Folks, I hope you’re here for Padres highlights, because that’s all we have to offer today! The Cardinals were shut out for the second consecutive game, but thanks to Milwaukee’s loss, their magic number to clinch the division dropped to six. Unfortunately both the Mets and Braves each won, which means St. Louis’ hopes of maybe getting that first-round bye are pretty much gone.
Here’s how Tuesday’s boring loss went down. Hopefully, things will go better on the 21st night of September...
Mike Clevinger set the Cardinals down in order in the first inning — Brendan Donovan flew out to center, Tommy Edman grounded out to Jake Cronenworth at second, and Paul Goldschmidt grounded out sharply to Ha-Seong Kim at short.
Jurickson Profar worked a seven-pitch walk off Adam Wainwright to lead off the game. Juan Soto singled to left field — beating the shift — on a 2-2 count, which also advanced Profar to second. Manny Machado grounded into a force out at third base, as Nolan Arenado took it to the bag himself for the first out of the inning. Brandon Drury flew out to deep right field for the second out, and both Soto and Machado tagged up to move to second and third, repsectively.
With two outs, Cronenworth lofted a looping single into shallow left field to score both runners, giving San Diego an early 2-0 lead. Josh Bell grounded out to a shifted Arenado right after the single, ending the inning.
Arenado led off the second inning and hit a 364-foot fly ball to left field that Profar settled under right in front of the wall for the first out of the inning. Corey Dickerson flew out to left field — but much shallower than Nolan — for the second out. Albert Pujols worked a two-out walk, and Alec Burleson struck out swinging.
Wainwright managed a three up, three down inning on 11 pitches in the second. Kim and Austin Nola both grounded out to Arenado at third and then Jose Azocar grounded out to Donovan at second base.
Yadier Molina flew out to Soto in right field and Lars Nootbaar rolled a ground ball over to Drury at first base for the first and second outs of the third inning. Donovan drew a four pitch walk, and Edman flew out to left field for the third out.
Profar grounded out to Goldschmidt at first base for the first out. Soto grounded out to Donovan at second base for out number two. Machado broke up Wanwright’s streak of six straight batters retired with a single to left field. Drury flew out to Alec Burleson in right to end the inning, with San Diego still up 2-0.
The Cardinals failed to score again in the fourth inning — their 13th-straight inning without scoring. Goldschmidt flew out to shallow left field, Arenado popped out to first base, and Dickerson struck out swinging. 15 pitch inning for Clevinger.
Cronenworth led off in the bottom of the fourth inning and hit a lazy, looping popup to Donovan at second base off a Wainwright curveball for the first out. Josh Bell flew out to Nootbaar in deep right field. With two outs, Kim hammered a flat 2-2 curveball from Wainwright off the facing of the Western Metal Supply Co. building for his 10th homer of the season, giving San Diego a 3-0 lead. Nola flew out to Dickerson in left field to end the inning following the homer.
Pujols and Burleson kicked off the fifth inning with back-to-back singles, the Cardinals’ first real threat at scoring during Tuesday night’s game. But Molina reached out of the zone and tapped a 1-2 slider to shortstop for an easy 6-4-3 double play. With two outs, Nootbaar hit a laser beam up the middle (107 mph), but Kim was shifted behind the second base bag and it’ll go down as a routine 6-3 groundout to end the top half of the inning.
Down 1-2 in the count leading off the bottom of the fifth, Azocar was gifted a lollipop curveball from Wainwright and he took it to left field for a single. Profar flew out to Noobaar in center for the first out, but a one-out walk from Soto moved Azocar into scoring position. After a mound visit from Mike Maddux, Machado looped a soft single into no-man’s land in shallow center field, scoring Azocar to give San Diego a 4-0 lead.
Brandon Drury grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the fifth inning following the RBI blooper from Machado.
Brendan Donovan led of the sixth with a strikeout. Edman flew out to Azocar for out number two. Goldschmidt ripped his 40th double of the season off the left field wall, setting up Arenado for a chance to score St. Louis first run in 15 innings. Nolan worked a six-pitch walk, passing the baton to Dickerson. At 92 pitches, Clevinger was pulled in favor of former starter/current right-handed reliever Nick Martinez. He faced Dickerson with two outs, who flew out to right field to end the threat and continue the Cardinals scoreless streak.
Clevinger’s final line: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K’s (92 pitches)
Despite his shaky fifth inning, Wainwright returned for the sixth and was able to put up a zero. Cronenworth struck out swinging, and then both Bell and Kim flew out to Dickerson in left field.
Wainwright’s final line: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K (107 pitches)
Pujols led off against Martinez in the seventh and grounded out to shortstop. Burleson hit a ground ball to shortstop, where Machado was playing shifted to his left. Molina flew out to center field. 16 straight innings — no runs.
Packy Naughton took over following the seventh inning stretch. Nola flew out to deep center field. Azocar grounded out to shortstop. Profar hit his 33rd double of the season to left field with two outs, and Juan Soto drove him in with a base hit to right field to make it 5-0 San Diego. Naughton struck out Machado to end the inning after the Soto hit.
Lefty Tim Hill pitched the eighth for the Dads. Dylan Carlson pinch-hit for Nootbaar and grounded out to Kim at shortstop. Brendan Donovan also grounded out to shortstop. Edman flew out to center field.
Drury flew out and Cronenworth grounded out for two quick outs. Bell and Kim hit back-to-back singles to spark another two-out rally, but Nola grounded out to end the inning and give Packy a zero in the eighth.
Former Cardinal Luis Garcia took over in the ninth, tasked with protecting a five-run lead. He struck out Goldschmidt for the first out, followed by a one-out single from Arenado. Dickerson struck out for the second out in the ninth. Pujols singled to right field with two outs off a 100 mph sinker from Garcia. Burleson grounded out to second base. Ballgame.
FINAL: Padres 5, Cardinals 0
The Cardinals (87-62) will try to even the series up Wednesday night in San Diego.
Miles Mikolas (11-12, 3.46 ERA) will try to shake off back-to-back shaky starts and get back to his early season form as October grows near. Blake Snell (7-9, 3.95 ERA) will throw for the Padres (82-66). Snell pitched six innings of two-run baseball against the Cardinals back on May 31. St. Louis eventually won the game, 3-2.
First pitch is set for 8:40 p.m.
Around the Central
Red Sox 5, Reds 3
Cubs 2, Marlins 1
Yankees 9, Pirates 8
Mets 7, Brewers 5
MLB Pickle #195 - 4/9