KK took the mound for the Cards for the first of two 7-inning affairs today. Francisco Lindor led off the game by popping a low-and-in 2-2 slider to first base. After Pete Alonso reached out and lined an outside 1-1 slider to right for a base hit, Michael Conforto drew a 3-2 walk. But KK ended the threat by getting Kevin Pillar to pop an outside 1-1 change for Edman on the outfield grass behind the 2nd base bag, and Jeff McNeil to ground a first-pitch low slider to 2nd to end the inning. Marcus Stroman took the hill for the Mets and got Tommy Edman to ground a 2-1 low-and-in sinker to 2nd to lead off the frame. Dylan Carlson grounded a 1-0 inside sinker to 2nd (deep on the grass). Paul Goldschmidt rocked a first-pitch inside sinker off the Big Mac Land sign in left between the lettering and the replica of the fries for a solo HR to put the Cards on the board 1-1. He knocked out the “D” in the lighting.
Goldy hits the Golden Arches! pic.twitter.com/DCbqBllsKw— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) May 5, 2021
Goldy knocked out the "D" in Big Mac Land. (We're gonna go ahead and guess he won't have to pay for a new one.) #STLFLY pic.twitter.com/CfMSpgCIWn— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) May 5, 2021
Nolan Arenado blooped a low-and-away 0-1 slider down the line in right that just dropped inside it for a base hit. DeJong drove a low 3-2 sinker deep to the gap in right-center, but Conforto raced over and ran it down at the track to end the inning.
James McCann flied an 0-2 high fastball to center to lead off the top of the 2nd. Jonathan Villar grounded a first-pitch hanging change deep into the hole. DeJong drifted to his right and made a quick strong jumping throw across his body to get Villar at first.
Pauly D makes a great pick and an even better throw to rob Jonathan Villar of a hit. #STLCards— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) May 5, 2021
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App: Bally Sports app#STLFLY pic.twitter.com/v91jYWeQ9q
Albert Almora, Jr. squibbed an 0-2 low-and-in slider for a groundout to 2nd to end the inning. Kim tried to stab the ball and rolled over in a curious fielding attempt. Tyler O’Neill flied a first-pitch outside slider to right to lead off the bottom half. Harrison Bader chased a 2-2 low-and-away cutter and flied it to center. Andrew Knizner lined a first-pitch low sinker to center to end the inning.
Kim retired the Mets in order on 9 pitches in the top of the 3rd. The pitcher Stroman popped a 1-2 outside fastball to Arenado in foul territory. Lindor squibbed a first-pitch outside change to short, where DeJong made a charging play. Alonso grounded a 2-0 outside change to short to end the inning. Kim flied a 1-2 inside slider to left to start the bottom of the 3rd. Edman struck out swinging late at an up-and-in 0-2 cutter. Carlson worked an 11-pitch plate appearance and lined a 3-2 low-and-in slider to right for a base hit. Goldschmidt flared a 1-1 low-and-in splitter to shallow right towards the line. Conforto was playing deep, he couldn’t get to it in time, and the ball dropped for a base hit to move Carlson to 3rd. Arenado lined an 0-1 low sinker to center for a base hit to score Carlson, move Goldschmidt to 3rd and extend the Cards’ lead to 2-0.
The threat ended when DeJong grounded a 1-1 low slider to 2nd.
Kim walked Conforto on 4 straight pitches to start the top of the 4th, and this half-inning turned out to be bizarre. Pillar blooped a 1-1 up-and-in fastball to shallow left. Arenado raced back for it, but couldn’t catch up with it, and the ball dropped for a base hit. McNeil then drew a 3-2 walk to load the bases. Maddux and Kim’s interpreter approached one of the umpires, and it looked like they wanted to go talk to Kim. The problem is that the interpreter already went to the mound to talk to Kim earlier in the inning after the McNeil bloop single on his own without any of the other coaches. This is a violation of Standards and On-Field Operations Regulation 2-2, which provides that the only time the interpreter is allowed to enter the playing field without a coach or manager is during a pitching change at the beginning of an inning.
Shildt went out to contribute to the discussion. The umpires then huddled together to determine whether Maddux’s proposed mound visit would be allowed or if it would be considered a second visit to the pitcher in the same inning, which would require the removal of Kim from the game under Official Rule 5.10(l). After Maddux and the interpreter were allowed to go back to the mound, the crew got on the replay review system in an apparent attempt to call New York. After about a 6-minute delay, with no one warming up in the pen, Kim was allowed to stay out there. The umpires screwed this up at the beginning by allowing Kim’s interpreter to go to the mound unaccompanied by a coach or manager. Once that was done, there is no precedent that I am aware of that provided for the situation that unfolded once that mistake was made. There’s an argument to be made that the Cards’ attempt to send the interpreter out there unaccompanied could be construed as an attempt to circumvent the two-visit rule. On that theory, the umpires should have treated the interpreter visit as a mound visit, and required the removal of Kim on the 2nd visit. That appeared to be the stance the crew chief was about to take when he cut Maddux and the interpreter off at the pass when they tried to go out a second time. For some reason, they decided to call New York, and someone must have told them since the interpreter was not a coach, allowing Maddux to go out there with the interpreter later did not constitute a second visit. My interpretation is that once the umpires messed up by allowing the translator out there unaccompanied to start with, they didn’t believe they could penalize the Cards for a second visit because the first visit wasn’t conducted by a coach.
