Game recaps aren’t something we’ve done over the last year and a half here at Redbird Daily. As a staff, we’ve typically focused on thoughtful, argument based pieces, like this one. That’s not a knock on recaps, which are by nature more heat of the moment. By recapping each game, we’re putting the “Daily” in Redbird Daily and providing more consistent content and bringing our thoughtful and evidenced-based approach to each game.
The Cardinals quietly went 1-2-3 in the top of the first, with Tommy Pham and Matt Carpenter striking out. Thankfully, after walking speedster Billy Hamilton to lead off the game, Luke Weaver settled in, retiring the next twelve Reds that came to bat. He didn’t have his best fastball command tonight but effectively used his curveball early in counts to get ahead of hitters, something Yadier Molina mentioned in his postgame interview with Fox Sports Midwest.
Speaking of Yadi, he homered for the fifth time this season in the second inning, this one an opposite-field wall scraper. Honestly, it’s probably not a homer at many ballparks besides Great American Ballpark, but Yadi (and the Cardinals) will take it. Unfortunately, the Cardinals cost themselves a run when Jose Martinez was caught stealing while Yadi was in the box. The play at second wasn’t close.
The Cardinals sat on their 1-0 lead until the sixth. Dexter Fowler led off the sixth with a homer which also barely got out. With an exit velocity of 91.1 miles-per-hour and a launch angle of 33 degrees, only six percent of similar batted balls are homers. The Cards didn’t stop there. Pham, Carpenter, and Marcell Ozuna each tallied base hits, and Ozuna’s single drove in Pham. After Jose Martinez’s groundout, Molina singled in two and the Cardinals had a 5-0 lead.
Weaver was eventually chased after allowing a two-run homer to Devin Mesoraco in the seventh, and the bullpen held it from there. Bowman finished off the seventh. Tyler Lyons walked Billy Hamilton to start the eighth and he eventually scored on Joey Votto‘s single, but Dominic Leone picked off Votto to end the inning (it was the only out Leone would record).
In the ninth, it wasn’t Greg Holland who Mike Matheny called on, but Bud Norris. Norris was the most scoffed at acquisition in the offseason, but he’s the only reliever who has notched a save so far. There was a mild controversy on Twitter since Matheny didn’t call on Holland, but kudos to Matheny for going with the best option rather than the designated “closer”.
Thanks for reading.