I warned the rest of the VEB crew that I have yet to recap a win, but no one took this burden from me. Now look what happened. Here I sit, recapping another loss.
This loss stings a lot less considering the St. Louis Cardinals are coming off a big series win against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Even counting this loss, the Cardinals are 7-3 in their last ten games. It is not like the truly terrible times where I was comparing Paul Goldschmidt to SpongeBob SquarePants and trying my best to find something nice to say in the late hours of the night.
I would still prefer to recap a win, though and break this personal losing streak I have going.
The Cardinals might not have won tonight, dropping the first game of the series to the Cincinnati Reds 6-5, but by exit velocity they at least put a hurtin’ on the baseball according to Baseball Savant. Willson Contreras had a particularly frustrating night at the plate going 0-4 with a walk, two strikeouts, and two balls in play hit over 100 mph that both went for outs. Usually Goldschmidt is among the exit velocity leaders, but he had a quietly productive night going 0-3 with two walks. One of those walks would come around to score after a 106.7 mph double off the bat of Lars Nootbaar, tying the game at 4-4 in the top of the fifth.
The standout performance for the Cardinals tonight is from the other Paul. Paul DeJong struck out three times, going 2-5, but made his two hits really count. His first hit of the night was a three-run, 107.2 mph, 410-foot bomb in the second inning. He tied the game 5-5 in the top of the eighth inning with a double to score Nolan Gorman. Gorman reached base the at bat before with a double of his own at 102.6 mph.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals the Reds had some hard hits of their own. They got on board right away in the bottom of the first inning after Jonathan India kicked off the Reds offense with a 110.3 mph double. He scored after a double from Matt McClain in the next at bat. McClain also came around to score to give the Reds a 2-0 lead. The Reds added on more runs to re-take the lead 4-3 after DeJong’s second inning homer in the bottom of the third with a two-run homer from Spencer Steer. The Reds added a fifth run in the bottom of the fifth on a Wil Myers groundout. The game winning run was scored in the bottom of the tenth as the extra-innings runner on second advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly. “What an extremely exciting and worthy end to this compelling game and definitely a good rule to have in the game,” she said sarcastically.
On the pitching side of things Jordan Montgomery led all pitchers with 13 swings and misses, all with his changeup. I think that might be a testament to how well his changeup was working — at times, that is. There were still seven balls hit in play off the changeup. It might also be a little telling about how he might have struggled with his other pitches, though. He through 16 curveballs and induced only five swings, all of which made contact. His sinker also didn’t miss any bats and was called for a strike only four times of the 25 times it was thrown (though it did induce six foul balls).
Ryan Helsley, though credited with the loss, was throwing absolute gas as usual. He and Jordan Hicks were jockeying for top pitching velocity of the game. Helsley took the top spot 102.4 mph, but Hicks has at least the next four of the top five fastest pitches of the game.
That’s about all I have for this one — just a close back-and-forth game that just didn’t quite pan out for the Cardinals. Let’s see if they can get back at it Tuesday evening a 5:40pm with Adam Wainwright toeing the rubber against Graham Ashcraft.