The St. Louis Cardinals’ hope for a positive momentum swing was soured with a disappointing sweep at the hands of Jesse Winker and the Cincinnati Reds.
The St. Louis Cardinals were swept in one of the most disappointing series of the year against the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend.
The Cardinals lost Thursday 4-2, Friday 5-4, Saturday 5-2, and Sunday 8-7. The final scores suggest they played close in the series, but other than Sunday, it felt as though the Cardinals were down mountains to the club.
Let’s discuss the Good, the Bad, and the mostly Ugly of this series with the Reds.
The Cardinals did mostly keep things close against the Reds and showed real signs of life in the sixth inning of Sunday’s game, scoring seven runs in one inning to tie the game. Tyler O’Neill hit his 13th homer of the season scoring Nolan Arenado, Matt Carpenter hit a double to score Edmundo Sosa and Jose Rondon, Tommy Edman singled to score Andrew Knizner, and Arenado singled to score Carpenter and Edman. Exciting inning. It just wasn’t enough.
As he’s struggled, here’s Matt Carpenter’s clutch double:
The defense was another bright spot for the Cardinals. Check out this play from Sunday and this from play from Thursday. And on Friday, this catch by Tyler O’Neill at the side wall in left field made fans concerned for the wall.
Injuries are still mounting up for the Cardinals. Kwang Hyun Kim left after the third inning of Friday’s game and was placed on the injured list with lower back tightness on the right side. Matt Graves discusses Kim’s exit here. Justin Williams was also placed on the injured list with neck stiffness.
As if that wasn’t enough, Yadier Molina left Saturday’s game with a left knee contusion. The injury wasn’t as bad as anticipated and he was available to hit off the bench in an emergency situation Sunday. That is a bright spot because as good as Knizner is as a backup, there is something to be said for Molina’s presence on this team.
Honestly, what wasn’t ugly in this series? Getting swept by the Reds was by far the ugliest.
Adam Wainwright is now 3-5 on the season, he threw seven innings Thursday, giving up eight hits, three earned runs, including a home run to Jesse Winker. While Waino had four strikeouts, he did not help himself by hitting batters. Waino hit Tyler Stephenson, Tyler Naquin, and Nicholas Castellanos to get them on board.
Kim is now 1-4, he gave up two hits and three earned runs, including two homers to Stephenson and Jonathan India. After Kim hit Kyle Farmer to him on base, Jake Woodford came in relief and he hit Scott Heineman and Alex Blandino. Reliever Andrew Miller also hit a batter, Shogo Akiyama.
On Saturday, starter Johan Oveido pitched four innings, giving up three hits and two earned runs, including a homer to India. He did strike out four but walked two. Ryan Helsley pitched 1.1 innings giving up two hits and two runs, including a homer to Eugenio Suarez.
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The ugliest thing, however, came on Sunday. The Cardinals gave up three home runs to Jessie Winker, including the ultimate game-winning eighth run in the ninth off Alex Reyes. John Gant gave up a two run shot in the first inning and a three run shot in the second. India was on base for Winker’s first homer thanks to Gant hitting him. Gant gave up seven runs. Miller, Angel Rondon and Gio Gallegos were scoreless their four frames.
Over the course of the weekend, the Cardinals left 31 runners on base, including nine on Sunday. They were four for 13 with runners in scoring position. The entire series could have gone favorably had any of those runs been scored over the course of the series. How frustrating?
Here’s hoping it’s a positive day off for the Cardinals Monday as they get some rest and hopefully refocus their efforts. The Cardinals still have several players with injuries that lack a timetable for return. It would be great if the front office had a busy day. This team desperately needs help with pitching but if they could get another bat or two it would be beneficial for the summer run.
The Cardinals have a two-game set against the Cleveland baseball team starting Tuesday at Busch.