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Bullpen Falls Apart, Gant Gets Injured and Reds Beat Cards 10-5

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

This was a disappointing loss on many levels. The Cards defense let Carlos Martinez down with 2 out in the top of the 3rd, which extended the inning and forced his removal with 90 pitches after only 4 innings pitched. And if you want to crucify Mike Shildt for walking Mike Moustakas to load the bases for a rookie catcher who had never appeared above the AA level before today and had 8 career MLB plate appearances before today, then get the cross ready. It didn’t work out. But the Cards came back to take the lead before the club lost their 2nd reliever in 3 days with a groin injury, and the bullpen fell apart in the 7th inning. Just like when Helsley had to come in cold the day the Cards lost Gallegos, Andrew Miller had to come in on short notice and couldn’t find the plate, resulting in 3 runs crossing the boad and the Reds taking a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The Cards ended up using 6 relievers in a game it was winning, a circumstance the club could ill afford that given that they have to play 8 games in the next 5 days, with 2 doubleheaders. Let us just hope that Kwang Hyun Kim and Daniel Ponce de Leon can come out tomorrow and provide some innings.

Carlos Martinez took the mound for the Cards. Shogo Akiyama ripped an inside 0-1 sinker down the right field line and into the corner for a double to lead off the game. But Carlos would get out of this by striking out the side. He got Nick Castellanos looking at a hanging inside 3-2 backdoor slider. Joey Votto looked at a 2-2 fastball that might have clipped the corner low-and-away, although it looked a bit low. And Eugenio Suarez struck out swinging at a low 2-2 95 mph fastball to end the inning. Kolten Wong led off the bottom of the 1st by flying a first-pitch hanging splitter to shallow left-center. After Paul DeJong worked a 3-2 walk, Paul Goldschmidt ripped a first-pitch fastball down the middle for a base hit to left to move DeJong to 2nd. Brad Miller then walked on 5 pitches to load the bases. Rangel Ravelo flied a 2-2 low-and-away slider to medium right field towards the line, deep enough to score DeJong on the Sac Fly to give the Cards a 1-0 lead. Goldschmidt also tagged up and went to 3rd on the throw home from Castellanos. Yadier Molina softly grounded a low-and-away 2-2 slider to short to end the inning.

Mike Moustakas tapped a 2-1 low-and-away sinker to Goldschmidt guarding the line at 1st base to lead off the top of the 2nd. Tyler Stephenson struck out looking at a hanging 2-2 slider right down the middle. Brian Goodwin lined an 0-1 up-and-in 91 mph 4-seamer off of the foul pole in right just above the wall for a solo HR to tie the game 1-1.

Freddy Galvis struck out swinging at a nasty 3-2 low-and-away change to end the inning. To lead off the bottom of the 2nd, Matt Carpenter smoked a 2-2 elevated fastball for a liner that bounced on the track and over the right field wall for a ground rule double. After Austin Dean struck out chasing an up-and-in 2-2 fastball, Harrison Bader worked a 3-2 walk. Wong went down and grounded a very low 1-2 splitter up the middle for a base hit to score Carpenter, move Bader to 3rd and give the Cards a 2-1 lead. Goodwin came up firing to 3rd base, but had no chance to get Bader, and threw the ball over Suarez’s head and off the Reds’ dugout. That throw allowed Wong to move to 2nd base, and the Reds were lucky the throw didn’t go out of play.

Goodwin did not get an error on the play because it was the throw itself that allowed Wong to go to 2nd, not that it was a poor throw. DeJong drove a middle-in 0-1 slider to left-center, deep enough to score Bader from 3rd base on a Sac Fly to extend the Cards’ lead to 3-1. Goldschmidt flied an inside 3-2 fastball to medium right-center to end the inning.

Jose Garcia lined a low 3-1 sinker for a base hit to left to start the top of the 3rd. Akiyama tapped an outside 2-2 change to the left side. Carpenter raced over and threw across his body to Wong at 2nd for the force to get the lead runner. Castellanos struck out swinging at a nasty low-and-in 1-2 change. Votto was swinging on the 3-0 pitch and sharply grounded a sinker up the middle for a base hit to move Akiyama to 3rd base. Suarez skied a first-pitch inside fastball to left. Dean completely lost the ball in the sun somehow, and the ball dropped right in front of him. Suarez was credited with a generous double. Akiyama scored to cut the Cards’ lead to 3-2, and the Cards were lucky that Votto wasn’t running hard with 2 outs and only managed to reach 3rd base.

Moustakas was intentionally walked to bring up the rookie Stephenson with the bases loaded. Stephenson worked a 3-2 walk to score Votto and tie the game 3-3. The home plate umpire called the first pitch from Martinez a ball despite the fact that it was a slider clearly below the top part of the zone. Goodwin struck out looking at 3 straight pitches, the last a low slider, to end the inning and strand the bases loaded. After Brad Miller walked on 5 pitches to lead off the bottom of the 3rd, Ravelo lined a low-and-away 2-1 slider to left for a base hit to move Miller to 2nd. Molina struck out swinging at a 3-2 center-cut fastball. Carpenter struck out swinging at an outside 2-2 95 mph fastball. Righty Robert Stephenson came out to pitch to Dean, who struck out swinging at an 0-2 slider in the dirt to end the inning.

