We’re halfway through Spring Training!!! WOOHOO!!! Let’s break down what happened with the St. Louis Cardinals in Week 2.
Monday, March 12, 2012 - Cardinals 4, Nationals 8
You win some and you lose some and that’s what happened as the Cardinals split their split-squad games. The squad that went to visit the Nationals lost 8-4. It didn’t start out all bad as David Freese did his best imitation of himself from last year’s postseason hitting a three-run bomb off Jordan Zimmermann in the first. Top pitching prospect Shelby Miller was on the hill for the Cards and gave back the lead in his 2.1 innings of work, giving up an RBI double to Mike Morse in the first as well as homers to Jesus Flores in the second and Ryan Zimmerman in the third before he was yanked. The Cards regained the lead on an Oscar Taveras single but that would be the last run they would get. Miller’s replacement was Chuckie Fick who didn’t scare the Nats as he gave up RBI singles to Corey Brown and Ian Desmond to give back the lead. The Nats extended their lead in the fifth thanks to two errors by Tyler Greene at second base. The Cards out-hit the Nats but couldn’t outscore them.
Braves 4, Cardinals 5
The home squad that faced the Braves fared much better. Jaime Garcia started for the Cards and gave up a run on a double play hit by Chipper Jones in two innings of work. The Cards put a rally together in the second culminating in Braves starter Brandon Beachy walking Erik Komatsu to tie the game, but the Cardinals gave the lead right back as Joe Kelly gave up RBI singles to Martin Prado and Freddie Freeman. The Cards fought back in the sixth thanks to Braves pitcher Dusty Hughes lack of control. Hughes walked three and Komatsu and Ryan Jackson made him pay with two consecutive sacrifice flies to tie the game. It stayed that way until the bottom of the eighth when a Braves pitcher again cost himself a run this time because of his fielding. Adam Russell let Ryan Jackson reach on an error. Kolten Wong bunted him over and then with two out, Amaury Cazana doubled Jackson in to take the lead but was left stranded on second. Jason Motte entered the game in what would be a usual closing spot, but couldn’t shut the door. He got the first man, but walked Todd Cunningham and then Jordan Parraz would triple him home to tie the game. Parraz was thrown out at home on a grounder to third baseman Xavier Scruggs. Drew Sutton would single to make it first and third but Motte would strike out Brandon Hicks. Like the Cardinals did in 2011 they fought back again in the bottom of the ninth. After the first two hitters got out Komatsu singled. Jackson got an infield single and then Wong got a single of his own for the walk-off win.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - Cardinals 9, Mets 1
The Cardinals brought their sticks with them to Port St. Lucie and Mike Pelfrey was not happy about it. Pelfrey gave up home runs to Freese and Yadier Molina in the first two innings. Adam Wainwright continued to look like he never left as he pitched three shut out innings only giving up one hit and one walk. The Cardinals scored on a double steal with Tyler Greene scoring and Daniel Descalso moving to second. It may be a sign of what to expect from Mike Matheny during the season with some aggressive new ways to score runs. Cardinal pitching only gave up one run and six hits for the game.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - Astros 4, Cardinals 3
The Cardinals got off to a great start by scoring three runs in the third inning thanks to RBI singles by Matt Holliday, Freese and Molina. Lance Lynn pitched great in his start going three innings without giving up a run. However, Adam Ottavino couldn’t hold it. Ottavino gave up four runs on four hits and a walk in two thirds of an inning. No Cardinal pitcher gave up a hit the rest of the game but the offense couldn’t come through.
Thursday, March 15, 2012 - Cardinals 9, Red Sox 6
The comeback Cardinals did it again scoring five runs in the top of the eighth to take a 9-6 lead. Kyle Lohse stared the game and gave up three runs in 3.2 innings. The Cardinals were down 4-1 in the sixth but scored three runs thanks to Matt Adams second homer of the spring and two out hits by Koyie Hill and Rafael Furcal. Samuel Freeman came in to relieve and couldn’t hold it. After getting a double play, he walked three straight hitters. Mark Rzepczynski came in and gave up a two run double to Pedro Ciriaco before getting out of the inning. The Cardinals came up with a two out rally of their own in the eighth. Eugenio Velez got it started with a single and Brain Anderson walked. Shane Robinson cleared the bases with a triple. Oscar Tavares and Matt Adams singled and then Daniel Descalso doubled to drive in Tavares but Matt Adams was thrown out at home to end the inning.
Friday, March 16, 2012 - Marlins 0, Cardinals 5
Cardinals’ pitching was the story as they only gave up three hits and didn’t give up a hit after the fifth inning. Molina drove in three of the five runs with singles in the first and third. Holliday hit his first home run of the spring. Jake Westbrook started the game allowing just 2 hits in four innings. On the downside, Skip Schumaker injured his right oblique and may be out for a while.
Saturday, March 17, 2012 - Cardinals 3, Tigers 10
The Cardinals ran into the buzz saw that is the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers improved their record to 11-1 this spring. It started out well for the Redbirds as Holliday hit a two-run homer in the second and Freese singled in a run in the third. That was it for the scoring on this day. Garcia started and gave up four runs in 4.1 innings. R.J. Swindle came in for him and gave up three runs in two thirds of an inning. The Tigers scored runs every inning from the fourth to the seventh. Motte and Kyle McClellan also gave up runs in their inning of work. The Cardinals only had one hit after the third inning.
Sunday March 18, 2012 - Cardinals 4, Marlins 2
Wainwright may just be back to his old self, giving up one unearned run in four innings of work on only one hit. This effort kept his spring ERA at 0.00. Freese also continued his clutch hitting. The Cardinals were down 2-1 in the eighth, but Freese gave them the lead with a three-run homer off Rob Delaney. Freese leads the team this spring with 10 RBI.
With opening day just over a couple weeks away, let’s see if the Cardinals can begin to string some victories together as they continue to meld as a team.