After yet another one-run loss on Monday night, the Cardinals got another crack at Alex Cobb on Tuesday. The veteran right-hander tossed a complete game shutout against St. Louis back in April, but that wasn’t in the cards for him tonight at Busch with the Cardinals getting on the board right away in the first. Unfortunately it went downhill from there.
Here are the starting lineups for both squads tonight:
- LaMonte Wade Jr., 1B
- Thairo Estrada, 2B
- Joc Pederson, DH
- J.D. Davis, 3B
- Michael Conforto, RF
- Mitch Haniger, LF
- Mike Yastrzemski, CF
- Patrick Bailey, C
- Brandon Crawford, SS
Alex Cobb, SP
- Brendan Donovan, 2B
- Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
- Nolan Gorman, DH
- Nolan Arenado, 3B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Dylan Carlson, RF
- Jordan Walker, LF
- Paul DeJong, SS
- Tommy Edman, CF
Not much to take away from this one, other than me wondering if this is the loss that will force the Cardinals to make some type of major change. I’m not sure if that will be Oli Marmol or not, but what I percieved to be rock bottom for this club continues to sink lower and lower.
Here’s how it went down:
The Giants got to Flaherty early, putting the Cardinal offense in a hole from the get-go. LaMonte Wade Jr. popped out on the infield leading off the game. But after throwing a first pitch strike to Estrada, Flaherty missed four straight times and handed out the first free pass of the day. Pederson singled to right field with one out, advancing Estrada to third.
Jack fell behind J.D. Davis 3-0 to start the at-bat, but battled back to strike him out and keep the game scoreless for the moment. Conforto stepped in and quickly got rid of that notion, hitting a towering fly ball into right center field that Carlson may have got his glove on (?) but could not hang onto, crashing into the bullpen gate and watching the ball drop for a two-run double. Flaherty struck out Haniger to end the top of the first with the Giants up 2-0 early.
The Cardinals, to their credit, swung right back. Brendan Donovan led off in the bottom half of the frame with a double to right center field — his sixth of the season. Goldschmidt followed with a blistering 106 mph ground ball to Wade at first that he was unable to corral, as it bounced off his glove into right field. Donovan scored, making it 2-1 Giants, and Wade was charged with an error on the play.
*Note - this was later changed to an RBI single for Goldschmidt*
Nolan Gorman has struggled mightily lately, but worked one of his best at-bats of the season in the first inning. He fell behind 0-2 right away, but fouled off three pitches and took four balls to eventually draw a walk on pitch number nine. Arenado hit after Gorman, and hit a screaming line drive back at Cobb that nearly took his head off. It got to center field so quickly that Goldschmidt and Gorman were only able to advance one base apiece, loading the bases with no outs.
The Cardinals tried their best to self-sabotage with the bases loaded (as they love to do), but were able to tie the game up. Contreras struck out on three pitches, flailing at a splitter that bounced on the plate for the first out. Carlson followed with a weak ground ball to second base that should’ve been an innining-ending double play, but Estrada’s turn was too slow, and the Giants were unable to double off Carlson at first. It went down as an RBI fielder’s choice, tying the game 2-2.
With runners on the corners and two outs Jordan Walker worked a seven-pitch at-bat, but eventually struck out.
After Cobb threw 109 pitches over nine shutout innings againt these Cardinals back in April, it took him 32 pitches to get through the first inning on Tuesday night.
Flaherty was able to get a flyout from Yastrzemski and a groundout from the rookie catcher Bailey, but Crawford broke up the clean inning with a two-out single to right. Wade followed with a first-pitch groundout to get the Cardinals back in the dugout.
The Cardinals followed the Giants lead, reaching base in the second but not until there were two outs. DeJong struck out and Edman grounded out, but Donovan continued his string of great at-bats, working a six-pitch walk. Goldschmidt roped a base hit to right field to put two runners on with two outs. Gorman flew out to straight-away center to end the inning, stranding both runners. The Cardinals were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position through the first two innings, with the hit belonging to Arenado in the first (and it was hit so hard it did not drive in a run).
*Note - with Goldschmidt’s hit later changed to an RBI single, the Cardinals were actually 2-6 with RISP during the first two innings*
The Giants got to Flaherty again in the third, and once again it was Conforto. Estrada led off the inning, hitting a line drive up the middle that DeJong snagged after ranging to his left. Pederson worked a seven-pitch walk with one out, and Davis followed with a base hit to right field, extending his arms and poking an outside fastball the opposite way. Conforto went the opposite way too, roping a 98 mph line drive to left, driving in Pederson and putting the Giants up 3-2. Davis was thrown out at third base on the play, but was initially ruled safe. After the Cardinals challenged, the play was overturned, and Davis was removed from the game after bending his ankle backwards sliding into the bag (later diagnosed with a sprained ankle).
Mitch Haniger hit next, and Flaherty’s first pitch was an 89 mph sinker that didn’t sink at all. Instead, it went way up and in and hit Haniger in the hand. After the Giants medical staff took a look, Haniger was also removed from the game (so if you’re taking notes, that’s two Giants pulled from the game due to injuries in back-to-back plays). He was later diagnosed with a fractured forearm.
Flaherty walked Yastrzemski on four pitches to load the bases up with two outs for Bailey, who grounded out to third base to strand the bases loaded.
The Cardinals went in order in the bottom of the third. Arenado grounded out Contreras struck out looking on a pitch down and out of the zone, and Carlson’s ground ball deflected off of Cobb’s glove and went right to Estrada, who threw over to first for the third out.
It’s always tough when the pitch you took for ball three just a few seconds earlier (6) is closer to the zone that the pitch called for strike three (8).
