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Jack Strikes Out Nine and Offense Logs 15 Hits to Beat Pirates 12-5

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St. Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Trevor Cahill took the hill for the Pirates and the Cards were wearing the powder blue unis. Tommy Edman started the game by chopping an 0-1 low-and-in change down the first base line. Colin Moran was standing behind the bag expecting to field the ball, which bounced right on the line over the base. But the umpire was standing right behind him. Moran might have gotten distracted, because he failed to get in front of the ball, and the ball bounced off of the outside of his glove. The ball was headed for the sidewall, but the ball girl, who must not have noticed that the ball was ruled fair, picked it up. At that point, the ball was declared dead and Edman was credited with a double. Moran should have had it.

Dylan Carlson struck out swinging at an outside 1-2 fastball. Paul Goldschmidt grounded a low-and-away 1-2 curve through the right side for a base hit to score Edman and give the Cards a 1-0 lead.

After Nolan Arenado walked on 5 pitches, Paul DeJong drove an outside 2-2 hanging cutter over the wall in the deepest part of left-center for a 3-run HR to extend the Cards’ lead to 4-0.

Tyler O’Neill struck out swinging at an outside 3-2 fastball. Andrew Knizner popped a low-and-in 3-1 fastball foul to Phillip Evans at 3rd to end the inning. Jack Flaherty took the hill for the Cards and retired the Pirates in order. Adam Frazier grounded a low 1-1 sinker to 2nd. Phillip Evans struck out looking at an 0-2 low-and-in fastball right on the corner. Bryan Reynolds was ahead in the count 3-0, but struck out swinging at a high 3-2 fastball to end the inning.

Harrison Bader chopped an outside 1-1 curve to 3rd to start the top of the 2nd. Flaherty tapped an outside 1-1 sinker back to the mound. Edman grounded an outside 1-2 change towards the middle into the shift for the shortstop Newman. He bobbled it for just a second. Edman raced down the line, and he was initially called out. The Cards challenged and the call was overturned, as the replay showed Edman beat the throw by a step. For some reason, Carlson decided to bunt a first-pitch hanging curve, and Cahill went over to the right side of the mound, fielded it and threw Carlson out to end the inning. Colin Moran grounded a first-pitch low-and-in fastball up the middle for a base hit to lead off the bottom of the 2nd. Gregory Polanco smoked a low 3-1 fastball off of the right field wall for a double to move Moran to 3rd. Kevin Newman then walked on 5 pitches to load the bases with nobody out. Ka’ai Tom sliced a 2-2 low-and-away backdoor slider for a liner to O’Neill in left. O’Neill’s throw to the plate beat Moran, but bounced and short-hopped Knizner. Knizner couldn’t come up with the backhand play and Moran scored on the Sac Fly to cut the Cards’ lead to 4-1.

Michael Perez sharply grounded an 0-1 low-and-away slider down the 1st base line, but Goldschmidt was shading him that way, made a diving stop and flipped to Flaherty for the 2nd out. The other runners advanced to 2nd and 3rd, but the pitcher Cahill struck out swinging at a low-and-in 0-2 slider to end the threat.

After Goldschmidt drew a 3-2 walk to lead off the top of the 3rd, Arenado grounded a low-and-away 1-0 sinker slowly through the right side opposite the shift to move him to 3rd. That would have been an easy out in a normal defense. DeJong ripped a low 2-0 change but lined it right to Evans at 3rd. O’Neill grounded a high-and-outside first-pitch looping curve through the hole to left for a base hit to score Goldschmidt, move Arenado to 2nd and extend the club’s lead to 5-1.

Knizner struck out looking at a 1-2 hanging curve. Bader struck out swinging at a 2-2 elevated 89 mph fastball to end the inning. To lead off the top of the 3rd, Frazier flied a hanging 0-1 slider deep to right, but it stalled at the track. Evans drew a 3-2 walk, taking a fastball on the low edge of the zone that looked like it was a strike. Reynolds grounded a 1-0 low-and-in sinker up the middle past the glove of the diving Edman for a base hit to move Evans to 3rd. Moran grounded a low-and-in slider to the right side that snuck through the right side for a base hit to score Evans, cut the Cards’ lead to 5-2 and move Reynolds to 3rd.

If Goldschmidt had not been holding the runner, he would have been in position to get that ball. Polanco got jammed on an inside 3-2 fastball, but sliced it on the fly slowly towards the hole. Arenado dove for it, but it bounced off of the side of his glove and into shallow left for a base hit. Reynolds scored to cut the Cards’ lead to 5-3, and Moran moved to 2nd.

Newman struck out chasing a nasty low 2-2 curve. Tom torched a low 1-0 fastball for a liner to deep-right center, but Bader was in range to catch it at the track to end the inning.

