St. Louis Cardinals: Final game in Minnesota goes to the birds
By Matt Graves
The St. Louis Cardinals escaped with one game after their two game series with the Twins. What happened? How’d they play? What’s next?
The St. Louis Cardinals knocked out the Minnesota Twins 7-5 in a true American League game on a strong late offensive performance by the Cardinals and solid pitching.
The St. Louis Cardinals came into the day today in need of anything positive on the offensive side of the ball. Their great pitching has been let down in the last few days as they came in with 38 strikeouts over their last three games. Miles Mikolas pitched against former Cardinal Lance Lynn and it was a forgettable day for both.
Tommy Pham, who in my opinion should not leave the lead off spot for the rest of the year, set the pace for the game with a lead off single. Pham and Jose Martinez were knocked in on a much needed single up the middle by Dexter Fowler. Fowler ended the game going 2 for 3 with a couple RBI’s.
After a 34 pitch first inning for Lance Lynn, Mikolas followed with an inefficient bottom of the first where the Twins brought home a run on a Max Kepler single. The Cardinals and Twins then traded punches with a Jose Martinez RBI base hit in the top of the second and Joe Mauer RBI single in the bottom half.
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Neither pitcher was very efficient in this game but the Lizard King worked into the fifth inning allowing only 2 runs. Add on RBI doubles by Matt Carpenter and Paul Dejong then solo homers by both Pham and Logan Morrison and some trouble late and the Cardinals won 7-5.
The Cardinal’s approach in this game looked greatly improved. They took six total walks and struck out 10 total times this game. While 10 strikeouts isn’t great, it still is an improvement from the last few games. Lynn, frustrated, was out after 3 innings.
Along with walks, the Cardinals’ improved approach also showed in their hits the other way. In the second inning alone, Greg Garcia and Jose Martinez slashed hits the other way. I’m no expert but I do know the more batters you get on base the better chances you have of scoring. The game today was also newsworthy from the Matt Carpenter camp, per Derrick Goold of the Post Dispatch:
Regardless of how bad they have been, today’s game should lift some of the weight off the shoulders of both Fowler and Carpenter, we can only hope they continue to make the best of their chances.
While their overall performance this year against the Twins was abysmal, take the win when you can and be happy. Next up the Phillies come to town as Luke Weaver takes on Vince Velasquez tomorrow at 6:15 CT.