Jose Garcia chased a 1-2 slider low-and-away and out of the zone to strike out to start the top of the 4th. Akiyama slapped an outside 2-2 backdoor slider for a base hit to left. Castellanos sharply grounded a low 2-1 fastball to 2nd to end the inning. Bader tomahawked a high-and-outside 3-2 fastball to the right side to start the bottom of the 4th. Moustakas, playing 1st base today, dove to his left and made a great play to field the ball and step on 1st for the out. Wong flied a high-and-outside 0-1 fastball to shallow left that Akiyama caught in foul territory. After DeJong walked on 5 pitches, Goldschmidt flied a hanging 1-1 slider to shallow left-center to end the inning.

With Martinez at 90 pitches, he was done for the afternoon, and Genesis Cabrera came out to pitch the top of the 5th for the Cards. Tyler O’Neill also came out to play LF in the #8 spot to replace Dean. The broadcast crew mentioned that they earlier saw Dean shaking his hand as if he were in pain. Votto struck out swinging at an outside 2-2 97 mph fastball. Suarez lined an outside 2-0 change to left for a base hit. Moustakas lined a high-and-outside 3-2 fastball to left. Tyler Stephenson chased an elevated 1-2 fastball and struck out to end the inning. After Brad Miller worked a 3-2 walk to lead off the bottom of the 5th, Reds manager David Bell came to the mound and brought in righty Nate Jones to pitch to Ravelo, who slowly chopped an 0-2 low fastball to 2nd for the 4-6 force. Molina grounded a first-pitch low fastball through the right side for a base hit to move Ravelo to 3rd. Carpenter lined a first-pitch center-cut fastball to right for a base hit to score Ravelo and put the Cards back on top 4-3. Molina advanced to 2nd.

O’Neill sharply grounded an outside 3-2 slider up the middle for a base hit, but the Cards couldn’t score because they ran themselves into an out. Yadi rounded third, but it seemed like he put on the brakes when 3rd base coach Pop Warner held him up. Meanwhile, Carpenter got confused by Molina rounding third base and went half-way to 3rd. When Goodwin’s throw from center hit the cutoff man, shortstop Jose Garcia, on the infield dirt, Carpenter was caught in between. Molina then raced for home when Garcia flipped the ball to 2nd base and was put out at the plate 8-6-4-2. With runners now at the corners and 2 out, Bader eased the sting a bit by grounding an 0-2 low-and-away slider through the hole to left for a base hit to score Molina, extend the Cards’ lead to 5-3 and move O’Neill to 3rd.

Wong lined a center-cut 0-1 fastball to the gap in right-center, but Castellanos ran it down to end the inning.

After Goodwin worked a 3-2 walk to lead off the top of the 6th, Galvis popped an up-and-in 3-2 curve to Wong. Shildt came out and brought Alex Reyes in to pitch. Garcia lined a low-and-away 3-2 slider down the left field line for a base hit to move Goodwin to 2nd. Akiyama struck out swinging at a nasty 0-2 low curve. With 2 out, and the runners moving on the 3-2 pitch, Castellanos lined an inside fastball to center for a base hit to score Goodwin, cut the Cards’ lead to 5-4 and move Garcia to 3rd. Reyes had Castellanos down in the count 0-2 and lost him. Votto chased a low-and-away fastball and flied it to shallow left to end the threat. Righty Archie Bradley came out to pitch for the Reds in the bottom of the 6th. DeJong struck out swinging at a low-and-away 2-2 change to lead off the inning. Goldschmidt grounded a first-pitch low curve to 3rd. Brad Miller flied an inside 3-2 fastball to medium center to end the inning.

Suarez flied a center-cut 0-1 97 mph fastball to the track in left, but O’Neill caught it to start the top of the 7th. After Moustakas walked on 5 pitches, Shildt brought in John Gant to pitch to Tyler Stephenson, who grounded an outside 2-1 fastball through the right side for a base hit to move Moustakas to 2nd. After Gant threw a first-pitch curve in the dirt to Goodwin, the training staff came out to check on him when he grimaced after the pitch. He had to come out of the game with right groin soreness (just like Gallegos), and Andrew Miller came in to warm up on the mound to take over in the middle of Goodwin’s plate appearance. Righty Aristides Aquino pinch hit for Goodwin with the count already 1-0, and Miller hit him on the left foot with a 1-2 fastball in the dirt to load the bases. Miller then walked Galvis on 4 pitches. Moustakas scored to tie the game 5-5. Garcia swung and missed at a low-and-in first pitch slider, but it bounced off the outside of Molina’s glove and got away to the backstop for a wild pitch to allow Stephenson to score to give the Reds a 6-5 lead and advance the other runners to 2nd and 3rd. Garcia then sharply grounded an inside 1-1 fastball towards the line at 3rd. Carpenter made a diving stop and thought about throwing to the plate from his knees, but instead got up and made a strong bounced throw to 1st. Goldschmidt picked it out of the dirt for the 2nd out. Aquino scored to give the Reds a 7-5 lead and Galvis went to 3rd. Akiyama grounded a 1-1 hanging slider to Goldschmidt guarding the line to end the inning. For the bottom of the 7th, Aquino stayed in the game in the #7 spot to play LF, with Akiyama moving from CF to LF. Ravelo tapped a high 0-2 fastball back to the mound to lead off the inning. Molina grounded a low-and-in 0-1 fastball to short. Carpenter flied a low-and-away 0-1 fastball to the track in left to end the inning.

