Tuesday’s Game Report: Diamondbacks 3, Cardinals 2 (19 innings)
The Cardinals were two outs away from a 1-0 win on Tuesday night in Arizona before a pinch-hit home run by Ildemaro Vargas off Andrew Miller sent the game to extra innings – and what would turn out to be a lot of extra innings.
Ten innings after his game-tying homer, Vargas won it for the Diamondbacks with a bases-loaded single with two outs in the 19th inning off John Brebbia, the 11th pitcher used by the Cardinals.
The game was the longest game in Chase Field history and lasted 6 hours, 53 minutes, ending at 3:34 a.m. St. Louis time.
The loss kept the Cardinals’ magic number for clinching the NL Central at three as the Brewers won for the 17th time in their last 19 games. The Cardinals, with four games left on their schedule, have a two-game lead over the Brewers, who have five games left to play.
The loss also snapped their six-game winning streak.
Before the game went to extra innings, the Cardinals got another dominating performance from Jack Flaherty. He carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, losing his bid for history on a leadoff single that hit the seam between the grass and infield dirt in front of first place.
After the game went to extra innings, the Cardinals took the lead in the 13th on a home run from Paul Goldschmidt, only to see the Diamondbacks come back to tie the game in the bottom of the inning and sent it to the 14th.
Vargas’ hit in the 19th was his fourth of the game, in six at-bats, despite not coming into the game until his pinch-hit home run in the ninth.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Dexter Fowler led off the game with a home run, the only run the Cardinals would score until Goldschmidt’s homer, his 33rd of the season, in the 13th … The Cardinals had seven hits from the 10th through the 19th innings and left two runners stranded at third base … The eight position-player starters were a combined 11-of-61 in the game and the team was 0-of-9 with runners in scoring position. They had a combined 18 strikeouts between the 10th and 19th innings.
On the mound: Flaherty struck out a season-high 11 batters in his no-decision. He walked two, back to back in the fourth … Flaherty’s ERA since the All-Star break fell to 0.97 as he became the first Cardinals pitcher since Bob Gibson in 1970 to reach 220 strikeouts for the season … He left after the seventh inning and Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless eighth but with Carlos Martinez not available because of his recent heavy workload, Miller took over and allowed the Diamondbacks to tie it on the home run, the 11th he has given up this season … John Gant gave up a leadoff triple in the 13th and the run later scored on a single off Junior Fernandez … Daniel Ponce de Leon made his first appearance in weeks and threw three scoreless innings … Dominic Leone threw two innings before Brebbia came in to start the 19th and allowed a leadoff single to Carson Kelly. With runners on first and second and two outs the Cardinals intentionally walked Christian Walker to bring up Vargas, who delivered the game-winning hit on the first pitch.
Key stat: This was the eighth time this season Flaherty has not allowed a hit through the first four innings. According to Stats Inc., that is the most times that has happened in the major leagues in the last 40 years.
Worth noting: The eight Cardinals regulars played the entire game, including Molina … Fowler’s last two homers have both come leading off the game, the other on Sept. 12 at Colorado … The homer for Goldschmidt in the 13th was the fifth extra inning homer of his career, all of the others came in either the 10th or 11th innings … The two teams combined for 48 strikeouts in the game … According to the Cardinals public relations staff, they have never won a game in their history when their leadoff hitter hit a home run to account for the only run of the game.
Looking ahead: Michael Wacha will get the start in Wednesday’s game, which will begin at 2:40 p.m. St. Louis time.