Flaherty chopped a low-and-in 2-1 sinker to 2nd to lead off the top of the 4th. Edman grounded a first-pitch low-and-in curve to the right side, but Frazier made a good play to his right and quick throw to get him. Carlson drove a 2-0 hanging change deep to right towards the line and off of the wall for a double. But he was stranded there when Goldschmidt struck out looking at an 0-2 outside fastball to end the inning. Goldy didn’t even take the bat off of his shoulders. Flaherty retired the Pirates in order in the bottom of the 4th on 8 pitches. Perez sharply lined an outside 1-0 fastball deep to left, but O’Neill caught it at the track. Cahill struck out chasing an 0-2 low-and-away slider, and Frazier flied a low 1-1 curve to left to end the inning.

Arenado sharply grounded a 1-2 high-and-outside fastball right to 2nd to lead off the top of the 5th. DeJong grounded a down-the-middle 1-0 sinker into the shift on the right side of the 2nd base bag. Frazier fielded it on the outfield grass and made an amazing play and jump-throw across his body to nip DeJong at first. Moran picked the throw out of the dirt.

O’Neill grounded a first-pitch inside fastball to 3rd to end the inning. Flaherty got another 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 5th. Evans sharply lined an outside 3-2 fastball to right, but Carlson made a sliding catch forward for the out. Reynolds struck out chasing a low 1-2 curve, and Moran struck out swinging at a down-the-middle 97 mph fastball to end the inning.

Cahill came back out for the top of the 6th at 88 pitches. Knizner grounded a 2-1 inside change to short. After Bader walked on 4 straight pitches, Flaherty hit for himself. After a couple of pickoff throws, Bader stole second on the first pitch to Flaherty. The throw from Perez hit Bader square on the left arm and bounced into center field, an error which allowed Bader to advance to 3rd base. The training staff came out to check on Bader, but he stayed in the game. After all that, the Pirates decided to make a pitching change for some reason and bring in lefty Sam Howard with the count 1-0 on Flaherty. Jack ended up striking out swinging at a 2-2 down-the-middle fastball. Edman popped a high 3-2 fastball towards right field that Polanco caught in foul territory up against the screen to end the inning and strand the runner at 3rd. Flaherty came back out for the bottom of the 6th at 87 pitches. Polanco struck out swinging at an outside 95 mph fastball. Newman drove a first-pitch up-and-in fastball to the gap in left-center, where Bader raced back and tracked it down for a sliding catch after taking an indirect route. Tom squibbed a 2-2 low-and-in slider on the ground to the left side opposite the shift. Arenado barehanded it from the shortstop position, but his throw was too late to get Tom, who had an infield hit. Perez waved at a 1-2 slider in the dirt to strike out and the home plate umpire ruled that he went around without asking for an appeal.

After Carlson drew a 3-2 walk to lead off the top of the 7th, Goldschmidt lined a low-and-in 0-1 slider for a base hit to move him to 2nd. The Pirates brought in righty Duane Underwood, Jr. to pitch to Arenado, who softly lined an inside 0-1 change to left. Tom ran in forward to go for a sliding catch, but he whiffed and the ball went under his glove and got by him. Both Carlson and Goldschmidt scored to extend the Cards’ lead to 7-3, and that’s the third gift double that Arenado has received at the hands of Tom in left field over the past two games.

DeJong absolutely smoked a 1-0 hanging slider on the ground, but right at Evans at third for an out. O’Neill popped an 0-1 down-the-middle sinker for Frazier at 2nd on the outfield grass, and Knizner grounded a first pitch low curve to 3rd to end the inning. Jordan Hicks came out for the Cards to pitch the bottom of the 7th. Wilmer Difo pinch hit for Underwood and tapped a 3-2 high-and-outside sinker to the right side of the mound for Hicks, who just ran it over to 1st for the out. Frazier grounded a low first-pitch slider just inside the first base line and past the glove of the diving Goldschmidt for a hit that rolled to the sidewall in right for a double. Evans grounded a high 1-2 100 mph sinker to 2nd to move Frazier to 3rd. Hicks grimaced after throwing a ball inside to Reynolds on his 2-2 pitch, and the medical staff came out to check on him. They decided to take him out and Shildt brought in Cabrera to finish the plate appearance. Cabrera had to warm up on the game mound. With the count already 3-2, Reynolds lined Cabrera’s first pitch, an inside fastball, to the gap in left-center. O’Neill chased it, but took an indirect route, and the ball bounced over his head and rolled to the wall for a double. Frazier scored to cut the Cards’ lead to 7-4.

Under Official Rule 9.16(h)(2), the double was charged to Cabrera despite the 3-2 count, but the run was charged to Hicks. Moran sliced a 1-2 low-and-in fastball to left-center. O’Neill jogged over to it, but saw Bader racing over and stopped. Bader dove for it, but it was out of his reach, and dropped for a base hit to score Reynolds and cut the Cards’ lead to 7-5.

Polanco sharply lined a 3-2 low-and-away fastball to center, but right at Bader to end the inning.

Righty Chris Stratton came out to pitch the top of the 8th for the Pirates. Bader flied a 1-1 high-and-outside fastball to right. Matt Carpenter pinch hit for Cabrera and grounded an outside change into the shift that deflected under Moran’s glove at first to Frazier on the outfield grass. Carpenter was out 3-4-1 with the pitcher covering first. On the 8th pitch of the plate appearance, Edman sliced a low 3-2 fastball to left for a lined base hit. Carlson flied a high-and-outside 1-1 fastball to left to end the inning. Giovanny Gallegos came out to pitch the bottom of the 8th for the Cards, and retired the side in order. Newman struck out chasing a nasty low 1-2 slider. Tom struck out chasing a 2-2 slider in the dirt. Perez grounded a 3-2 outside fastball to the right side into the shift for DeJong to end the inning.

Righty Sean Poppen came out to pitch the top of the 9th for the Pirates. Goldschmidt ripped an outside 3-2 slider to left (110 mph off the bat). Tom ran over to his left and dove, but the ball bounced off of his glove and rolled to the wall. After Goldschmidt’s double, Arenado lined a low 1-1 to the gap in right-center. Polanco couldn’t get it, and then he had a little trouble playing it off the wall. Arenado had a stand-up triple to score Goldschmidt and extend the Cards’ lead to 8-5.

DeJong grounded a 1-0 down-the-middle fastball to Frazier, who was playing in and on the left side of the bag in the shift. O’Neill hit an 0-1 low-and-away slider off the end of the bat and into right-center for a base hit to score Arenado and give the Cards a 9-5 lead.

Knizner squibbed a 1-1 inside fastball back to Poppen at the mound, but he threw the ball wide into the dirt and into center field for an error. O’Neill went to 3rd on the error and Knizner reached on the fielder’s choice. With runners at the corners, Bader got jammed on an inside 2-2 fastball and slowly rolled it to 3rd. Evans made a good play to charge, barehand the ball and throw Bader out at 1st. O’Neill scored to extend the Cards’ lead to 10-5, and Knizner moved to 2nd. Justin Williams pinch hit for Gallegos and tattooed a 2-1 high-and-outside fastball into the bullpen in the deep part of the park in left-center for a 2-run HR to give the Cards a 12-5 lead.

Edman chopped a 1-2 high-and-outside fastball towards the 3rd base line. Evans, who was playing closer to the other side, ran it down at the outfield grass, but had no play, and Edman had an infield hit, his fourth hit of the night. Carlson struck out swinging at an outside 2-2 slider to end the inning.

Kodi Whitley came out to pitch the bottom of the 9th for the Cards. Todd Frazier pinch hit for Poppen and flied a down-the-middle fastball deep to left, but just in front of the track for O’Neill. Adam Frazier tapped a low 1-1 change to the right side for Goldschmidt and a 3-1 flip. Evans grounded an inside 0-2 fastball towards the middle, but Edman was positioned right there for the out to end the game.

Flaherty (5 days rest) 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO; Hicks (1 day rest, bottom 7, ahead 7-3) .2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO; Cabrera (no rest, bottom 7, 2 out, man on 3rd, ahead 7-3, 3-2 count on the batter) .1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, allowed 1 out of 1 inherited runners to score; Gallegos (1 day rest, bottom 8, ahead 7-5) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO; Whitley (no rest, bottom 9, ahead 12-5) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO.

ODDS AND ENDS

Hicks was removed from the game with right arm tightness, and Shildt said after the game that he had tightness and inflammation in his right elbow. He went on to note that it is a common occurrence for pitchers after Tommy John surgery, and that Hicks did not get a typical rehab program because there were no minor league games in 2020. But the club is not concerned at this time that there is anything structurally wrong with his elbow...This was the first time in Cardinal history that the club has had pinch hit homers in 3 consecutive games...Nico Hoerner’s RBI single off of Sean Doolittle in the top of the 6th would be enough to propel the Cubs to a 3-2 victory over the Reds. When Reds’ reliever Amir Garrett struck out Anthony Rizzo with 1 out in the top of the 8th, he went beyond his usual antics to jaw at Rizzo after the strikeout. Garrett also said something to Rizzo before the plate appearance. Javy Baez took exception and exited the dugout, and the benches then cleared with no warnings and no ejections. I suppose one can understand why Garrett was fired up about the strikeout. In 9 games before today, he allowed 4 homers and 7 walks to only 4 strikeouts in 7.1 IP over 10 games...Travis Shaw hit a homer in the 3rd to tie the Dodgers 2-2 for the Brewers. The Dodgers took the lead in both the top of the 10th and the top of the 11th, but the Brewers tied it each time and won it 6-5 on a Travis Shaw walkoff single in the bottom of the 11th for the Brewers’ third victory over the Dodgers in as many games. The Brewers are still in first place despite having 16 players on the injured list.