St. Louis Cardinals: Recapping the Series Loss Against the Nationals

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Apr 12, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter (13) reacts after scoring a run against the Washington Nationals in the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 12, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter (13) reacts after scoring a run against the Washington Nationals in the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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St. Louis Cardinals
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St. Louis Cardinals rotation: 1-2, 16 IP, 12 R, 9 ER, 20 H (3 HR), 6 BB, 14 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, .303 BAA

Who’s Hot: Mike Leake

Leake salvaged the third game of the series for the Cardinals, getting his first win of the season in a scoreless seven-inning effort. After drawing the tough-luck loss in his first start of the season last week, Leake improved on his eight-inning, one-run performance with seven sterling innings against a team that put up twenty-two runs in the first two games of the series.

After allowing back-to-back hits to open up the bottom of the first, Leake picked off Anthony Rendon at first base and then proceeded to retire the next nineteen hitters in consecutive order.

With two outs in the seventh inning, he allowed back-to-back singles to Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman, ending the streak. He then froze Jayson Werth, representing the tying run, with a sinker on the outside corner for strike three and the third out of the inning.

Werth was the last hitter Leake faced. He threw a total of 104 pitches in his seven innings of work. Through two starts, he’s 1-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In fifteen innings, he’s allowed just one run, ten hits, one walk, and struck out thirteen. Leake is the only St. Louis starter to record a quality start in each of his first two times on the mound this season.

A ground ball pitcher, he’s induced sixteen ground-ball outs in his two starts this year. If Leake can keep up the efficiency and effectiveness as the season moves forward, he’ll be an extremely valuable asset in the St. Louis Cardinals rotation.

Who’s Not: Adam Wainwright

Wainwright held the Chicago Cubs to just two runs on three hits in five innings pitched in his first start this season. He didn’t fare so well against the Nationals in start number two. It took him ninety-six pitches to throw 4+ innings. He allowed six runs (five earned) on eleven hits, walking two and striking out three.

It seemed like the Washington lineup hit just about everything he threw hard, and the pitch count and traffic on the bases swelled early and often as a result. He allowed a base hit to begin each of the five innings he started.

Through two starts, Wainwright is 0-2 with an ERA of 7.00. His WHIP is 2.00. Opposing teams are hitting .350 against him. His next start will be Sunday night in the finale of the weekend series against the Yankees in New York. He’ll look to right the ship under the bright lights in prime time.

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