The Cardinals wrapped up their second road trip of the season, and prepare to return back home to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. Before that series begins, let’s look over the the previous two. The high-flying Redbirds won both of those and went 4-2 overall on the road trip. The first series took place in the nation’s capital against the team picked by some to win it all, the Washington Nationals.
Lance Lynn got the start for the Cardinals Tuesday evening. He was apposed by Nationals leftie, Gio Gonzalez. The home team took the scoreboard first, as Bryce Harper singled in a run in the third. That lone run would be the only non-zero thrown in the books until the ninth inning. Matt Carpenter started the inning with a single off of Nationals’ closer, Drew Storen. Then, credits to a wild pitch and a missed ‘strike three’, Carpenter ended up at third base for Matt Holliday. Holliday had been a hitting machine that night. He was 3-for-3 up to that point, and he successfully advanced to 4-for-4. He singled, which allowed Carpenter to score. That run, the first of the night for the visiting Cardinals, tied the game at one. The bottom of the ninth inning was very shaky, if you’re a Cardinals fan, but they were able to cling to the tie. The Cardinals failed to score in the tenth, but the Nationals did not. Yunel Escobar rocketed a ball to the left field bullpen for a walk off home run. That ended the Cardinals’ five game winning streak and gave the Nats a 1-0 advantage in the series.
Game two of the series was started by John Lackey and Doug Fister. The Cardinals were on the board one batter into the game. Matt Carpenter smoked a ball into right field for a leadoff dinger. It was his second leadoff shot of the year, and his third overall on the young season. The Cardinals weren’t done scoring quite yet, and they showed it in the top of the second. Second baseman Kolten Wong blasted his first home run of the year, a two run shot, giving the Cards a 3-0 lead. They kept piling it on, scoring another run, courtesy of a Matt Adams double. The Nationals then gave the Birds another run with an error, resulting in a 5-0 advantage. The Nationals took it all back in the bottom half of the inning, though, as they hit Lackey around for five runs. Perhaps the bleeding could’ve stopped sooner if Lackey had covered first, but whatever. The score remained at five runs a piece until the eighth inning. Kolten Wong, basically the human highlight reel of that game, stepped up to the plate with a runner on. He rifled an opposite field double, scoring the runner, giving the Cardinals a 6-5 advantage. That run proved to be the only run they’d need to win the ballgame, but they scored another in their half of the ninth. The Cardinals’ first baseman, Matt Adams, clubbed his second homer of the year. The bomb gave the Cardinals a 7-5 lead, setting up the save situation for Trevor Rosenthal. He did his job and the Redbirds won the game, 7-5. The win evened up the series at a game each, setting up a rubber game for Thursday’s series finale.
The game on Thursday afternoon was started by right hander Michael Wacha. He was opposed by Max Scherzer, Washington’s big free agent signing. The Cardinals got on the board early when they capitalized on a wild pitch. The score remained 1-0 until the Nationals put up a run of their own in the fifth. Matt Adams answered back in the sixth when he singled in Heyward, making the score 2-1 Cardinals. In the eighth, Reynolds did some damage of his own. He hit a “little league homerun” which scored Holliday and himself. The score was now 4-1 and that’s all the bullpen needed. Jordan Walden and Trevor Rosenthal held on to give the Redbirds a win and the series. Following Thursday’s game, the Cardinals hopped a plane bound for Milwaukee.
The Birds rolled into town to take on the slumping Milwaukee Brewers. They were looking to build onto their 10-4 record and dig the Brewers 3-13 hole of a record deeper. Carlos Martinez took the mound for the Cardinals on Friday night. He was beyond ‘on it’ to say the least. He threw seven innings of shutout baseball, and he allowed just four hits and struck out eight batters along the way. His team backed him up with three runs. Yadier Molina drove in the first run and Peralta and Heyward rounded ’em by theirselves in the third and the sixth. Molina later took a foul ball off of the knee. The injury was/is far from a DL caliber kind, but it was enough to remove him from the game given the circumstances. They went on to win by that score, 3-0, and took a 1-0 lead in the series.
Adam Wainwright and Wily Peralta took the mound in game two of the series. The Cardinals scored in the second inning to jump out to a lead. Kolten Wong hit a “little league home run”, the second of the week for the Cardinals, scoring himself and Reynolds. Wainwright did his part of the deal until the sixth inning. While Adam was up to bat, he popped the ball up. As he began to run towards first, he found himself unable. Very unfortunately, it turned out the Ace of the Cardinals had suffered an ankle/achilles injury. The event, obviously, knocked him out of the game. The only semi-okay thing to come out of the situation was the debut of Lieutenant Mitch Harris. He threw 1 1/3 innings and struck out the first batter he faced. Matt Holliday later jacked a three run shot in seventh, his first of the year, giving his Birds a 5-0 lead. The Brew Crew answered with three runs of their own in the eighth, but ultimately fell short in the end. The 5-3 Cardinal victory won them another series, but it was a much bigger loss. Adam Wainwright was placed on the 15-day DL Sunday morning, but they’re bracing for an absence much larger than a couple of weeks.
Earlier reported by Fox Sports, the team is “expecting” Adam Wainwright’s season to be finished. They won’t know for sure until Monday after the scheduled MRI, but they’re thinking he tore his left achilles. Obviously, that’d be worst case scenario. Wainwright will have to miss some time regardless, but it could be just a sprain other than a tear. I’m trying to be optimistic, but it’s just not happening.
Believe it or not, there actually was a game today. Lance Lynn took the mound against Mike Fiers. Milwaukee jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning. The Redbirds answered back with a run in the fourth and a solo homer by Reynolds in the fifth, but they still trailed 3-2. The Brewers retaliated with three runs in the fifth which gave them a 6-2 advantage. Freshly called up catcher Cody Stanley made his big league debut as well. He recorded his first hit in his first at bat and later came around to score in the eight. The run wasn’t quite enough, and they were defeated in the end by a 6-3 score. Jason Heyward was forced to leave the game in the fifth by a groin injury and is listed as day-to-day.
The Cardinals return home tomorrow to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. Cole Hamels will throw for the Phils and John Lackey will take the bump for the Birds. The game will start a little after 7:00 pm Central time, and by then we should have some news on the severity of Wainwright’s injury. Just hope for the best and keep your heads high. We’re still winning the World Series this year, guys.
If winning it all was easy, the Cubs would probably do it more often.
Thank you for reading!
The photo above can be found on zimbio.com