Monday’s Game Report: Phillies 2, Cardinals 1
By Rob Rains
Only once before in Adam Wainwright’s career had he done what he did on Monday night against the Phillies at Busch Stadium.
Fourteen years ago, on Aug. 10, 2007, Wainwright pitched a complete game against the Dodgers – and lost. That was the last time any Cardinals pitcher had accomplished that rare – for this age of baseball – feat.
The loss came because of two of Wainwright’s 107 pitches, the only ones on the night that he would have liked back – and that spelled the difference in the game. Wainwright’s two mistakes were two more than Phillies’ starter Zack Wheeler.
Rhys Hoskins broke up a scoreless game in the seventh with a home run off Wainwright, and then he made it a 2-0 game with another homer in the ninth.
“The first one I got a little too aggressive and tried to throw too hard and make a perfect pitch down and away and just completely came out of it and spun it right down the middle and he hit it out,” Wainwright said. “Great hitters are going to do that.
“I didn’t make any mistakes with my cutter until that last one to Rhys. He’s not going to miss pitches like that and I gave him two cookies right in the middle of the plate.”
Those mistakes made Wainwright the tough-luck against Wheeler, who allowed only one hit through eight innings, a two-out single by Paul DeJong in the fifth. He came out of the game after a leadoff walk to pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter in the ninth on his 114th pitch of the game.
Tommy Edman followed with a single and Dylan Carlson’s ground out drove in Carpenter, but the rally died when Paul Goldschmidt fouled out and Nolan Arenado’s drive to left center was caught a couple of feet in front of the wall.
“Classic pitcher’s duel, that was a good baseball game, hate to come out on the other end of it,” said manager Mike Shildt. “We made it interesting. I thought Nolan’s ball had a legitimate chance of getting out of the ballpark, came up short.
“Nolan gets the ball another 10 feet and we’ve got a big celebration in our clubhouse.”
Here is how Monday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals had only four baserunners off Wheeler, the single by DeJong and walks to Justin Williams in the sixth, Arenado in the seventh and Carpenter’s walk leading off the ninth … The Cardinals lost 2-0 in their last game to the Phillies, on April 18 in Philadelphia, also getting two hits in Aaron Nola’s complete game. Wheeler recorded nine strikeouts, fanning Edman and Dylan Carlson twice each.
On the mound: In Wainwright’s last two games he has pitched 16 innings, allowed three runs, all on solo homers, walked one and struck out 18 – without a win to show for it … Against the Phillies he allowed si hits and struck out eight while not issuing a walk. He allowed only one runner to reach second other than the two homers from Hoskins …. Cardinals’ starters have now allowed a total of six runs in their last 40 2/3 innings.
Key stat: The only other time Wainwright lost a game when he gave up two home runs to account for the only runs of the game was on June 26, 2019, when he allowed home runs to Beau Taylor and Matt Chapman in a 2-0 loss to Oakland at Busch Stadium.
Worth noting: With just four games left in the month, the Cardinals almost certainly will finish April with their fewest doubles in the last 20 years. Since 2000, the Cardinals have never hit less than 36 doubles in April, doing that in both 2001 and 2007, both in 24 games. Through 22 games after Monday night, the Cardinals have hit only 24 doubles, which is tied for 21st in the majors. Three players – Paul DeJong, Matt Carpenter and Justin Williams – have 40 or more at-bats without hitting a double. DeJong, with xx at-bats, has the second most at-bats in the majors without a double, trailing only Marcus Semien of the Blue Jays. This is the longest streak of his career without hitting a double. Since 2000, the most doubles the Cardinals hit in April was 70, in 2003.
Looking ahead: Carlos Martinez will get the start on Tuesday night in the second game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains