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Bader’s Bomb and Martinez’s Efficiency Lead to 3-0 Victory and Sweep of Pirates

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St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Right-hander Wil Crowe took the mound for the Pirates. Tommy Edman drew a 3-2 walk to start the game, taking a close fastball just below the bottom edge of the zone. Dylan Carlson flied an 0-2 outside change to left. Matt Carpenter drove an 0-1 low-and-away change deep to right-center, but Reynolds hauled it in near the wall. Nolan Arenado grounded a first-pitch low-and-away fastball towards the hole, but the third baseman Todd Frazier dove to his left, stopped it and threw Arenado out to end the inning. Carlos Martinez took the hill for the Cards, and the club bumped his start up one day because of Wainwright’s quarantine. Adam Frazier flied a low 0-2 slider to shallow left to start the bottom half. Bryan Reynolds grounded a low 0-2 change to Carpenter at 1st for the 3-1 flip. Colin Moran walked on 4 straight pitches, with the 3-0 pitch being a fastball that looked like it was well within the outside corner. Todd Frazier struck out looking at a 2-2 hanging change to end the inning.

Paul DeJong drew a leadoff 3-2 walk to start the top of the 2nd, the Cards’ second such walk in as many innings. Tyler O’Neill sharply grounded a middle-in 1-1 fastball through the hole for a base hit to move DeJong to 2nd. Andrew Knizner grounded a low-and-away 3-2 slider towards the hole. The shortstop Erik Gonzalez drifted to his right and threw DeJong out at 3rd on a 6-5 force. That was his only play, as his momentum carried him towards the base. With runners on 1st and 2nd, Bader ripped a 1-1 hanging slider over the wall in left-center for a 3-run HR to give the Cards a 3-0 lead.

After Martinez tapped an outside 1-2 fastball back to the mound, Edman drew another 3-2 walk. But he was stranded when Carlson struck out chasing an elevated 3-2 fastball. Gregory Polanco grounded a 2-0 low-and-away sinker to 2nd to lead off the bottom half. Erik Gonzalez grounded a 1-2 inside change to short. Jacob Stallings drove an outside 0-1 cutter deep to right and off the fence for a double, but Ka’ai Tom stranded him when he grounded a low-and-in 0-1 fastball to 2nd to end the inning.

To lead off the top of the 3rd, Carpenter ripped a 2-1 hanging change toward the right side into the shift that looked headed to the outfield, but 2nd baseman Adam Frazier made a jumping catch. Arenado smoked a low-and-away 1-1 slider, but right to Gonzalez at short. DeJong lined a 2-2 hanging low slider off of the base of the wall in left for a double, but he was stranded there when O’Neill flied an inside 2-2 fastball to shallow center. Martinez got in a bit of trouble to start the bottom of the 3rd. The pitcher Crowe lined a first-pitch inside fastball for a base hit to left towards the line, with O’Neill hustling over to hold him to a single. That was Crowe’s first major league hit. A. Frazier sharply grounded an 0-1 low-and-in cutter through the right side, past the glove of the diving Carpenter for a base hit to move Crowe to 2nd. But Martinez would get out of the jam. Reynolds struck out chasing a 2-2 low slider, and Moran chopped an 0-1 down-the-middle fastball to 2nd for an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Crowe hit Knizner on the left arm with a first-pitch fastball to start the top of the 4th. Bader crushed a first-pitch inside fastball, but lined it right to T. Frazier at 3rd. Frazier fired to 1st base to double Knizner off. Martinez struck out chasing a 1-2 low slier to end the inning. To lead off the bottom half, T. Frazier blooped a low-and-away 1-1 cutter to shallow center, and Bader raced forward from a long distance to make the catch. Polanco got jammed on an inside 3-2 cutter and grounded out to 2nd. Gonzalez lined a first-pitch outside curve to left-center for a base hit. Just around this point in the broadcast, color man Brad Thompson recounted the tale of him being suspended in 2009 for throwing near David Wright’s head. It turned out to be unfortunate timing, as Martinez hit Stallings with an 0-2 97 mph fastball right in the face. The slow-motion replay showed that the pitch grazed him on the lips just under his nose, and wasn’t as flush as the pitch from Cabrera that hit Harper. But still, it’s a 97 mph fastball to the face, and he was very fortunate that nothing more serious happened. If the location had been slightly different, he could have ended up with a broken jaw or worse. At all events, Stallings is one tough man. He was shaken up, but he didn’t go down, and he never left the game. I still don’t understand how his lip isn’t completely busted. We are grateful that he appears to be just fine.

Tom popped a first-pitch up-and-in fastball to DeJong on the outfield grass over the bag to end the inning.

