After two weeks of subpar performances, the Redbirds were hoping for new results in a new week. That hope came from pitching that seemed to be trending up after a great performance by CMart in the final game against the Cubs. That and when you start the week with Adam Wainwright on the mound, you have a better than average chance of getting something to build on. Plus, the pitching staff gained an arm with the return of Kwang Hyun Kim. Paul Goldschmidt heats up.
Game 1 6/14 vs. Miami, Cardinals 4 Marlins 2
For the 6th time this year, Cardinal Elder statesman Adam Wainwright threw over 100 pitches over six innings giving up two runs on four hits, walked only three, and struck out six.
Tyler O'Neill would provide the go-ahead run with his second double of the night in the eighth inning. It would be the 20th game in a row where he has reached base safely. DeJong drove home an insurance run with a ground out to secure the win.
As mentioned, Adam Wainwright took the hill and gave up two runs in the third. When Jazz Chisholm reached on an infield Single driving, Wainwright would say later the post-game interview that when he came into the dugout, he said that's it I am giving up no more runs, and he backed it up. He would retire 8 in a row before walking Adam Duval in the sixth.
The Redbirds would get on the board first When Edmundo Sosa singled home a run in the second inning. After Miami took the lead, Paul Goldschmidt drove home a run with an infield single to tie it at two in the fifth. then O'Neill would put them ahead in the eighth, giving Gallegos his fourth win
Genesis Cabrera, Giovanny Gallegos, and Alex Reyes would each pitch a 1,2,3 inning. Reyes would earn his 17th save. The Cards start the week 1-0 and 33-33 overall.
Game 2 6/14 vs. Miami Cardinals 2 Marlins 1
Kwang Hyun Kim, fresh off the IL, gutted out six innings throwing 102 pitches giving up one run on 3 hits. He did walk five but struck out six Marlins before turning a tie game over to the bullpen. He got into and pitched out of a third-inning jam. He started with a walk on four pitches, then gave up a single to center on a 3-2 count. A throwing error put runners at second and Third. Adam Duval would single home a run and get to second on yet another throwing error from the Outfield. Kim Would get the next three batters to ground out without a run-scoring.
The Cardinals would tie the ball game in the 6th inning.
In the sixth inning, Jose Rondon singled, then in an attempted steal/pickoff, The Marlins Pitcher Trevor Rogers made an errant throw to first, Allowing Rondon to get to third base. one batter later, Paul Goldschmidt would beat the shift with a single to Right-Center field. Then in the ninth, Goldy would come up in the tie game and, with a count of 1-2, put a pitch just over the Center Field wall for the walk-off and series win. Credit Kim with a gutsy performance and the Cards shutdown trio of Genesis Cabrera, Giovanny Gallegos, and Alex Reyes to keep the door to home plate closed. Reyes would get the win his 4th. The birds go 2-0 for the week and 34-33 overall.
Game 3 6/15 vs. Miami Cardinals 1 Marlins 0
Rookie Johan Oviedo took the hill and gave his best outing of the year, pitching seven innings of shutout ball, allowing six hits, Struck out four, and walked NO ONE! he threw 87 pitches, 63 for strikes. He retired the first 10 batters he faced before giving up back-to-back singles in the fourth.
With runners on 1st and 3rd, a ground ball to the right of 2B Paul Goldschmidt alertly threw home to cut the runner at the plate on a good tag by Yadier Molina. Oviedo would strike out the next batter to end the inning. He would face another threat in the sixth inning. The Marlins had runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. He got the next two batters on a line out and a flyout. For all his effort, the Rookie from Cuba is still looking for his first win. Andrew Miller came to pitch the 8th, no hits, no runs, one walk, two strikeouts. It was Miller's 5th game since coming off the IL. So far, he has yet to give up a run—throwing 6 1/3 innings allowing 6 hits, 2 walks, and 6 Ks. Ryan Helsley pitched a one, two, three 9th. For Helsley, who got the win, it was his fourth win and HIS fourth straight game, giving up ZERO runs.
Sandy Alcantara was tough on the Cardinals, limiting the redbirds to 5 hits in the first 6 innings. He would pitch into the 9th.
In the bottom of the ninth vs. Alcantara.
Goldschmidt would reach on an error, Tyler O'Neill would strikeout and the Next batter, Matt Carpenter, would walk, setting up a 2 on 1 out, runners at 1st and 2nd scenario for Yadier Molina A foul ball and called strike later Molina would shoot the ball past a diving 3rd baseman and into left field which would bring Goldschmidt home with the winning run.
Tyler O'Neil did reach base with a hit-making 22 straight games getting on base safely.
The win was the cardinals 3rd straight, making them 3-0 for the week and 35-33 overall.
Game 4 6/17 @ Atlanta Braves 4 Cardinals 0
John Gant came changed his look cutting off his long Syndergaard-like locks. He also changed some of his approaches. Going almost as long in this game as his last two starts combined!
