A day after losing 1-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers, the St. Louis Cardinals returned the favor and won by the same score.
Trevor Rosenthal allowed a pair of hits in the 9th, picking up his 16th save. The game ended when Aramis Ramirez, at bat with the tying run at 3rd base and one out, grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. It’s hard to not watch that clip and think “Just about anybody else at bat there and it’s a fielder’s choice with the game being tied up”, but Rammy’s can’t move like he used to. (And he never moved to begin with.) A nice pivot by 2B Kolten Wong on the throw over from Matt Carpenter.
Lance Lynn went 7.2 innings in the shutout, allowing 5 hits and a walk while striking out 5. Lynn lowered his ERA to 3.03 this season and improved to 4-4.
25 year old starting pitcher Tyler Cravy made his MLB debut for the Brew Crew, going 7 innings and allowing 1 run on 4 hits and a pair of walks. He struck out 6.
Matt Holliday saw his run of consecutive games reaching base to start a season ended last night with the 5th best mark in MLB history. 45 games, if you lost count. The streak ended when “Country” Joe West gave Holliday the hook in the 7th inning after arguing a called third strike. The pitch looks pretty good to me. You decide for yourself, but Holliday told West “You’re strike zone’s been huge the whole night” and then kept going. And going. And going. West finally had enough and tossed him. No final chance to extend the streak.
Holliday’s post-game interview in the locker room seemed to indicate that he feels veteran players have a God-given right to continually question an umpire and show them up. West is, y’know, not anybody’s favorite. But Holliday really could’ve let up a little sooner there. One comment would have been enough and then you could have walked off. But his little tirade went on for some time.
* * *
The Pittsburgh Pirates game against the San Francisco Giants had a similar feel to their meeting on Monday. The Giants jumped ahead early, the two teams went back and forth, then the Bucs jumped ahead for good in the middle innings. This time they came out 7-4 winners.
Andrew McCutchen continues to put that miserable April behind him. Last night he went 4-for-5 with a triple and a double, driving in a pair of runs. After the games of May 6th, his slash line was .189/.279/.292 with a .571 OPS and his team had just lost their 5th straight game. Since then, he has put up a line of .404/.481/.719 for an unworldly 1.201 OPS across 25 games in which the Pirates went 16-9.
Also removing himself from early-season awfulness is Josh Harrison, who had another multi-hit game last night and is now hitting .263 for the season. Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez and Jordy Mercer also had two hits a piece last night.
* * *
Marcell Ozuna‘s base-clearing double in the bottom of the 5th inning led the Miami Marlins to a 5-2 win over the Chicago Cubs.
Kris Bryant – playing left field – went 0-for-4, grounding into a double play and striking out.
The Cubs recalled Matt Szczur for another go-round at the MLB level. On a related note, RF Jorge Soler (twisted ankle) is expected to head to the DL. An official announcement should be coming sometime today.
Javier Baez (.325-7-26 at AAA) hit a pair of homers, going 4-for-5 last night for Iowa. He’s going 11-for-22 with 4 HR in his last 5 games.
* * *
Despite Johnny Cueto‘s comeback, the Cincinnati Reds‘ three-game winning streak came to an end as they fell 5-4 at home against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The big right-hander went 6 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits and no walks.
Todd Frazier had a rough night, going 0-for-5 at the plate and committing a pair of errors in the field, one of which led to an unearned run charged against Cueto.
Marlon Byrd, among the division’s top home run hitters (see below), was hit by a pitch in the 6th inning and is out with a fractured wrist. He had nearly homered earlier in the game, but settled for a double off the top of the wall.
* * *
The wonderful Dave Cameron at Fangraphs.com took time to dissect one of baseball’s most exciting pitchers, Pirates starter and former #1 draft pick, Gerrit Cole. Cameron’s article is on Cole’s ascendancy to true “ace” status, focusing on his improved numbers against lefties this year, and more particularly on his increased use of the slider – a pitch that is a beautiful thing to watch.
* * *
NL Central Leaders
|Todd Frazier (CIN)||16|
|Ryan Braun (MIL)||12|
|Marlon Byrd (CIN)||10|
|Starling Marte (PIT)||10|
|Gerrit Cole (PIT)||79|
|Francisco Liriano (PIT)||75|
|Lance Lynn (STL)||72|
|Mike Fiers (MIL)||69|
|Jason Hammel (CHC)||69|
* * *
|St. Louis Cardinals||34||18||–||W1|
* * *
|18-35||BREWERS||Nelson (2-5, 3.90)|
|34-18||CARDINALS||Lackey (3-3, 2.83)|
|12:45 PM CT|
|28-24||PIRATES||Liriano, F (2-4, 3.47)|
|30-24||Giants||Hudson, T (3-4, 4.62)|
|2:45 PM CT|
|22-28||REDS||Leake (2-4, 4.66)|
|20-33||Phillies||Hamels (5-4, 2.91)|
|6:05 PM CT|
|27-23||CUBS||Lester (4-3, 3.30)|
|21-32||Marlins||Haren (5-2, 3.03)|
|6:10 PM CT|