The Redbirds were back to NL contests this week, taking on the Miami Marlins in Miami and then coming home to Busch to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mixed bag with the Birds winning the series against the Fish, but losing 2 out of 3 to the Pirates. Pitching still seems to be a sticking point with this team. Recaps follow.
Monday June 25, 2012—Cardinals 8 Marlins 7
Some extra innings excitement with this one. Fish get on the board first in the 3rd scoring one against Jake Westbrook. Fish score another in the 5th, making it 2-0. Redbirds remain scoreless until the 7th when David Freese singles to left. Freese advances to third when Skip Schumaker walks and the advances to third on a force attempt error. While Shane Robinson is at the plate, a passed ball scores Freese. That inning also featured a hard hit single that hit Shane Robinson in the basepaths for the last out of the inning. Unfortunately, the bottom of the 7th brought four more runs for the Marlins. In the 8th, Carlos Beltran draws a walk and Yadier Molina singles to center. A fielding error by Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez scores Beltran on a force attempt. The Cardinals tie the game in the 9th scoring 4 more runs. Rafael Furcal walks, Matt Holliday doubles to center and Carlos Beltran singles to right, scoring Furcal. Allen Craig plates Matt Holliday on a sac fly. The RBI machine Yadier Molina then hits a 2 run home run to left scoring the final two runs to tie the game. In the 10th, the Birds take a two run lead when Tyler Greene singles to left and Rafael Furcal doubles to left scoring the speedy Greene. Matt Holliday is hit by a pitch and Carlos Beltran is intentionally walked to load the bases. Out of position players due to a double switch lineup snafu with home plate umpire Bob Davidson, manager Mike Matheny pinch hit rookie pitcher Joe Kelly, who beat out an infield grounder to score Furcal from third. Cardinals take a two run lead into the bottom of the 10th, and although the Marlins do manage to score another run it wasn’t enough, and the Birds prevail, 8-7.
Tuesday June 26, 2012—Cardinals 5 Marlins 2
Cards come out swinging in the first against Carloz Zambrano. Rafael Furcal singles to center. Matt Holliday reaches on a force attempt throwing error by Zambrano. Carlos Beltran singles to center, scoring Furcal. Allen Craig then plates Holliday on a single to left and then Yadier Molina hits a 3 run bomb to left field. 5-0 Birds. The Marlins score one run in the the 1st and 1 more in the 4th, but the Cardinals hold on to win 5-2. Kyle Lohse gets the win.
Wednesday June 27, 2012—Cardinals 3 Marlins 5
Cardinals get on the board on the 1st with 2 runs. Jon Jay walks and Matt Holliday doubles to right. Carlos Beltran scores Jay from third on a sac fly. David Freese then doubles to left, scoring Holliday. 2-0 Birds. Rookie pitcher Joe Kelly pitches four scoreless innings until giving up two runs to the Marlins in the 5th. The Cardinals take the lead back in the 7th when back up catcher Tony Cruz hits a solo homer to left center field. But the Fish answer back in the bottom of the 7th, scoring two more runs on solo home runs given up by Cardinals relief pitchers Fernando Salas and Sam Freeman. In the 8th, the Marlins add one more run and the Birds are unable to come back. Fish prevail 5-3 over the Cardinals.
Friday June 29, 2012—-Cardinals 5 Pirates 14
This was an Adam Wainwright start and it wasn’t a good one. Trying to recap all the scoring in this game would exhaust a marathon runner. So, shorter Pirates —they scored 14 runs. The Cardinals were able to manage 5 runs, which in a normal game with adequate pitching would be enough to win. I won’t blame all of this on Wainwright, he allowed half of the runs, and the Cardinals bullpen allowed the other half. The Cardinals runs consisted of one run in the second on an Allen Craig double and two groundouts by Yadier Molina and David Freese. The Birds scored their last 4 runs in the 3rd, putting them briefly in the lead 5-2. Rafael Furcal walked, followed by a Jon Jay single to right. A Carlos Beltran single scores Furcal. Allen Craig hits a 3 run no doubter to left center field. The Cardinals would score no more runs, and the Pirates would precede to take batting practice on Cardinal pitching in the 5th, scoring in every inning after that but the 7th. This was a game that we all want to forget. Moving on.
Saturday June 30, 2012—-Cardinals 3 Pirates 7
Same song, different verse for Game 2 of the series—with half as many runs. Lance Lynn was the starter and it was not good. Lynn got the first two outs, and then proceeded to load the bases and then give up a grand slam to Pedro Alvarez. The Cardinals got two of the runs back in the 3rd, beginning with a Tony Cruz double to left field, a sac bunt by Lance Lynn, and a ground out fielder’s choice RBI by Jon Jay. After Jay steals second base, Matt Holliday singles Jay home on a ground ball up the middle. The Pirates extended their lead again in the 5th, scoring two more runs to make it 6-2. The Birds make it 6-3 in the 8th on doubles by Jon Jay and Carlos Beltran. The Pirates add one more in the 9th to make the final score 7-3. Lance Lynn takes the loss.
Sunday July 1, 2012—Cardinals 5 Pirates 4
The Cardinals avoid the sweep with a win. Birds score first in the 2nd on a Yadier Molina HR to left center field. The Redbirds add two more in the 3rd with a single by Matt Carpenter and a 2 run homer to center field off the bat of Allen Craig. However, the Buccos come back in the 4th to score 4 runs on a double, a single and a 3 run homer by Michael McKenry. In the 5th, the Cards take the lead, scoring two runs on a Matt Carpenter walk, an RBI double by Matt Holliday and an RBI single by Shane Robinson. The bullpen manages to hold onto the lead and the Cards win 5-4. Jake Westbrook gets the win.