|St. Louis Cardinals (27-22)
|Cincinnati Reds (22-25)
|W: J. Garcia (1-0) L: T. Cingrani (2-4) S: T. Rosenthal (15)|
|Box Score | Play-by-Play | Stats | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability|
Brandon Phillips went 3 for 4 and Zack Cozart went 2 for 3.
In his last 4 appearances, J.J. Hoover has faced 18 batters, given up 1 hit and no runs. He pitched a scoreless 7th.
It was a forgettable night for Tony Cingrani, who seemed to lose his command for good in the 6th. He went 6, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits with 4 Ks and 3 walks.
From an offensive standpoint, the game was essentially lost in the middle of the order when Devin Mesoraco, Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick combined to go 1 for 12, the lone hit being Ludwick’s meaningless HR in the 9th.
But for a heckuva play by Mark Ellis at second base to rob Mesoraco, the game would have been tied in the bottom of the 6th. But both Bruce and Ludwick failed to even put the ball in play, leaving runners stranded on second and third.
Again in the 7th, Cozart and Skip Schumaker each singled back-to-back and went to second and third on a wild pitch—only to be left stranded when Frazier couldn’t put the ball in play.
Sean Marshall looks really good as long as he doesn’t throw his fastball. There is still no velocity there and until his arm strength, lower body strength, or both return, he’s going to be a shell of the pitcher he once was. He’s lost between 2 and 3 mph on the four seam and without that, he can’t set up his great curve and slider. They just can’t put him in high leverage situations any more until this gets fixed.
Not so random thoughts …
Once again we see just how important defense is in winning baseball games. We saw it on the positive side of the ledger the other night during that 15-inning affair in D.C. We watched the Cardinals do it to the Reds tonight when Mark Ellis made a spectacular leap that kept the game from being tied at 4.
This team needs one more bat in the lineup. I think we know who that is.
Over the last month, Zack Cozart is hitting .282/.330/.353.
It would be great to see Mike Leake pitch well with the boys from Bristol in town tomorrow night. He deserves the press. Amirite?