St. Louis Cardinals: The Greg Garcia Show downs Cincy

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 14: Greg Garcia
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 14: Greg Garcia /

The St. Louis Cardinals used a strong outing from their starting pitcher and a unbelievable day by their utility guy to win game three of the series.

Sometimes when you get an opportunity to play, you need to make the most of it. That’s exactly what Greg Garcia did in the St. Louis Cardinals‘ 6-1 win over the Reds yesterday. The Cardinals also used a strong performance by starting pitcher Miles Mikolas to take game three of the series. The Cards will look to sweep the Reds today before heading to Chicago tomorrow.

Game recap

The St. Louis Cardinals immediately jumped on Reds’ starter Brandon Finnegan in the top half of the first inning. After Tommy Pham and Paul DeJong both drew walks to start the frame, red-hot Jose Martinez drove a pitch deep into the outfield. The fly ball was deep enough for Pham to tag up from second and head to third. Marcell Ozuna then proceeded to lift a fly ball to the outfield. Again, Tommy Pham tagged up and scored on the play to make it 1-0.

Then the Greg Garcia Show took over the offense.

In the top half of the second inning, Garcia lined a 1-2 slider deep into right that just snuck over the wall for a home run. It was his first home run of the season and put the Cardinals on top 2-0. But Greg’s day was just getting started.

He stepped into the batter’s box with a guy on in the top half of the fourth inning looking to extend the inning past starter Mikolas. For the second time in as many at-bats, Garcia homered on a 2-1 sinker into right field. The home run looked similar to his first one and just snuck over the right field wall again. Garcia’s second home run of the game put the Cards up 4-0.

The St. Louis Cardinals would add to their score in the fifth inning as well. Tommy Pham led off with a single and stole second base. That was his fifth stolen base this year. Jose Martinez did what he does best and drove Pham in with a double to left to push the score to 5-0.

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The five runs were more than enough for starter Miles Mikolas. He gave up a home run to the Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart in the bottom half of the fifth inning, but wasn’t phased by it at all.

Mikolas threw seven innings of one run ball while only giving up four hits and striking out four. He lowered his ERA on the season to 4.26.

The Cardinals would tack on their final run in the game in the sixth inning thanks again to Greg Garcia and Tommy Pham. Garcia doubled to right and scored on a double by Pham. Both players wound up with three hits on the day and scored five of the six runs combined.

The game finished 6-1.

Quick thoughts

  • Mikolas added to the great starting pitching the St. Louis Cardinals have received over the last couple of days. His seven inning performance is just another boost of confidence for the right-hander heading into his next start. He’ll face the Reds at home next Friday.
  • Greg Garcia was straight flexin’ yesterday, but what does that mean going forward? Is this performance good enough to give him the inside track to start at second base over Kolten Wong? It’s a good question to ask given Wong’s struggles this year, but is Garcia that much more of an improvement over Wong?
  • Tommy Pham has five steals already. He’ll definitely reach twenty steals this year, but could he reach thirty? I wouldn’t put it past him.
  • Jose Martinez continues to pile in the runs and hits. He is tied for the team lead in hits with nineteen, leads the team in RBI with fifteen, andleads the team in average at .373. There is no stopping him right now. Player of the month for the team in March/April?
  • Lastly, the St. Louis Cardinals are going for the sweep today. If they complete the sweep they will at least have a share of second place heading into Chicago should the Cubs also win. Last week I said it was crucial for the Cards to pile up wins this week to gain some momentum. They have held their end of the bargain so far, but now it’s time to finish the deal and take care of business today for the real test on Monday.

Next: Ozuna's hot start to the season

The Cardinals and Reds are back in action today starting at 12:10pm CT. Carlos Martinez looks to continue his string of strong outings against the Reds and Homer Bailey.