The Cardinals continued a three-game series against the Pirates on Wednesday, with Adam Wainwright taking the hill against Wil Crowe. Crowe pitched a solid, if inefficient, four and two-thirds innings, giving up just one run. The Cards’ offense did most of its damage in a three-run sixth in which Paul DeJong contributed two RBI with a double. Wainwright was flat-out exceptional. He threw a complete-game shutout, giving up just two hits and striking out seven on only 88 pitches. He also had a double, a single, and an RBI, contributing in every way possible to the Cardinals’ 4-0 victory.
Dylan Carlson struck out chasing a curveball in the dirt to start the game. Paul Goldschmidt walked on four pitches but was erased when Nolan Arenado grounded into a 4-3 double play.
Hoy Park led off for the Bucs and struck out looking at a sinker that looked above the zone. Ke’Bryan Hayes followed suit, going down looking on three pitches. Bryan Reynolds then chopped out to second to retire the Pirates in order.
Tyler O’Neill began the second with a strikeout swinging under a high fastball. Yadier Molina chopped out to third for the second out and Harrison Bader skied a 2-2 sinker to right to retire the side.
Colin Moran ripped a comebacker to Wainwright, who knocked it down but left no play for Paul DeJong after the deflection. Rodolfo Castro then grounded into an easy 6-4-3 double play. Gregory Polanco closed the frame, chopping a sinker to DeJong for the last out.
DeJong lined out to third to kick off the third inning. Tommy Edman smoked a slider but it went straight to Reynolds in center for the second out. Wainwright chopped a fastball to third for the final out.
Anthony Alford skied a 2-0 fastball to right for the first out in the bottom of the frame. Michael Perez got under a 2-2 curveball, popping it to second for out number two. Crowe went down swinging on three pitches as both pitchers faced the minimum through three innings.
Carlson tipped a 2-2 fastball into the glove of Perez for his second strikeout of the game. Goldschmidt followed with a single on a 2-2 fastball. Arenado walked to put two on with one out. O’Neill chased a slider above the strike zone for strike three and the second out. Yadi singled to left to score Goldschmidt and give the Cards a 1-0 lead. Arenado tried to go first to third on the play but was caught in a rundown (maybe intentionally so the throw home would be cut off) before getting tagged out to end the inning.
Yadi brings home Goldy! pic.twitter.com/UwXShwLnp7— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 12, 2021
Snazzy baserunning by Nolan Arenado there to at least draw attention to himself. Cutting off that throw to get him likely allowed the run to score for the #Cardinals.— Derrick S. Goold (@dgoold) August 12, 2021
Park struck out swinging through a cutter to open the bottom of the inning. Hayes jumped on a first-pitch curveball but chopped it to second for the second out. Reynolds struck out looking at a sinker that caught the corner for the final out of the frame.
Bader led off the fifth with a lineout to left field after a phenomenal diving catch by Alford.
All out Alford. pic.twitter.com/7tO7rkpdW1— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 12, 2021
DeJong drove a fastball to left for a base hit. Edman, batting lefty in his at-bat against the lefty Crowe, skied a changeup to center for the second out. Wainwright worked a seven-pitch at-bat before lacing a 2-2 fastball that, luckily for the Pirates, one-hopped the wall in left field for a ground-rule double.
Waino who rakes! pic.twitter.com/pNK2O0knsX— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 12, 2021
Carlson drew a walk to load the bases. Nick Mears then came in to relieve Crowe and to face Goldschmidt, who grounded out on a 3-1 fastball to second to leave the bases loaded.
Moran swung at a first-pitch sinker and grounded through the left side for a leadoff hit. Castro struck out swinging over a gutsy 3-2 curveball from Wainwright. Polanco then chopped into a fielder’s choice and Alford skied a first-pitch curveball to center to retire the Pirates.
Cody Ponce came in to pitch the sixth for the Pirates as Kevin Newman, playing shortstop, replaced Alford, moving Park to left field. Arenado opened the frame with a single to left. O’Neill flew out just shy of the warning track in right for the first out. Yadi doubled off the wall in the center, placing runners at second and third. Bader saw ten pitches before chasing a breaking ball in the dirt for the second out. DeJong took a curveball to the right-center gap, scoring Yadi and Arenado to extend the lead to 3-0 for St. Louis.
Pauly D sends it opposite field for a two-run knock!!— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) August 12, 2021
TV: Bally Sports Midwest
App: Bally Sports app#STLFLY pic.twitter.com/E8NZhfYMC5
Edman received an intentional walk to get to Wainwright, who promptly singled back up the middle to score DeJong and stretch the lead to 4-0. Carlson chopped out to second for the final out of the inning.
Intentionally walk someone to face @UncleCharlie50 at your own risk. pic.twitter.com/oHoSzXVtvb— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 12, 2021
Perez skied out to right for the first out in the bottom of the sixth. Newman popped out to short. Park lined out to Edman as the Pirates went down quietly.
Goldschmidt drew a leadoff walk on seven pitches. Arenado flew out to deep left and Goldschmidt tagged up and beat the throw into second to advance. O’Neill followed with another flyout to right. Yadi popped out to center to strand Goldschmidt at second.
Hayes grounded out to third to start the Pirates’ half of the frame. Reynolds lined a changeup to second for out number two. Moran grounded out softly to first, getting Wainwright through seven innings on just 69 pitches.
Chasen Shreve got the eighth for Pittsburgh and got Bader out on a popout to the catcher. DeJong flew out to the warning track in left and Edman skied out to right to send the game to the bottom of the frame.
Castro struck out looking at a fastball that caught the corner of the plate. Polanco flew out to center for the second out. Pinch hitter Wilmer Difo hit another line drive to center, but Bader made a diving catch to rob the hit and end the inning.
Anthony Banda replaced Shreve in the ninth and struck out Wainwright with a 3-2 fastball up in the zone. Carlson followed with a single to center. Goldschmidt then drew a four-pitch walk, his third one of the game. Arenado rolled into another double play to end the Cards’ half of the frame.
Perez flew a first-pitch sinker to deep center for the first out. Newman flew a curveball to left-center where Bader made another great diving catch to rob another hit. Park grounded a sinker off Wainwright’s glove to Edman for a 1-4-3 putout, securing the complete game shutout for Wainwright on just 88 pitches.
The Cardinals improve to 57-56 on the season. They are unlikely to gain ground on the Brewers, who are currently up 8-0 in the seventh inning on the Cubs at the time of this writing, but they gain a game on the Padres, who dropped a game against the Marlins earlier on Wednesday. With the win and the loss by the Friars, the Cards now sit 7.5 games back of the second wild card spot.
The Redbirds look for the series sweep on Thursday, with Wade LeBlanc scheduled to take on J.T. Brubaker bright and early at 11:35 AM CT.
Wednesday marked the 296th appearance for Wainwright and Yadi as a battery, per Wikipedia. While Wainwright’s outing today was phenomenal in and of itself, he mentioned post-game that he was overheated in the middle innings and couldn’t catch his breath. It’s hard to believe someone can perform under those circumstances but he excelled and it was awesome to watch.
Final Pitching Lines
Wainwright (W, 11-6): 9 IP / 2 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 7 K / 0 HR
Crowe (L, 3-7): 4.2 IP / 4 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 3 BB / 4 K / 0 HR
Mears: 0.1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 0 HR
Ponce: 2 IP / 4 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 2 BB / 1 K / 0 HR
Shreve: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 0 HR
Banda: 1 IP / 1 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 1 K / 0 HR