The game started out in a not particularly promising manner with the Cardinals down 3-0 in the third inning, with Adam Wainwright on the mound. Wainwright fell victim to a frequent affliction, the big inning. He gave back what he took, however, with the bat, hitting a three-run upper deck home run in the fourth to tie the game. Wainwright finished with six innings pitched, allowing the three runs on five hits, with four strikeouts and one free pass. Seung-Hwan Oh, Kevin Siegrist, and Seth Maness each pitched a scoreless inning to finish.
In addition to Wainwright’s home run, which seemed to open the flood gates, four more Cardinals treated fans to the long ball. Matt Adams hit a solo home run in the sixth inning, followed in the same inning by Aledmys Diaz with another solo shot. In the seventh, Kolten Wong thumped a two-run bomb into right field, and Randal Grichuk blasted a mammoth solo shot into center field. Also driving in runs were Stephen Piscotty, 2-for-5, and Brandon Moss, 1-for-5. Yadier Molina was 2-for-4.
The contest also featured a pigeon and home plate pushups from Molina after a knockdown.
This was a classic pitcher’s duel, as Michael Wacha pitched a very good game. He tossed eight innings while allowing only one run on five hits, but took the loss. Wacha struck out eight and walked three. Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless ninth.
As the score indicates, there was little offense with just three Cardinals hits; a double by Matt Carpenter, and singles from Stephen Piscotty and Yadier Molina. The offense struck out 11 times and walked only once. Four runners were stranded and they were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
The Cardinals pulled this win out of their hat in the bottom of the ninth. The Phillies were ahead 4-0 going into the bottom of the fifth inning. A three-run inning then brought the Cardinals within one. A two-run ninth brought home the win.
Stephen Piscotty led the way with two runs driven in during his 3-for-5 night. Aledmys Diaz, in his first shot as leadoff hitter, drove in two as well. Matt Holliday was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI; Ruben Tejada also doubled, as did pinch hitter Matt Adams.
Starter Mike Leake pitched five innings, giving up four runs on four hits. Matt Bowman, Seung-Hwan Oh, and Kevin Siegrist combined for four innings of scoreless relief.
Jaime Garcia kept the Phillies in check, tossing seven innings of two-hit, scoreless baseball with five strikeouts and no walks. Jonathan Broxton added a scoreless eighth and closer Trevor Rosenthal finished with a scoreless ninth.
A solo home run by Brandon Moss hung a Cardinals run in the first inning. Not until the seventh were more runs were put on the board. A sac fly off the bat of Ruben Tejada drove in one run and a Stephen Piscotty double plated two. Matt Carpenter was 2-for-4.
After taking three of four 4 from the Phillies, the other Pennsylvania team came to Busch. The first game of the series did not go well for the Cardinals.
Pirates lefty Francisco Liriano did what he always does against St. Louis’ offense—shut them down, at least for six innings. The Cardinals finally got to Liriano in the seventh, as they scored their only two runs. The first came via a wild pitch from Liriano, scoring Randal Gricuk, on base with a walk, all the way from second base. Grichuk made it to second after Aledmys Diaz hit an infield single. Diaz made it to third on the wild pitch, as it went all the way to the backstop. Ruben Tejada then followed with a sac fly to score Diaz. Diaz had the only multi-hit game, going 3-for-4 with a double.
Carlos Martinez started, but made it only to one out in the fourth inning. After Yadier Molina noticed something wrong, the training staff came to the mound, and Martinez left. It was later revealed he was suffering from fatigue as a result of a lingering illness. Tyler Lyons replaced Martinez, and other than giving up a two-run home run to Jung Ho Kang in the sixth, pitched 3 2/3 strong innings, striking out seven Pirates hitters. Kevin Siegrist pitched the eighth, surrendering one additional run, and Seth Maness added a scoreless ninth.
The Cardinals fared better in the second game of the series, though it took a walk off home run in the ninth to accomplish the win. The game was tied three times, once by the Cardinals and twice by the Pirates.
The ninth inning walk off long ball came off the bat of Matt Carpenter, who was 2-for-5. Also providing a home run was Stephen Piscotty, a solo shot in the third which gave the Cardinals the lead temporarily. Piscotty was 2-for-3 and scored three of the six runs. Randal Grichuk was 2-for-4 with three RBI; Aledmys Diaz was also 2-for-4. Carpenter, Piscotty and Grichuk plated all six Cardinals runs, Carpenter and Piscotty together scored five of them.
Starter Adam Wainwright was going for his second win, but he didn’t get it. After giving up two Pirates runs in the first inning, Wainwright settled down and pitched five scoreless innings before surrendering a third run in the seventh. Seung-Hwan Oh took over with one out in the seventh. The Wainwright inherited runner was out in a run down between third and home, but the replacement runner who reached on the fielder’s choice later scored, and that run was charged to Wainwright. The usually-dependable Oh took a blown save.
