St. Louis Cardinals: The Birds get their first win of the season
By Jason Grose
The St. Louis Cardinals salvage the series against the New York Mets, taking game three by the score of 5-1.
Luke Weaver pitched well enough to win. The St. Louis Cardinals’ offense was better. The bullpen threw four scoreless innings. And, the team finally got into the win column.
Paul DeJong would get the scoring started with a solo home run in the top of the second inning. The New York Mets would answer in the bottom of the inning, tying the game on an RBI single by Amed Rosario. That would be the only run for the Mets on Sunday afternoon.
In the third, Marcell Ozuna broke out of his mini slump with an RBI double down the left field line, making the score 2-1. Yadier Molina would add another run in the fourth with his second home run of the season. Ozuna would make the score 4-1 with a single in the fifth, driving in Tommy Pham.
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In the eighth, DeJong would conclude the game’s scoring with another solo home run, his second of the game and second of the season.
Luke Weaver got the win. He threw five innings, gave up five hits, one earned run, walked three, and struck out three. He needed 92 pitches to get through his five innings of work, not a very efficient number.
This is partly due to a pretty small strike zone and partly because I think he was nibbling at the corners.
Matt Bowman rebounded from his awful Opening Day relief appearance, throwing a scoreless sixth and seventh inning. He gave up only hit and struck out two. Jordan Hicks continued to wow with his stuff, throwing another scoreless inning in the 8th. Dominic Leone made his St. Louis Cardinals debut, throwing a scoreless ninth inning.
Again, Luke Weaver pitched pretty well. It’s hard to complain about five innings of one-run ball. I would like to see him be able to get deeper into games. It’s his first start of the season so nothing to really worry about yet.
The offense was better, highlighted by Marcell Ozuna’s three hits. He had been 0-8 with four strikeouts after the first two games of the season. He still struck out two more times – a worrying trend for him and the entire Cardinals’ offense, but it’s still too early to get overly concerned with that.
Paul DeJong obviously had a big game, hitting two home runs. I’m a big believer in his power and expect him to hit 30+ this year.
Pham reached base four times and stole his first base of the season. This is a positive sign for him and the entire team.
Dexter Fowler continued to look absolutely terrible at the plate. He’s now 0-13 with six strikeouts after three games. It’s still very early in the season obviously, and players will go three game stretches without a hit several times during the season. But, players always want to get off to a good start. The St. Louis Cardinals, or any team for that matter, need their lead-off man on base to be as successful as possible.
Matt Carpenter played second base today with Jedd Gyorko getting his first start at third base. Gyorko finished the game 1-3 with a walk. Kolten Wong did not start but played second base late in the game as a defensive replacement.
Lastly, the bullpen had their first game without giving up a run – hopefully a sign of what most fans think this bullpen can and should be.
The St. Louis Cardinals will open a three game series in Milwaukee on Monday afternoon. Miles Mikolas will make his Cardinals’ debut against Zach Davies. The game starts at 1:10 CT. What are your takeaways from today’s win? Let me know. Thanks for reading.