Sunday’s Game Report: Cardinals 2, Pirates 0
What Jack Flaherty has done to opponents the last two months is starting to border on the ridiculous.
On Sunday, he was at it again, throwing eight more scoreless innings in the Cardinals’ win over the Pirates in Pittsburgh. In his 11 starts since the All-Star break, Flaherty has allowed six runs in 71 1/3 innings, an ERA of 0.77.
Flaherty has worked at least six innings, and not allowed a run, in six of his eight starts since Aug. 1.
The win, combined with the Cubs’ loss at Milwaukee, increased the Cardinals’ lead in the NL Central to 4 ½ games with 19 games to play. The Cardinals are 23-7 in their last 30 games and moved to a season-high 19 games over .500.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals, facing James Marvel as he made his major-league debut, broke a scoreless tie in the fifth when Matt Carpenter doubled with one out and scored on a single by Harrison Bader … They added another run in the sixth when Paul Goldschmidt doubled to drive in Kolten Wong, who reached on a leadoff walk … Yadier Molina was 0-of-3 with a walk, snapping his 14-game hitting streak … The Cardinals had just five hits in the game, two from Carpenter.
On the mound: Flaherty scattered five hits, struck out 10 and walked one, with one out in the eighth. In his last two starts, Flaherty has not allowed a run in 16 innings, walked two and struck out 18 … Flaherty allowed only one runner to reach third base, Kevin Newman with two outs in the sixth, before Flaherty struck out Starling Marte for the third time to end the inning. He got two inning-ending double plays, in the second and fifth. It was the third 10-strikeout game for Flaherty this season … Carlos Martinez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 19th save and complete the 12th shutout of the season for the Cardinals, their eighth since Aug. 1.
Key stat: The game was the 10th start for Flaherty this season in which he did not allow a run. Combined, the rest of the Cardinals’ starters have had 14 scoreless starts.
Worth noting: The last Cardinals’ starter to throw at least eight scoreless innings in consecutive starts before Flaherty was Adam Wainwright in 2014. No Cardinals’ starter has done that three games in a row since John Tudor in 1985 … The last Cardinals starter 23 years old or younger to do that in consecutive games was Ken Hill in 1989 … Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle and second baseman Adam Frazier were ejected in the seventh inning for arguing ball-strike calls … The Cardinals finished the season series with a 13-5 record against the Pirates, going 8-1 in Pittsburgh.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals have the day off on Monday before opening a three-game series in Colorado. Michael Wacha will get the start on Tuesday night.