Flaherty worked around a one-out double from Wade to post a scoreless fourth inning. Crawford flew out to left field, followed by the Wade double down into the right field corner. However, Jack struck out Estrada and got Pederson to ground out to Goldschmidt at first base to get out of the inning.
After the third out was made, Flaherty began yelling at Wade as the two left the field. Wade tried to make his way over to Flaherty to respectfully discuss the matter, but was held back by first base coach Antoan Richardson. Benches and bullpens cleared, but nobody was ejected and business continued as usual.
After the scuffle, Cobb pitched a scoreless bottom of the fourth. Walker grounded out, DeJong struck out for the second time, and then Edman ripped a 104 mph single up the middle. Donovan swung at the first pitch he saw and flew out to deep left field to end the fourth with St. Louis down, 3-2.
Blake Sabol, who entered the game in place of Davis in the third inning, led off the fifth with a single up the middle. Conforto followed with his third hit of the game — a bloop single down the left field line that Walker misplayed, allowing it to roll past him. Sabol was able to advance to third, and Conforto moved up to second (E7 on Walker).
Rookie infielder Casey Schmitt, who entered the game in the third inning in place of Haniger, hit a hard ground ball into right field for an RBI single. Sabol scored, Conforto moved to third, and the Giants led 4-2.
Yastrzemski hit with runners on the corners and no outs, and hit a ground ball to Goldschmidt at first. He threw out Conforto at home to cut down a run, but very next batter — Bailey — singled to right field to bring home another. Schmitt scored to make it 5-2, with Yastrzemski going first to third.
That was it for Flaherty, as Oli Marmol went to the bullpen and brought in Genesis Cabrera. That ended a string of three straight solid starts for Flaherty.
Crawford was the first batter Cabrera faced, and he executed a squeeze play perfectly (kind of). He popped the bunt up down the first base line, but it it dropped before Cabrera could get to it. He threw to first for the out, with Yastrzemski scoring to make it 6-2 San Fran.
Estrada roped a 101 mph single to left field to load the bases with two outs. Wilmer Flores pinch-hit for Pederson facing the left-handed Cabrera, and it looked like he drew a walk when Cabrera missed badly on a 3-1 fastball, up and out of the zone. That bases loaded walk would’ve forced home a run and made it 7-2, but home plate umpire Tripp Gibson called it strike two. Flores popped out on the next pitch, leaving it 6-2.
Cobb was lifted in the bottom of the fifth after four laborious innings, with right-hander Luke Jackson making his fourth appearance of the season. He struck out Goldschmidt and Gorman back-to-back, followed by a bloop double for Arenado down the right field line. Contreras was apparently hit in the foot by a Luke Jackson fastball and took his base, but Gibson called him back to the plate and said that no, he was not hit by the pitch and it was ball two. Contreras struck out looking on the next pitch to end the inning. Tonight was Contreras’ second hat trick of the season.
Flaherty’s final line: 4.1 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K’s (101 pitches)
Cobb’s final line: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K’s (79 pitches)
Genesis Cabrera returned for the sixth, and the Giants lit him up like a Christmas tree. After a Sabol groundout, here’s how the inning unfolded:
- Conforto single
- Schmitt strikeout
- Yastrzemski two-run homer — Giants lead 8-2
- Patrick Bailey solo homer — Giants lead 9-2
- Crawford strikeout
25-year old rookie right-hander Keaton Winn made his major league debut in the bottom of the sixth and the Cardinals did not score. It was a clean inning for Winn aside from a one-out walk to Jordan Walker.
A Major League debut for Winn at Busch Stadium.— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) June 14, 2023
Jake Woodford took the mound in the seventh inning — his first time on a big league mound since May 4. He struck out Wade and Estrada, but Wilmer Flores hammered a two-out double into the right-center field gap.
At this point, with the Cardinals down 9-2, Brad Thompson and Chip Caray began to debate crunchy peanut butter versus creamy peanut butter in the broacast booth. They even called Jim Hayes into the debate. Caray is a crunchy PB guy. Thompson and Hayes were both #TeamCreamy.
Woodford walked Sabol and got Conforto to fly out to center field to end the top of the seventh and keep the deficit at merely one touchdown.
Keaton Winn pitched a scoreless seventh as well, working around a one-out walk to Goldschmidt.
Another scoreless frame from Woodford with another strikeout in the eighth.
Winn returned for the bottom of the inning, and the Cardinals waved the proverbial white flag. Alec Burleson pinch-hit for Arenado, and flew out. Contreras drew a walk and Carlson was hit by a pitch to put two on with one out for Walker, who doubled to left field. Contreras scored to make it 9-3.
Winn struck out DeJong (hat trick for Pauly D!) and got Edman to ground out to end the inning.
The ninth inning was messy for Woodford, and at this point of the game, the details aren’t nearly as important as the end result. San Fran scored a total of two off Woodford, with Drew VerHagen joining the party and getting the final two outs in the top half of the ninth.
The Cardinals did not score off Winn in the bottom of the ninth.
FINAL: Giants 11, Cardinals 3
The Cardinals (27-41) are once again looking down the barrel of a sweep if they can’t defeat the Giants (35-32) tomorrow afternoon at Busch. Jordan Montgomery (3-7, 3.88 ERA) will toe the rubber for St. Louis. In his last start, he went six shutout innings in a win over the Reds. Anohony DeSclafani (4-6, 3.89 ERA) is listed as the probable pitcher for the Giants. First pitch is set for 12:15 p.m.
Around the Central
Reds 5, Royals 4
Twins 7, Brewers 5
Cubs 4, Pirates 3 — TOP 7