Cardinals avoid sweep in fairly ugly series with the Reds

The St. Louis Cardinals seemingly put it together to avoid getting swept by the Cincinnati Reds to move even on the season at 50-50.

The St. Louis Cardinals looked flat and frustrated at times against the Cincinnati Reds this weekend but scrapped together some good play on Sunday to avoid getting swept. They lost 6-5 on Friday, 5-3 on Saturday, and won 10-6 on Sunday.

Let’s discuss the good, bad, and ugly of it all.

The Good

The Cardinal bats at least showed some life this weekend.

The team started things off well Friday with a home run off the bat of Paul Goldschmidt.

It was his 17th homer of the season. Harrison Bader also hit his seventh homer of the season. Andrew Knizner knocked a ground-rule double to score Bader and Tommy Edman and Dylan Carlson hit a sacrifice fly to knocked in Knizner.

Tyler O’Neill had a pretty nifty play on Friday as well:

On Saturday, Bader singled in the second to score DeJong. The team struggled until the eighth when Nolan Arenado hit a ground-rule double to score Goldschmidt and DeJong singled to score Arenado.

Speaking of Arenado, he had this great defensive play:

On Sunday, O’Neill got the offense going in the first with his 17th homer of the season to score Arenado. Edman doubled in the fourth to score O’Neill. Bader knocked his eighth homer of the season to score DeJong and Edman. Dylan Carlson hit his tenth homer of the season to score Knizner then Arenado hit his 20th homer of the season in the ninth.

The Bad

The umpiring was pretty bad all weekend long. CB Bucknor was the home plate ump on Friday, Adam Hamari on Saturday and Chad Fairchild on Sunday. Both teams had complaints throughout the weekend on some incredibly questionable calls from the crew. Mike Shildt was ejected by first base ump Ron Kulpa in the third Sunday. Shildt was heated after he apparently waited too long to request an umpire review.

In Sunday’s post game press conference, Shildt said several questionable calls from the umpiring squad did not settle well and he was just being a mouth piece for the team.

Genesis Cabrera was ejected by Fairchild on Sunday. Cabrera said something to Fairchild as he was being removed from the game for Giovanny Gallegos. As he was punched out, Cabrera seemed to laughed it off and stick his tongue out at him. Not exactly mature of Genesis, but it was quite understandable after a weekend of frustration.

Another bad was Yadier Molina sitting the entire series. It was great to see Knizner getting to play the whole weekend, but it was unsettling to see Molina out with neck issues and not even get in the game to pinch hit.

The Ugly

Joey Votto doubled off Wade LeBlanc in the first Friday to score Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson. Kyler Farmer hit his eighth homer of the year in the fourth. Eugenio Suarez doubled in the seventh to score Stephenson. A wild pitch from Ryan Helsley allowed Votto to score. And, in the eighth Stephens hit a sacrifice fly to score Farmer.

Jake Woodford moved to 2-2 with his loss on Saturday. He gave up seven hits and two in five innings, including three earned runs including a homer. He did strike out two. T.J. McFarland pitched two innings, giving up two hits and two runs, including a homer. John Gant pitched a good inning only walking one, but striking out two.

Jesse Winker remained a thorn in the side of the Cardinals as he hit a double to score Jonathan India. Votto hit his 13th homer of the season. Winker hit his 20th home run of the season.

Johan Oviedo missed out on his first win of the season yet again Sunday. He pitched 4.1 innings, giving up five hits, six walks, three runs, including a homer to Joey Votto. He did strike out six. Ryan Helsley earned the win moving to 5-4 on the season. He pitched two thirds of an inning, striking out one.

Andrew Miller pitched an inning, giving up three hits and one run. He struck out two. Justin Miller pitched one third of an inning, giving up a walk and two runs. He did strike out one.  Cabrera pitched two thirds of an inning, giving up a hit and a walk. He struck out one. Gallegos and Alex Reyes pitched a clean inning each to hold the game for the Cards.

In conclusion…

It wasn’t a good weekend for the Cardinals in Cincinnati but thankfully they salvaged a game Sunday. The win moved the Cardinals to a record of 50-50. They remain a game and a half back of the Reds who are now 51-48. The Cards remain a game up on the Cubs who are 49-51. Overall the Cardinals are 8.0 back of the Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers.

It’s not looking great, but hopefully the Cardinals can get some help and make a run of some sort. The Cardinals travel to Cleveland to play the Guardians a two game set starting Tuesday.