Greg Garcia starred as he went 3 for 4 with 2 home runs and the Cardinals downed the Reds 6-1.
Miles Mikolas took the mound for the birds for the third time this season. He showed how efficient he can be with only 83 pitches through 7 strong innings in which he allowed only one run, a solo home run off the bat of Reds backstop Tucker Barnhart. He walked his first two batters of the season to go along with 4 strikeouts. Reds hitters were kept off balance for the most part as Paul DeJong was busy at shortstop. It’s obviously still early, but Mikolas looks the part of a mid to back of the rotation innings eater. He’s constantly in or around the strike zone and rarely wastes a pitch.
Mike Matheny used a 6-1 lead in the 8th as an opportunity to get Greg Holland an inning of work. Holland looked pretty good as his pitches had plenty of late life. He allowed one hit and also struck out one. His velocity still wasn’t quite up to his 2017 standards as he was sitting around 92 mph with his fastball. Last year, in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, he averaged 93.88 mph with the pitch. That will be something to monitor as he tries to work his way back into a ninth inning role.
Jordan Hicks got the call in the ninth and faced adversity for really the first time in his young MLB career. He handled it extremely well. After allowing a leadoff single to Scooter Gennett he got a ground ball that looked like a potential double play. Unfortunately, it took a bad hop on Yairo MuÃ±oz at third base. Hicks got a ground ball for the first out of the inning but then walked Phillip Ervin to load the bases. Mike Maddux went out to calm Hicks with 1 out and the bases loaded. Hicks responded by striking out Cliff Pennington with a 99 mph fastball on the inside corner and then getting a weak fly out from Alex Blandino to end the game. Jordan Hicks is legit, folks.
On the hitting side, the aforementioned Greg Garcia obviously stood out with his double dong day. Both were hit off of Reds starter Brandon Finnegan, which was the first time he’s taken a lefty deep in his career. They could both be considered wall-scrapers. Not to take anything away from an amazing day for Garcia, but I’m not sure either of them would go out in many parks around the league.
Tommy Pham had a big day as well, showing what he can do in a rare opportunity to lead off. He went 3 for 4 while stealing two bases and also scoring twice.
Marcell Ozuna was 0 for 3 in this one which ended his 12 game hitting streak. Though on a positive note, he did draw his first walk of the season.
First pitch will be at 12:10 central time.
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