Friday’s Game Report: Reds 3, Cardinals 1
By Rob Rains
It’s been more than 10 years since Adam Wainwright faced Joey Votto for the first time in the major leagues and while Wainwright likely can’t remember each of the 66 times they have stood 60 feet, 6 inches away from each other, he probably will remember the first at-bat on Friday night.
After Votto thought he had walked on a 3-0 pitch, he instead got another chance to swing when the pitch was called a strike, and Votto took advantage of the opportunity by launching a long home run that gave the Reds a quick 2-0 lead at Busch Stadium.
Thanks to Luis Castillo shutting down the Cardinals’ offense, that was all the runs the Reds needed for the win.
“I wish I would have gone back and thrown what Yadi called (a curve ball)” Wainwright said, “but instead I switched to a cutter. The last time I faced Joey I had this great plan of what he did to the last pitch I threw, the same location, and he hit a ground ball to second.
“That’s what I was trying to accomplish and I threw it to the exact same location but with a much different type of pitch. He hit it out. You put the guys on first and second, the next guy might have hit a three-run homer.”
Wainwright did walk Votto in his next plate appearance, with two outs in the third, before the next hitter, Eugenio Suarez, lined a run-scoring double into the left-field corner.
“You can’t walk people in the big leagues,” he said. “When you get Votto in two 3-1 counts good things are never going to happen. Great hitters like that you’ve got to get ahead of them and stay ahead of them. When they get counts in their favor they are going to put good swings on it.”
It was Votto’s fourth career homer off Wainwright, the first since 2017.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals had only two hits against Castillo, who pitched the first complete game of his career. The only hits were a double by Paul DeJong in the second inning and a single by Kolten Wong in the third … Their only run scored on a ground out by Matt Carpenter in the second … The Cardinals only two baserunners after the third came on a walk to Carpenter in the fifth, before he was erased in a double play, and a two-out walk to Paul Goldschmidt in the ninth. Castillo retired 13 consecutive batters in between the two walks, allowing only three fly balls out of the infield.
On the mound: Three of the eight hits allowed by Wainwright over six innings came in the first inning. He got out of the inning with a double play grounder and stranded two runners on base in both the third and sixth innings. He walked two and struck out four … Seth Elledge, Tyler Webb and Nibel Crismatt each worked one perfect inning in relief.
Key stat: The home run was the 15th of Votto’s career at Busch Stadium, breaking a tie with Ryan Braun for the most by a player since the stadium opened in 2006 by a player who never played for the Cardinals.
Worth noting: The Cardinals placed closer Giovanny Gallegos on the 10-day injured list on Friday. Gallegos had to come out of the game on Thursday because of a strained groin. Whether he will be able to pitch again before the end of the season will depend on how quickly he can recover from the injury … Crismatt, who had been the 29th man for Thursday’s doubleheader, replaces Gallegos on the roster … Carlos Martinez will get the start on Sunday in place of Johan Oviedo, and it’s possible Kwang Hyun Kim could return to the rotation as early as the doubleheader on Monday in Milwaukee. Manager Mike Shildt said Kim had “positive” workouts on both Thursday and Friday. He went on the injured list a week ago because of a blockage in his kidney, and is now on a blood thinner and other medication.
Looking ahead: Dakota Hudson will get the start on Saturday night in the second game of the series against the Reds.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains