Thursday’s Game Report: Reds 2, Cardinals 1
Given the fact that the Cardinals had only one hit and struck out 15 times in the first 8 2/3 innings of Thursday night’s game in Cincinnati, it’s not surprising that they lost.
It might be a little surprising that they actually got the go-ahead run to the plate.
Kolten Wong’s RBI double, the Cardinals’ second hit of the night, scored Marcell Ozuna, who had walked to lead off the ninth, but pinch-hitter Matt Wieters flew out on the first pitch for the game’s final out. The loss snapped the Cardinals’ five-game winning streak, but they remained tied for first with the Cubs in the NL Central thanks to Bryce Harper’s grand slam which capped a six-run ninth inning in the win by the Phillies to stun the Cubs.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals only hit until the ninth was a two-out single by Dexter Fowler in the fifth inning … Their best scoring chance until the ninth came with they loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter in the third, but Paul Goldschmidt struck out to end the inning … The Cardinals drew five walks in the game and had three stolen bases but left five runners in scoring position as they were just 1 of 8 with a man on second or third, the bloop double by Wong in the ninth … This was the fourth time this season the Cardinals have struck out 15 times in a nine-inning game, the second time it has happened against the Reds … Goldschmidt’s 0-of-4 night left him 2-of-16 in five games in Cincinnati this year and only 8-of-42, with just one extra base hit, a double, and one RBI in 12 games overall against the Reds this season.
On the mound: Michael Wacha allowed both Cincinnati runs in the fifth, thanks in part to a hit batter. He gave up a leadoff single before hitting Tony Barnhart and both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt. A fielder’s choice grounder drove in the first run and a single by Eugenio Suarez drove in the second … The runs snapped a streak of 22 consecutive scoreless innings by Cardinals pitchers and handed Wacha only his second career loss against the Reds in 14 decisions … Junior Fernandez got the final out in the sixth, stranding a runner on second, before Ryan Helsley worked the final two innings, allowing one hit and recording three strikeouts.
Key stat: The two hits matched the fewest by the Cardinals in 132 games at the Great American Ballpark since it opened in 2003. They also were held to two hits on Sept 3, 2013.
Worth noting: The Cardinals promoted their top prospect, 20-year-old outfielder Dylan Carlson, from Double A Springfield to Triple A Memphis on Thursday. He played left field and hit seventh on Thursday night and had a double in four at-bats … Also at Memphis, Daniel Ponce de Leon turned in another seven shutout innings in his start against Iowa, allowing just two hits and striking out nine. In his three starts since being sent down by the Cardinals, Ponce de Leon has not allowed a run in 18 innings, allowing just four hits and five walks while recording 28 strikeouts.
Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start on Friday night in the second game of the four-game series.