In his last two starts, he went 5 2/3 innings, gave up 12 runs on 8 hits, walked 8, and struck out 3. Thursday night in Atlanta, he went 5 1/3 innings, gave up 3 runs on 4 hits, Struck out 4 but only walked 2. Gant kept Atlanta at bay for four innings until Guillermo Heredia hit a solo shot in the fifth inning. In the sixth, after a walk to Ronald Acuna JR., a stolen base and a ground out by Freddie freeman Ozzie Albies hit a Triple that scored Acuna and nocked Gant out of the game. Daniel Ponce de Leone came in and surrendered a Double to Abraham Almonte, scoring Albies. I, the seventh Acuna, would drive home the Braves fourth run with a sac fly. Newly acquired Wade LeBlanc finished the seventh for St Louis. Junior Fernandez pitched a scoreless 8th.
On the other side, Braves starter Charlie Morton carried a No-hitter into the seventh, where Paul Goldschmidt broke it up. Morton would leave the game with two outs in the eighth inning and two runners on. he would 7 2/3IP, 3H, 0R, 0W, 7 Ks. Luke Jackson finished off the eighth, and Will Smith pitched a one, two, three ninth to secure the Braves win. The Loss snapped the 3 game win streak making the birds 3-1 for the week and 35-34 overall. Tyler O'Neill failed to reach base going 0-3, ending his streak of reaching base safely at 22 games.
Game 5 6/18 @ Atlanta Braves 9 Cardinals 1
In a season of ups and downs. Carlos Martinez had yet another down following a great game last week vs. the Chicago Cubs, going seven great innings. Carlos could only manage Three against Atlanta. Charged with Eight runs on eight hits. He walked four and struck out three.
Cmart's issues started when Austin Riley singled home a run with two outs.. then, in the second, William Contreras led the inning with a solo shot. Then after two outs, a walk to Ronald Acuna, a Single by Freddie Freeman, and a Home Run by Ozzie Albies, it was 5-0. Martinez Would get through the third unscathed. He started the fourth Hit Acuna, Freeman singled, and Albies singled, driving in the Braves sixth run. Jake Woodford gave up a single to Abraham Almonte and a sac-fly to Austin Riley, closing the book on Martinez.
So far this season, Woodford has allowed 17 of 26 inherited runners to score. That is the most by a Cardinal reliever this year. Later in the inning, Woodford would issue a bases-loaded walk for the Braves ninth run.
The lone Cardinal Run would come in the first on a ground out by Paul Goldschmidt driving in Tommy Edman. The loss was the second in a row, dropping the weekly record to 3-2 and the overall to 35-35
Game 6 6/20 @ Atlanta Cardinals 9 Braves 1
With the game on 6/19 being rained out, the Redbirds played a (7 inning) Double Header on Sunday, and for the second time in a week, Adam Wainwright was given the task of ending a skid. As he has done time and again, he responded. He went all seven innings giving only one run on three hits, walking three, and striking out 11.
The Braves lone run came when Freddie Freeman stole home on a strikeout to Abraham Almonte. Offensively the Cardinals broke out the bats plating nine runs. The Redbirds scored 2 in the first on a Nolan Arenado home run. Then in the fourth, Yadier Molina would single home a run. In the fifth, it was Paul Goldschmidt's turn with a three-run shot. In the sixth, Goldschmidt singled home a run, Arenado walked, driving in a run, and Tyler O'Neill hit a sac fly for another run. The win snapped the two-game losing skid, making the Cards 4-2 for the week and 36-35 overall. Dylan Carlson, Tommy Edman, Goldschmidt, and Arenado all had multiple-hit games. As well as multiple RBIs.
Game 7 2/20 @ Atlanta Braves 1 Cardinals 0
That was pretty much the story in the second game. The bats that were hot in the first game fell silent in the second game.
Cardinal pitcher Kwang Hyun Kim did not have a "bad" game 4IP, 3H, 1R, 1BB, 1K 47 pitches 32 were strikes. He was removed for a pinch hitter in the top of the fifth inning. His only blemish was a Ronald Acuna home run in the third inning. Ryan Helsley and Genesis Cabrera each threw a scoreless inning. For Helsley, it was the fifth game in a row that he has not been scored on. The cards finish the week 4-3 with a 36-36 overall record.
While achieving a better record than the last couple of weeks, This past week shows how out of sink this team is—good performances by Wainwright, Miller, Helsley, LeBlanc. Better sowing by Gant and Kim tells me that the pitching is getting better, but we are playing sub .500 competition. For the younger guys, it is a chance to get in the grove and carry it forward. The hitting, however, needs to find a consistent Mix. This current pattern of hitting in 3 out of 7 games is not sustainable even if your rotation is Gibson, Sutton, Ryan, Seaver, and Carlton in their heydays!
If it continues much longer, moves will be made at the deadline and probably should be anyway.
Upcoming next week
Two game series at Detroit Tigers
June 22 Traik Skubal vs Johan Oviedo
June 23 Mike Manning vs John Gant
4 against the Pirates at home
June 24 Carlos Martinez vs Chad Kuhl
June 25 Adam Wainwright vs. Wil Crowe
June 26 Kwang Hyun Kim vs JT Brubaker
June 27 Johan Oviedo vs. Tyler Anderson
Hey, thanks for reading.
Follow me on Twitter @BigD_GCS.