With runners on first and second and no one out, a series of mistakes led to the St. Louis Cardinals falling 7-4 to the New York Yankees in a loss on Wednesday night.
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I would label the mistakes in the bottom of the ninth inning as ones caused by manager Mike Matheny. With two on, Jon Jay steps up to the plate. Strikeout. Peter Bourjos was set to hit against David Robertson but he was called back and Matt Adams pinch hit in his place. Adams, who is hitting over .300, was unable to get a hit even though he can do some damage with one swing. Two outs. This brings none other than Daniel Descalso to the plate. The same Descalso that entered the game with a .149 batting average and no hits since May 10th. Strikeout.
Pinch-hitting for Bourjos was the worst idea. Cardinals fans on Twitter have turned on Descalso this season. After a dismal performance during the World Series, I have lost faith on Descalso at the plate. The only reason he is on the team, at this point, is because he can back up second base, third base, and shortstop. Mark Ellis can’t do that. Pete Kozma can’t do that.
Descalso is now hitting .173 because of a 2-for-5 night with a small sample size for his at-bats. Regardless, we are getting a Ty Wigginton performance out of Descalso this season and that’s not fair to the team or to the fans. The fans deserve better. Yes, Jhonny Peralta needs a night off every now and then but Matt Adams’ bat was out of the game due to a sore calf already.
But for all of Descalso’s issues at the plate, Kolten Wong had a great night. The rookie set a career high with four hits. Hitting only .225 when he was sent down in April, Wong has raised his average to .283 on the season! He’s hitting .324 in the month of May. Since being recalled, Wong has a hit in every game except for Tuesday night when he starred defensively.
The Cardinals had 13 hits on the night, including two doubles from Matt Carpenter and doubles from Wong and Yadier Molina. Molina added another multi-hit night to his resume this season and was joined by Wong, Carpenter, and Descalso.
Shelby Miller was absolutely horrid on Wednesday. Miller was limited to five innings after allowing seven runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out a batter. Miller picked up his fourth loss of the season.
One interesting tidbit was brought up tonight by Bernie Miklasz and that is the number of stolen bases while Miller is on the mound. Six bases stolen out of seven attempts despite Molina behind the plate. Compare that to when Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, and Lance Lynn are on the mound. When they are pitching, there has only been one stolen base in five attempts. What does this say about Miller’s pitching?