To lead off the top of the 5th, Edman flied an inside 1-1 fastball to the gap in right-center, but Polanco raced over to make the grab. Carlson grounded a hanging 1-1 curve to 2nd. Carpenter drew a 3-2 walk with 2 out, but Arenado grounded a low-and-away 1-2 slider to 3rd for a 5-4 force to end the inning. Martinez walked the pitcher Crowe on 5 pitches to start the bottom of the 5th. But he was erased when A. Frazier sliced a 2-2 down-the-middle fastball for a liner right to DeJong at short, who fired back to first to double Crowe off. Reynolds sliced a 1-0 hanging cutter inside the 3rd base line opposite the shift that rolled into the left field corner for a double. But he was stranded when Moran grounded a 2-2 hanging change to Carpenter for the 3-1 flip to end the inning.

Crowe’s afternoon was over after 97 pitches, and the Pirates brought in righty Luis Oviedo to pitch the top of the 6th. Oviedo was drafted in the major league portion of the December 2020 Rule 5 draft by the Mets, who flipped him to the Pirates for cash. DeJong struck out swinging at a low 2-2 slider. O’Neill drove a first-pitch outside 95 mph fastball deep to right field and high. The right field wall in PNC Park is 21 feet high to honor Roberto Clemente, who wore #21. The ball clipped the blue portion of the top of the wall used for advertising, and just missed being a homer by about a foot. All Polanco could do was wait and play it off the carom. The ball bounced on the track and over his head. Then, when Polanco ran for it and reached down, he bobbled the ball. O’Neill ended up standing up at 3rd base, and the play was scored a double with a fielding error on Polanco. O’Neill might have scored if he had been running instead of jogging out of the box.

The Cards could not get the insurance run. Knizner struck out chasing an 0-2 slider in the dirt, and after Bader was intentionally walked, Martinez flied a first-pitch low fastball to center to end the inning. An 0-2 80 mph curve got away from Martinez and he hit T. Frazier on the left arm to start the bottom of the 6th. Polanco grounded a first-pitch low-and-in fastball to Carpenter, who was right by the line because he was holding the runner. Carpenter stepped on the bag, and Frazier, who got into a rundown, was put out 3-6 for a double play. Gonzalez lined an 0-1 low-and-away change to the gap in right-center, but Carlson ran it down just before the track to end the inning.

Edman grounded a high 1-0 fastball to 2nd to lead off the top of the 7th, and Carlson did the exact same in the same count. After Carpenter walked on 5 pitches, Arenado flied a 2-2 down-the-middle fastball to Tom in left just in front of the track to end the inning. Martinez came back out for the bottom of the 7th at 75 pitches. Stallings struck out chasing an 0-2 slider in the dirt. Tom tapped an inside 0-1 cutter in front of the plate for Knizner. Wilmer Difo pinch hit for the pitcher Oviedo and on the 9th pitch of the plate appearance, flied a 3-2 low-and-away cutter to center to end the inning.

Righty Kyle Crick came in to pitch for the Pirates in the top of the 8th and retired the side in order. DeJong chased a 2-2 outside slider and grounded out to short. O’Neill grounded a first-pitch outside slider to short. Knizner flied a high-and-outside 1-2 fastball to right to end the inning. Martinez came back out for the bottom of the 8th at 90 pitches, and retired the side in order again. A. Frazier flied an 0-2 inside fastball to shallow right. Reynolds grounded a first-pitch low sinker down the line for Carpenter in the shift, and he handled the play unassisted. Moran drove an inside 1-1 fastball to deep center. Bader got turned around, but caught it up against the wall to end the inning.

Righty Richard Rodriguez came out to pitch in the top of the 9th and retired the Cards in order. Bader grounded a 2-2 outside fastball to short. Justin Williams pinch hit for Martinez and flied a 1-0 low fastball to left. Edman flied a first-pitch inside fastball to center to end the inning. With Martinez at an even 100 pitches, Shildt brought Alex Reyes in for the bottom of the 9th. Reyes got his 7th save of the season by retiring the Pirates in order. T. Frazier chopped an outside 1-0 fastball to 3rd. Polanco flied a 3-1 down-the-middle 98 mph fastball to center. Gonzalez struck out swinging at a 2-2 low slider to end the game.

Martinez (4 days rest) 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 SO, 2 HBP; Reyes (2 days rest, bottom 9, ahead 3-0) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO.

ODDS AND ENDS

This was the first time Carlos Martinez had pitched this deep into a game since April 2nd, 2018...If everything goes right, Miles Mikolas will start a minor league rehab assignment on Wednesday...Jordan Hicks will receive more imaging on his elbow on Monday in St. Louis...It was a home run derby in Cincinnati between the Reds and the Cubs. Each club hit 5 homers, and Kris Bryant and Nick Castellanos hit two each. The Reds were winning 12-8 in the top of the 8th, but Tejay Antone gave up 2 walks, a single, and then a 3-run HR to Ian Happ to tie the game. But after a passed ball in the bottom of the 10th, Craig Kimbrel gave up a walkoff single to Castellanos, who was 5 for 6 on the day. The worn-out Brewers had to give rookie Alec Bettinger a spot start against the Dodgers, and they crushed him for 11 earned runs for a 16-4 win.