Anyway, McCann lined a 1-1 slider right into Knizner’s crotch, and he went down for a while. But he got up and stayed in the game. McCann sharply grounded a low 2-2 fastball for Arenado towards the line. He tried to backhand the ball, but he bobbled it. He then reached over and gloved the ball with his left hand with the edge of his left foot on the base and rolled over. Initially this was ruled not an out, but on the Cards’ challenge, the call was overturned and called a forceout. Conforto scored to cut the Cards’ lead to 2-1 and the runners were at 1st and 2nd.
It took a long replay review before a decision was made, but now it's official: This stellar play by Nolan Arenado keeps a Mets run off the board. #STLCards— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) May 5, 2021
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Villar struck out looking at an 0-2 fastball that looked like it was a bit inside. Almora struck out chasing a 1-2 69 mph low-and-away and in the dirt to end the inning.
To lead off the bottom of the 4th, O’Neill squibbed an inside 3-2 sinker to Alonso at 1st, but he lost it in the sun and dropped it for an error. Bader softly grounded a low-and-away 1-1 slider through the right side for a base hit. The defense was in an extreme shift with a wide-open right side. O’Neill jumped over the ball to avoid being hit, then raced to 3rd base. After Knizner struck out chasing a low-and-away 0-2 slider, Matt Carpenter pinch hit for Kim. After Bader stole 2nd base on the 1-0 pitch, Carpenter struck out swinging at a nasty 2-2 low-and-in slider. Edman then struck out swinging at a middle-in 0-2 slider to strand the runners.
Kim was done after 66 pitches, and Ryan Helsley came out to pitch to the Mets in the top of the 5th. Conforto hit for himself and struck out swinging at a 1-2 outside 97 mph fastball. Lindor tapped a first-pitch inside 99 mph fastball back to the mound. After Alonso walked on 5 pitches, Conforto chopped a high 0-2 98 mph fastball back to the mound to end the inning. Carlson struck out swinging at a 1-2 inside sinker to lead off the bottom of the 5th. Goldschmidt struck out looking at a 1-2 low-and-away slider that just clipped the edge of the corner. Arenado grounded a low-and-away 3-2 slider to short. Lindor had plenty of time to throw, but he sailed it wide and to Alonso’s left, a throwing error which allowed Arenado to reach first safely. Conforto’s 1-1 pitch to DeJong was a slider low-and-away and in the dirt, which got away to the catcher’s right for a wild pitch to move Arenado to 2nd. DeJong then skied a 2-2 hanging slider to left-center that just went over the bullpen wall for a 2-run HR to give the Cards a 4-1 lead. Pillar jumped for it at the wall, but couldn’t get it.
Need a HR?— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) May 5, 2021
Better call Paul! pic.twitter.com/huqGOwZ66P
After O’Neill drew a 3-2 walk, Bader chopped a first-pitch low sinker to 3rd to end the inning.
The Cards made a double switch for the top of the 6th. Giovanny Gallegos came in to pitch in the #2 spot, and Justin Williams came in to play RF in the #9 spot, with Carlson leaving the game. Carlson fouled a ball off of his leg in the bottom of the 5th, and it was reported that Carlson left with a right shin contusion. Pillar struck out chasing a nasty 1-2 low slider in the dirt. McNeil flied an inside 1-2 fastball to shallow center. McCann grounded a 2-2 low-and-away slider to short to end the inning. Conforto’s afternoon was done after 98 pitches, and righty Jacob Barnes came out for the bottom of the 6th. Knizner flied a high 1-2 fastball to Almora in right-center. Williams struck out swinging at a 2-2 inside cutter. Edman ripped a first-pitch inside cutter to right for a base hit. Conforto had to run a good way to his left to get it, and Edman raced for 2nd. Conforto made a strong bounced throw to the bag, but Lindor dropped it, and Edman slid in safely with a double. Edmundo Sosa pinch hit for Gallegos and struck out chasing an 0-2 fastball almost over his head to end the inning.
Alex Reyes came out to pitch the top of the 7th to try and close out the Mets. Sosa stayed in the game at 2B, with Edman moving to RF and Williams exiting the game. Villar grounded a first-pitch down-the-middle fastball to short. Almora struck out swinging at a nasty 0-2 low-and-away slider. Dominic Smith pinch hit for the pitcher Barnes and grounded a low-and-in 2-0 fastball down the 1st base line for Goldschmidt and an unassisted play to end the game. Reyes picked up his 9th save of the year.
Kim (5 days rest) 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO; Helsley (1 day rest, top 5, ahead 2-1) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO; Gallegos (1 day rest, top 6, ahead 4-1) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO; Reyes (1 day rest, top 7, ahead 4-1) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO