Wednesday’s Game Report: Phillies 5, Cardinals 0
By Rob Rains
One statistic is all that is needed to tell the story of what happened during the Cardinals’ game against the Phillies on Wednesday at Busch Stadium.
In the first four scoreless innings, Jack Flaherty threw 48 pitches. Then came the fifth inning, when he needed 43 pitches to get the next three outs.
Much like the six-run second for the Phillies on Tuesday night, this inning included three walks, three hits and an error, leading to four runs, although only one of them was unearned, as the Phillies left the bases loaded after sending 10 hitters to the plate.
“It was one of those innings,” said manager Mike Shildt. “It was kind of a perfect storm; started with a walk.”
The Cardinals were held to three hits as they were shut out for the second time in their last six games. They have now lost six of their last seven games.
“It’s one of those stretches where we just haven’t been able to put things together,” Shildt said. “It will change.”
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: After not having an at-bat with a runner in scoring position in Tuesday night’s game, the Cardinals did not have one on Wednesday until Yadier Molina doubled leading off the eighth inning, only their second hit of the game. The Cardinals also did not have an at-bat with a runner on second or third in the final three innings on Monday night, so they went 19 consecutive innings without an at-bat with a runner in scoring position. Their only run over that stretch was a home run from Matt Wieters … Yairo Munoz, making his second start, in place of Kolten Wong, had the other two hits for the Cardinals, singles in the third and eighth innings … The three hits by the Cardinals were their fewest in a game this season and combined, they were 7-of-58 in the last two games, a .121 average. Only three of the hits were from regulars, one each for Paul DeJong, Jose Martinez and Molina.
On the mound: Flaherty allowed only one hit through the first four innings, a leadoff single in the third, and did not walk a batter until the leadoff walk that started the big fourth inning … The last Phillies run came on a homer by Cesar Hernandez off Giovanny Gallegos in the seventh … Two of Tyler Webb’s three outs in the sixth came against lefthanded batters, who are now just 2-of-22 against Webb this season.
Key stat: In the three games against the Phillies, the top four hitters in the Cardinals’ lineup – Matt Carpenter, Paul Goldschmidt, Paul DeJong and Marcell Ozuna – were a combined 5-of-41, with three of the hits coming in the same inning on Monday nigh
Worth noting: Carlos Martinez made his second minor-league rehab appearance on Wednesday, this time in Memphis, and needed 23 pitches to work a scoreless inning. He relieved to start the eighth inning, protecting a 2-1 lead against Iowa, and issued a walk with one out, followed by an error, a stolen base and another two-out walk which loaded the bases. He was able to strand the runners on an inning-ending flyout. Martinez is likely to make at least two more appearances this weekend in Memphis before the Cardinals will decide when to add him to the major-league roster … Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff was lifted for a pinch-hitter after throwing 106 pitches over eight innings. That leaves the Phillies’ Kyle Kendrick as the last pitcher to shut out the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, on May 26, 2012 … Goldschmidt has just three singles in his last 25 at-bats.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will open a four-game series against the Pirates on Thursday night at Busch Stadium. Michael Wacha is the scheduled starter.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains
Post-game audio provided by Mike Reeves:
Mike Shildt, Jack Flaherty, Paul Goldschmidt