Jake Woodford came out to pitch the top of the 8th for the Cards. Castellanos ripped a hanging 3-2 slider to the gap in left-center to lead off the inning. But Bader, who was shading to the right, raced over and dove in a full extension to make a sensational catch.

Votto failed to hold up his swing on an outside 3-2 slider and struck out. Suarez smoked an outside 2-2 fastball over the left-center field bullpen wall for a solo HR to extend the Reds’ lead to 8-5.

Moustakas worked a 13-pitch plate appearance and finally flied a 3-2 low-and-away slider for Bader at the track in left-center to end the inning. Righty Raisel Iglesias came to pitch the bottom of the 8th for the Reds. Tucker Barnhart also came out to play catcher in the #6 spot to replace Tyler Stephenson. O’Neill struck out looking at a low-and-away fastball that clipped the corner. Bader flied an up-and-in 0-1 fastball to shallow left. Wong swing weakly and way too late at an 0-2 elevated fastball to strike out and end the inning.

Nabil Crismatt came out to pitch the top of the 9th for the Cards. After Barnhart lined a first-pitch low-and-in fastball to right for a base hit, Aquino smoked a low 3-1 fastball over the right-center field wall for a 2-run HR to extend the Reds’ lead to 10-5.

Galvis struck out swinging at a low 0-2 change. Garcia struck out swinging at a 3-2 change low-and-away and out of the zone. Akiyama sharply grounded a low-and-in 0-1 change down the line at 1st, but Goldschmidt made a diving stop, got up and threw to Crismatt for the 3-1 putout to end the inning. DeJong struck out swinging at a high 1-2 fastball. After Goldschmidt worked a 3-2 walk, Brad Miller hit a 1-2 slider on a rope to right field, but right at Castellanos for the out. Ravelo popped an inside 0-1 fastball to Galvis at 2nd on the outfield grass to end a disappointing game.

Martinez (4 days rest) 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO, 1 HR; Cabrera (no rest, top 5, tied 3-3) 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER (actually allowed by Reyes), 1 BB, 2 SO; Reyes (2 days rest, top 6, 1 out, man on 1st, ahead 5-3) 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER (actually allowed by Miller), 1 BB, 1 SO, allowed 1 out of 1 inherited runners to score; Gant (2 days rest, top 7, 1 out, man on 1st, ahead 5-4) 0 IP (pitched to 1 batter in the 7th) 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER (actually allowed by Miller), 0 BB, 0 SO; A. Miller (no rest, top 7, 1 out, men on 1st and 2nd, ahead 5-4) .2 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, allowed 2 out of 2 inherited runners to score; Woodford (4 days rest, top 8, down 7-5) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR; Crismatt (1 day rest, top 9, down 8-5) 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR.

ODDS AND ENDS

Mike Shildt said after the game that Gant injured his groin, but that the initial prognosis was that it was not as severe as the injury to Gallegos. Although he expected Gant to be out for 1-3 days, he was not ready to commit on whether a roster move would be made. Roel Ramirez and Junior Fernandez are the only other relievers available from the ATS that are currently on the 40-man roster. Dean injured his flexor muscle in his arm, but again Shildt could not commit right now as to whether Dean would be put on the injured list. The club has announced that Kwang Hyun Kim will be activated from the injured list tomorrow to start Game 1 of the doubleheader against the Brewers and Daniel Ponce de Leon will be added as the 29th man to start Game 2.

Albert Pujols hit a 2-run HR off of Rockies reliever Carlos Estevez to not only give his club a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 8th, but tie Willie Mays on the all-time HR list with 660.

In his 28th career game and 15th career start, Chicago Cubs right-hander Alec Mills threw a no-hitter today as the Cubs beat the Brewers 12-0 in Miller Park. Mills walked 3, struck out 5 and threw 114 pitches. It was the club’s 16th no-hitter in franchise history, and the first since Jake Arrieta no-hit the Reds on April 21st, 2016...The Royals skunked the Pirates 11-0 as starter Chad Kuhl walked 6 batters in 2.1 IP and hit a guy.