The Cardinals won another series this week. This time, it was against the San Francisco Giants. It was an interesting one. The two clubs hadn’t faced one another since the Giants eliminated the Cardinals from the Postseason last October.
On Monday afternoon, the Cardinals placed outfielder Randal Grichuk on the 15-day disabled list due to a right elbow strain. In addition to that move, the Cardinals recalled Tommy Pham from Triple-A Memphis. Grichuk has fifteen homers and 44 RBI to his credit this season and is (was) considered one of the front-runners in the race between the young guys for The 2015 National League Rookie of the Year Award.
Game one of the series was started by Michael Wacha and Chris Heston. The Cardinals’ inability to break the 1-1 tie within Wacha’s seventh inning performance cost him the chance to reach number fifteen in his win column, but, however, the Cardinals eventually did break the tie en route to win number seventy-six of the season. With the game knotted at one, because of a Yadier Molina solo home run and an RBI-double off the bat of Brandon Crawford, St. Louis was given a grand opportunity to break the tie in the eighth inning. Following a one-out triple by Stephen Piscotty, Mark Reynolds grounded out to the shortstop which allowed Piscotty to score. The new, 2-1, score would stand. Closer Trevor Rosenthal closed things out to rack up his thirty-seventh save of the season.
Cardinals’ outfielder Jason Heyward had to exit game one early due to, what would later be announced as, left hamstring tightness. The tightness is brought on by a cramping issue and that’s a very positive thing, considering the fact that St. Louis already has three starting outfielders on the disabled list. So, if it truly is just cramping, “J-Hey” should be good to go in the next series.
The middle game of this three-game set was started by Lance Lynn and Ryan Vogelson. The Cards couldn’t get anything going offensively. Anything. Despite a respectable performance from Lynn, 6 2/3 innings and two runs, the two hits the ‘birds were able to muster out against the Giant pitchers weren’t quite enough. San Francisco swimmingly won the game, 2-0, by an RBI-groundout off the bat of Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The finale of series was started by Jaime Garcia and Matt Cain. Backed by a pair of homers, the Cardinals shuffled their way to a 4-3 victory. Though they began to build a fence in the run column, scoring a run in innings five-through-seven, which, once, gave them a three run lead, San Francisco’s bullpen couldn’t quite hold up. With a 3-2 lead, Josh Osich allowed the tying run to score in the bottom of the seventh when Tommy Pham scored on a fielder’s choice by Carpenter. Then, in the eighth inning, Hunter Strickland surrendered a homer to Yadier Molina to give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead. Trevor Rosenthal earned the save. Jason Heyward grounded out while making a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth inning.
The homer Yadier Molina hit in the eighth inning of game three was the 100th of his Major League career. It was only his fourth of the season, but he really made it count. As you may have gathered, Yadi has hit two home runs in his last three games. If this is the start of a “hot streak” for Molina, it couldn’t be coming at much of a better time.
The Giants will head to PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to take on the Pirates for four games. The Cardinals will use Thursday’s day off to rest and travel to San Diego where they will begin a three-game, weekend series with the Padres. Andrew Cashner and John Lackey are scheduled to start in game one of the Cardinals-Padres series.
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