 3-2 fastball grounder towards 1st, but Santana fell down with the backhand play and flipped to the pitcher for the out. DeJong grounded a 3-2 center-cut fastball right off of the 3rd base bag and into shallow left for a base hit. Goldschmidt popped a high 0-1 fastball foul behind home plate. The catcher Perez lost it in the air, so the first baseman Santana raced in and called for it, but he overran it and the ball dropped. Santana was charged with an E3 for not catching the popup. It turned out not to matter, however, because Goldschmidt grounded a 3-2 inside slider to short for the 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
The Cards made some defensive substitutions to start the top of the 6th. Max Schrock came into the game in the #6 spot to play 3B, with Carpenter moving from 3B to 1B and Goldschmidt leaving the game. Andrew Knizner also replaced Molina at catcher in the #3 spot. Ramirez walked on 5 pitches. Lindor drove a 2-2 low-and-in fastball off of the base of the wall in right for a double to move Ramirez to 3rd. Santana worked a 3-2 walk during a 9-pitch plate appearance to load the bases with nobody out. Reyes drove a low-and-in 3-1 fastball up the middle for a base hit to score both Ramirez and Lindor to give the Indians a 10-2 lead and move Santana to 2nd. Fernandez had thrown 39 pitches and obviously had nothing left, so Shildt brought in Ricardo Sanchez to pitch. It was as good a time as any to bring a pitcher on 8 days of rest to soak up some innings. Harrison Bader also came into the game in the #8 spot to play CF, with Carlson moving from CF to RF. Naquin struck out swinging at a 2-2 elevated 92 mph fastball. Luplow popped a center-cut 2-1 fastball to Carpenter in foul territory. Perez lined an up-and-in 0-2 fastball to center for a base hit to score Santana to extend the Indians’ lead to 11-2 and move Reyes to 2nd. DeShields lined an inside first-pitch fastball down the 3rd base line and off the sidewall for a double to score Reyes, extend the Indians’ lead to 12-2 and move Perez to 3rd. Hernandez lined a center-cut 1-0 fastball to right to end the inning.
The Indians made some also made some defensive substitutions for the bottom of the 6th. Mike Freeman replaced Cesar Hernandez at 2B in the #1 spot and Yu Chang replaced Francisco Lindor in the #3 spot to play SS. Righty Adam Plutko came out to pitch. After Brad Miller walked on 5 pitches, Carpenter lined an inside 2-1 fastball to Freeman at 2B. He caught the ball and then appeared to try to drop it on purpose, but the umpires weren’t fooled. Schrock popped a 2-2 hanging slider to short. O’Neill popped a first-pitch center-cut fastball to 2nd to end the inning. To lead off the top of the 7th, Ramirez grounded a 3-1 low-and-in fastball just inside the 3rd base line and off of the sidewall for a double. Sanchez flinched and shifted his weight before getting into the set position, and was called for a balk that moved Ramirez to 3rd base. Chang grounded a 2-2 inside fastball for the first out. Ramirez scored to give the Indians a 13-2 lead. After Santana worked a 3-2 walk, Sandy Leon pinch hit for Reyes and lined a 2-1 center-cut fastball to center for a base hit to move Santana to 2nd. Sanchez then hit Naquin on the right hand with a 1-2 fastball to load the bases. Luplow flied a middle-in fastball to center, deep enough to score Santana from 3rd on the Sac Fly to extend the Indians’ lead to 14-2. Perez chopped an inside 2-2 slider down the 3rd base line, but Schrock charged and made a nice throw across his body to end the inning.
Bader grounded an outside 3-2 fastball to short to lead off the bottom of the 7th. Carlson struck out swinging at an elevated 91 mph 2-2 fastball. Wong flied a 1-1 low-and-in curve to the track in right-center to end the inning. Tyler Webb came out to pitch the top of the 8th. DeShields flied an 0-1 center-cut fastball to Bader at the track. Freeman half-swung at a 2-2 low-and-away curve and grounded it to the hole at short. DeJong stretched and got a glove on it but couldn’t come up with it, and Freeman had a base hit. Ramirez sharply grounded a 3-2 inside fastball up the middle. DeJong fielded the ball and made a back-hand flip to Wong for the 6-4 force. Chang lined a 3-2 inside fastball to left for a base hit to move Ramirez to 2nd. Santana grounded a low-and-away 2-0 fastball through the right side for a base hit to load the bases. The third base coach held up Ramirez, who probably could have scored on the play. Leon grounded a center-cut 3-2 fastball to short to end the inning.
DeJong lined a 2-2 hanging slider to left-center for a base hit to lead off the bottom of the 8th. Knizner grounded a 1-2 low-and-away slider to short for the 6-4-3 double play. With 2 out, Brad Miller ripped an inside 3-2 fastball to right that one-hopped the wall for a double. After Carpenter worked a 3-2 walk, Schrock sliced a low-and-in 1-1 fastball to shallow left, where Luplow made a basket catch running in. For the top of the 9th, Schrock moved from 3B to pitcher and Brad Miller went to 3rd base, with the club forfeiting the DH. Naquin flied an 0-1 69 mph center-cut fastball to center. Luplow popped a 1-0 up-and-in 71 mph fastball to Knizner in foul territory. Perez grounded an inside 1-2 66 mph fastball deep in the hole for DeJong, who fired to 1st to end the inning. Schrock got out of the inning in 8 pitches, with Gameday thinking every pitch was a curveball. After almost hitting a homer to left, O’Neill struck out swinging at an 0-2 outside slider to lead off the bottom of the 9th. Bader worked a 3-2 walk. Carlson popped an 0-1 inside fastball to short. Wong flied an outside 2-2 slider to left to end this monstrosity.
Ponce de Leon (4 days rest) .2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 0 SO, 1 HR; Woodford (3 days rest, top 1, 2 out, men on 1st and 2nd, down 4-0) 3.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR; Fernandez (32 days rest, top 5, down 6-2) 1 IP (pitched to 4 batters in the 8th), 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER (2 actually allowed by Sanchez), 2 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR; Sanchez (8 days rest, top 6, nobody out, men on 1st and 2nd, down 10-2) 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, allowed 2 out of 2 inherited runners to score; Webb (no rest, top 8, down 14-2) 1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO; Schrock (top 9, down 14-2) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO.
ODDS AND ENDS
Despite walking none and striking out six, Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks gave up 10 hits and 2 homers, got outdueled by Tyler Mahle and took the loss as the Reds beat the Cubs 6-5. The Cubs hit 4 homers of their own and scored 3 runs in the 9th, but Raisel Iglesias relieved Robert Stephenson and closed the door...Brewers starter Corbin Burnes threw 6 innings, allowed no runs, walked only one and struck out ten to lead the club to a 9-1 victory over the Pirates. Jedd Gyorko hit 2 solo shots, newly-recalled Jacob Nottingham hit a 2-run shot and Ryan Braun hit a 3-run homer to lead the offense.