What a win!
When all hope appeared to be lost, the Cardinals showed their trademark resilience from the past 12 years and pulled off what might just be the win of the year. The bats came alive and picked up some key timely hits.
Nolan Arenado got things going with a two-run shot in the first inning. The Red Sox battled back to tie the game on a Jarren Duran single. Adam Wainwright surrendered back-to-back homers in the fifth to put the Cardinals in a 4-2 hole.
Fortunately, they rallied in the sixth to take the lead. Willson Contreras continued to brush off the drama from last week’s decision to move him out of the catcher spot, hitting a solo homer to get things going.
After a double play tied the game, Lars Nootbaar came up clutch and put the Cardinals ahead. But the Cardinals weren’t out of the woods yet. After Andre Pallante turned in a solid outing, Genesis Cabrera was not so impressive, as he struggled with walks, which ultimately came back to haunt him. The Red Sox battled back to score two in the eighth before giving way to Kenley Jansen.
Still, the Cardinals refused to go quietly, and after Paul DeJong walked and stole second, Nootbaar came up clutch again, tying the game. Nolan Gorman hit a two-run homer to put the Cards in the lead and Ryan Helsley made those runs stand up.
Without further ado, let’s get into some takeaways from tonight’s game.
Waino’s Start A Mixed Bag
Adam Wainwright looked really good in the first three innings, which was encouraging to see. He was getting ground ball outs but also using his curveball to his advantage to keep the Red Sox off balanced.
He got robbed a little bit in the fourth when what appeared to be strike three was called ball four, which awarded Justin Turner first base. Duran tied the game with a single afterwards. Still, I was impressed to see Waino limit the damage and keep the game tied after that, even if it required a little help from the ball girl.
Even after giving up back-to-back homers, he was able to settle back in and get the Cards through five, keeping them in the game. Back-to-back five inning, four-run starts is a bit concerning to me however.
Still, I didn’t think he was horrible, and those first three innings were more of an indication of who he truly is as a pitcher. While the starting pitching has been poor, I do believe Wainwright will find his groove.
Arenado Heating Up
How about Nolan Arenado?
I went to the first two games of last year’s series at Fenway, where Arenado hit two early homers. Given his tough start, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it’s clear that he loves hitting in Boston and I do think he’s starting to turn the corner.
Four hits is certainly a good place to start. This was encouraging to see, and it could be the key to getting this offense going.
Gorman, Gorman, GONE!!!
In the end, Nolan Gorman was the hero. He didn’t start due to a left-hander on the mound for the Red Sox. But his only at-bat of the game was what proved to be the difference.
Kenley Jansen struggled worse than Cabrera did, and when Gorman pinch-hit for Andrew Knizner, he worked the count to 2-2 before crushing one out to right field to put the Cards ahead 8-6.
For a while, he seemed to be cooling off a bit, but I’m encouraged to see him hitting some bombs again. Just as he did in Colorado, he came through off the bench when the Cardinals needed him the most.
The Cards will go for a series win tomorrow afternoon.