St. Louis Cardinals: Cardinals beat Phillies 5-1 to earn series split

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 1: Jack Flaherty
ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 1: Jack Flaherty /

Starting pitching was terrific for the St. Louis Cardinals. The bullpen did its job. And the offense looked good as the Birds defeated the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.

Jack Flaherty once again proved why he should remain with the St. Louis Cardinals for the rest of the season, getting his first career win. He threw 7.2 terrific innings, a new career-high. He allowed only two hits and one run, a solo home run by Rhys Hoskins, and struck out 13 batters, also a career-high. To top it all off, he also got his first major league hit.

The bullpen also looked good. Jordan Hicks came in to get the final out of the eighth inning, forcing a ground out to third base and pitched a scoreless ninth to preserve the win for Flaherty. Against Odubel Herrera in the ninth, he threw a sequence of consecutive pitches at 104, 105, 104, 105, and 104!

The game remained scoreless until Rhys Hoskins homered to left in the fourth inning, making the score 1-0.

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The St. Louis Cardinals would answer in the bottom of the fourth. With Dexter Fowler on first and Tyler O’Neill at second, Kolten Wong hit a chopper to the second baseman.

The ground ball took Cesar Hernandez into the baseline, and he tried to tag Dexter Fowler. Fowler, correctly so, stopped which forced Hernandez to throw to first to get the force out on Wong.

Carlos Santana, the Phillies first baseman, then tried to throw out Fowler at second base, but the ball got away. O’Neill scored on the throwing error and Fowler advanced to third base. Greg Garcia would later drive in Fowler with a single, making the score 2-1.

The St. Louis Cardinals would add two more runs in the sixth inning. O’Neill led off the inning with a home run to left center, making it consecutive games with a homer. Fowler, the next batter, singled. He stole second base on a play in which the throw beat him but the shortstop did a poor job of getting the tag down. Wong sacrificed him to third base with a beautiful bunt. And Garcia would hit a sac fly to left field, making the score 4-1.

The Birds would add another run in the seventh inning. With two outs, Matt Carpenter doubled to right center. That was his sixth double over the past five games and his tenth hit. His batting average has gone from .140 to .194 in those five games. He definitely looks like the Carp of old. Hopefully it continues because we all know that the old Carp would be a big boost to this lineup. Jose Martinez would single to right field to drive him in and make the score 5-1, which would be the final score.

It bears repeating that Flaherty was outstanding. There’s nothing left this dude needs to prove in the minors. He’s also been terrific in the big leagues. Across 23.1 innings for the Cardinals he has 27 strikeouts and a 2.31 ERA. Keep him in the rotation.

Carp and O’Neill both finished with three hits. JMart, Fowler, Garcia, and Flaherty all added a hit apiece as the Cardinals had 10 hits on the day.

Next: Alex Reyes is on the way

The win by the St. Louis Cardinals earned a series split with Philadelphia and improved their record to 25-19. They will begin a three game series with the Kansas City Royals on Monday. Game time is 7:15. Miles Mikolas will be on the mound, looking to improve his 5-0 record and 2.63 ERA.