Kevin Siegrist pitched a scoreless eighth. Trevor Rosenthal followed with a shaky ninth, allowing a Pirates run to tie the game again, but the walk off home run in the bottom frame took him off the hook. Rosenthal was given the win, though he was also tagged with a blown save.
Cardinals pitching stumbled during this series-losing game, handing Michael Wacha his third loss of the season. Wacha was cruising until the fifth inning, but three runs allowed then and another in the sixth sent Wacha to the showers. The bullpen did not improve the situation, as Matt Bowman had his worst appearance of the season, allowing four additional runs. Seth Maness stopped the bleeding temporarily, pitching two scoreless innings, but Jonathan Broxton added injury to insult by yielding the final two scores.
The offense made it closer in the seventh, rallying for three runs, but sputtered in the eighth and ninth. Stephen Piscotty had his best game of the short season, going 4-for-5. Matt Carpenter helped out with a 2-for-3 performance with two runs scored. Jeremy Hazelbaker added a solo home run to right field in the sixth. Brandon Moss and Yadier Molina plated two runs each. 10 hits for five runs could not overcome the pitching woes as the Cardinals lost the home series to their division rival and fell back to .500.
NL Central Standings
Stephen Piscotty continues to be hot at the plate. Over the past week, the outfielder had an OPS of .902 with an average of .321. He hit one home run, three doubles, and has six RBI in that time span.
Aledmys Diaz also continues his successful ways. The shortstop has a seven-day OPS of .963 and an average of .333. He had two doubles, one home run, and three RBI over the last week.
Rounding out the repeats from last week is Matt Adams, who has an OPS of 1.012 and an average of .333 over the preceding week. In his 17 plate appearances over the period, the first baseman had one double, one home run, and one RBI.
Matt Holliday moves from the hot list to the cold this week. Over the past seven days, Holliday’s OPS is .541 and his average is .217.
Jeremy Hazelbaker moves from hot to cold as well, albeit with only eight plate appearances over the week. Over those eight PAs, Hazelbaker had a .393 OPS and an average of .143.
Ruben Tejada remains on the cold list for a second week, though his appearances have been scarce. He is 1-for-6 for the week, with an average of .167 and an OPS of .458
Moving onto the cold list is Jedd Gyorko, with a seven-day OPS of .298 and an average of .083 in 14 plate appearances.
Though his overall numbers do not seem to suggest it, Yadier Molina has cooled off over the last week. His seven-day OPS is .546 and his average is .208.
A Look at Cardinals’ Lineups
The first three spots in the lineup have been consistent the past week, with Matt Carpenter, Stephen Piscotty, and Matt Holliday occupying spots 1, 2, and 3 respectively. The lone exception was Wednesday’s game against the Phillies, as Carpenter got a rare day off and Aledmys Diaz received his first start of the season in the leadoff spot.
The clean-up spot continues to be occupied by a mixture of Brandon Moss, Matt Adams, and Randal Grichuk.
Yadier Molina has been consistent in the fifth spot in the lineup.
The sixth spot was filled at various times by Grichuk and Adams, as well as Jedd Gyorko and Jeremy Hazelbaker in the past week.
The number seven spot has included Gyorko, Kolten Wong, Aledmys Diaz once and Ruben Tejada once.
The eight hole was the home of Diaz for three games, and one time each for Wong, Tejada and Gyorko.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
The Cardinals sent OF Tommy Pham on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds last Wednesday, May 4.
Tommy Pham (left oblique strain) is on a rehab assignment in Memphis. No information is available as to when he will return to the roster. So far, the outfielder has just three singles and a walk in 15 plate appearances that include five strikeouts (.214/.261/.214/.475).
Brayan Pena (left knee surgery) took his first swings with the bat off a tee on Friday, 60 swings from each side. Pena also threw a distance of 120 feet and ran at 75 percent effort on a treadmill for 20 minutes.
Carlos Martinez (fatigue) was removed from his start on Friday due to a lingering illness. He is day to day with his next start scheduled on Thursday night in Anaheim.
The Cardinals are off Monday, May 9, to travel to the West Coast to play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a three-game interleague series starting Tuesday. They will then travel across town to play the Los Angeles Dodgers in a weekend series.
St. Louis returns home on Monday, May 16, to begin a nine-game home stand. The Cardinals go against the Rockies in a three-game series starting Tuesday, May 17. They then play a weekend set against the Diamondbacks, and end the home stand with a three-game series against the Cubs.
Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Cardinals Extended Spring Training Camp Report - 5/7/16
Not yet a member?
Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system. Take advantage of our seven-day free trial.
Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.
© 2016 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.