Yadier Molina hits last of three Cards' homers in first inning (Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE)

Rants Daily: Cardinals rip Reds with finesse and power


The St. Louis Cardinals ripped the Cincinnati Reds last night, 7-1, in a display of finesse and power. The finesse came in the form of Jake Westbrook, the power came off the bats of Matt Holliday, David Freese and Yadier Molina.

Jake Westbrook is not going to strike a lot of batters out (only two last night). But when he has his pitches working and is locating them like he did against the Reds in his 2012 debut, he becomes a ground ball machine. In seven extremely economical innings, Westbrook threw only 88 pitches. He allowed one run (unearned) on three hits and four walks. The walks all came in the first two innings and then Westbrook seemed to get into the zone as he got ground out after ground out. The Reds’ run was scored on a errant throw from Westbrook after a two-out Brandon Phillips single followed by a single by Zack Cozart.

In the meantime, the Cards pounded Reds starter Homer Bailey in the first inning. With two outs, Holliday launched his second home run of the season. Lance Berkman walked and David Freese loaded up and blasted a pitch over the right field fence for two more runs. Molina followed with a homer to center field. From that point Westbrook had everything he needed for the night and the Cards were on their way to their fourth victory of the season against one loss.

The Cardinals tacked on three runs in the eighth inning. Berkman walked with one out and moved to second on an infield hit to third by Freese. Molina was next and doubled to left scoring both runners. Molina finished the night with three RBI. Jon Jay and Daniel Descalso walked to load the bases and Matt Carpenter, pinch hitting for Westbrook, hit sacrifice fly to bring in the final Cardinals’ run of the game.

TODAY’S GAME

Kyle Lohse is set to make his second start of the season after taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning of the opening night game against the Miami Marlins. He faces off against Mike Leake, who is making his first start of the season.

NOTEWORTHY
  • Berkman’s sore hand is not preventing him from playing
  • Descalso receives fourth start at second to Tyler Greene‘s one
  • After five games the Cardinals lead the majors in runs (31) and home runs (9)
MY TWO CENTS 

For what it’s worth, how long will Daniel Descalso’s leash be? Prior to the start of the season, Tyler Greene looked to be the man at second base despite a decent spring from Descalso. Greene was getting a lion’s share of the starts at second base during the spring. Descalso was getting plenty of at-bats playing at various positions around the infield and certainly showed he can be a versatile utility player if needed.

But, once the season began, manager Mike Matheny announced that he would be using both Descalso and Greene at second. It was not to be considered a strict platoon, but Descalso would play against the tougher right-handed pitchers. Call me crazy but Homer Bailey does not fall into that category. Bailey had never faced either batter before tonight. It sure looks like a straight platoon to me.

Right now this is far from an issue. The Redbirds are scoring runs in bunches so they can carry a guy off to a slow start like Descalso (2-for-13, .313 OBP). But, how long will Matheny let Descalso monopolize the at-bats? Will Greene get the start today against Leake? It would be nice to see if only to allow us to believe this is not a strict platoon.

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Monday, Sep 11 Sep1:15Pittsburgh PiratesBuy Tickets

Tags: Brandon Phillips Cardinals Carlos Beltran Cincinnati Reds Daniel Descalso David Freese Homer Bailey Jake Westbrook Jon Jay Kyle Lohse Lance Berkman Matt Holliday Mike Leake Mike Matheny Rafael Furcal St Louis Cardinals Tyler Greene Yadier Molina Zack Cozart