Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Pirates 5 (10 innings)
The Cardinals have played 878 innings this season but none of the first 877 could match what happened in the 10th inning on Monday night in Pittsburgh.
In fact, the Cardinals might not have another inning like that the rest of the season.
Paul Goldschmidt hit a grand slam in the top of the inning to put the Cardinals up 6-2 only to see the Pirates rally in the bottom of the inning – and have the potential tying run thrown out at the plate by Jose Martinez from right field.
Goldschmidt’s homer, his 19th of the season, came after the Cardinals loaded the bases on a walk, a single by Tommy Edman and a hit batter. It was his second extra-inning homer this season and the fifth grand slam of his career.
In the bottom of the inning, Chasen Shreve allowed back-to-back doubles before Carlos Martinez relieved, and saw his first pitch land in the seats in left field. Another hit and an error put runners on first and second, and after a force out at third on a bunt attempt, Jacob Stallings singled to right, where Martinez had come into the game as part of a double switch.
Usually Martinez is the one going out of the game in a double switch, but he fielded Stallings’ single and threw out Kevin Newman at the plate, allowing the Cardinals to keep the lead. The Pirates challenged the call but it was allowed to stand.
Martinez then got a fly out to finish off the victory, which improved the Cardinals’ record to 8-3 since the All-Star break. They moved five games above .500 for the first time since they were 22-17 on May 10.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: All five of the Cardinals’ hits through the first nine innings came from left-handed batters, including a homer from Matt Wieters, his eighth of the year, leading off the third. Wieters also drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth … Right-handed batters had been 0-of-20 in the game before Goldschmidt slammed his homer over the right field wall … They also loaded the bases for a second time in the 10th but Andrew Knizner flied out for the third out … Yairo Munoz made his second start of the year and fifth of his career in center field but he was 0-of-4, striking out three times.
On the mound: Starter Daniel Ponce de Leon was lifted for a pinch-hitter after throwing three innings. He only allowed one run but needed 86 pitches to get the nine outs … Michael Wacha also pitched three innings, allowing one run … Tyler Webb worked two perfect innings and John Brebbia struck out the first two hitters he faced in the ninth before giving up an infield single and was lifted in favor of Shreve, who got out of that inning but then ran into his troubles to start the 10th … Martinez allowed at least one run for the fourth time in his last five appearances but was credited with the save.
Key stat: The Cardinals have won five of their last six games despite having only one game in which their starting pitcher worked more than five innings (six innings from Miles Mikolas). Over the six games, the starters have averaged only 4 2/3 innings, working a total of 25 1/3 innings. Over those six games the relievers have worked a total of 28 2/3 innings.
Worth noting: Matt Carpenter will join the Memphis Redbirds on Tuesday to begin a rehab assignment which is expected to last three days. The Cardinals hope to activate him from the injured list in time for Friday night’s game at home against the Astros … Goldschmidt’s grand slam was the first by the Cardinals in extra innings since Carpenter’s 11th inning blast against Toronto on April 27, 2017 and the first grand slam by a Cardinals hitter in Pittsburgh since Yadier Molina hit one on Sept. 6, 2016 … A fielding error by DeJong in the 10th was his first since June 4 and only his fourth of the year in 412 chances.
Looking ahead: Dakota Hudson will get the start on Tuesday night in the second game of the four-game series.