Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Phillies 2

Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Phillies 2

By Rob Rains

It was a long time coming, but Carlos Martinez’s long streak without a win as a starting pitcher is finally over.

Martinez pitched into the eighth inning on Tuesday night, allowing only two hits, to win for the first time as a starter since July 7, 2018 – a week before Mike Shildt took over as the Cardinals manager.

The span between wins as a starter was 1,025 days.

“It’s fun to watch him pitch, he pitches well,” said Shildt, who has been with Martinez since they were in Double A Springfield together in 2012.
“It was good to see him get rewarded for it tonight.

“The win for the pitcher has been minimized but let’s not kid ourselves to the pitchers it matters. They want to get their wins. He’s no different. He should feel good that he went out and competed really well and we were able to bring it home.”

Martinez had made 12 starts since his last win, including four this year. He spent the last two months of 2018 and all of 2019 pitching out of the bullpen.

Catcher Andrew Knizner was not aware how long it had been between wins for Martinez as a starter.

“Wins as starters is a good stat to look at but that doesn’t always tell you how you pitched,” Knizner said. “You’ve got to have a full team effort. I don’t think anybody really thinks too much about his wins like that, what everybody cares about is the way he pitched tonight.”

Martinez’s start extended a streak by Cardinals pitchers to nine consecutive games allowing no more than two earned runs.

Here is how Tuesday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: Nolan Arenado doubled to drive in Dylan Carlson in the first before Tommy Edman drove in two runs with another double in the second after singles by Justin Williams and Knizner … The Cardinals added two insurance runs in the seventh on a double by Paul Goldschmidt following singles by Edman and Carlson … All of the Cardinals runs scored with two outs. They were just 2-of-10 with runners in scoring position, stranding six runners on either second or third.

On the mound: The only hits allowed by Martinez were a double by Bryce Harper in the first and a single by Brad Miller in the third. The Phillies runs came on a sacrifice fly from J.T. Realmuto in the first, following Harper’s double, and an unearned in the fourth following an error by Justin Williams. Following the error Martinez retired 13 batters in a row before issuing his only walk of the night, to Matt Joyce, with one out in the eighth, the final batter he faced … Giovanny Gallegos got an inning-ending double play before Alex Reyes closed out the game in the ninth, pitching around a one-out single by Harper.

Key stat: The Cardinals hit a season-high four doubles in the game, two from Arenado, one from Edman and one from Goldschmidt. Over their last four-plus games, they had a total of four doubles in a span of 128 at-bats.

Worth noting: The Cardinals were hoping to avoid having to place Yadier Molina on the injured list when he was able to play on Monday night but found out Tuesday that would not be the case. Shildt said Molina called him to report that “he wasn’t moving as well as he would like” so the move was made. Ali Sanchez was brought up from the alternate site camp to serve as the backup catcher but the bulk of the playing time while Molina is out will go to Knizner. The team is in a stretch of 17 consecutive games. Molina apparently injured his right foot – diagnosed as a tendon sprain – while running in Friday night’s game. He missed the games on Saturday and Sunday but felt well enough to play on Monday night … Sanchez was acquired by the Cardinals from the Mets at the start of spring training. He played five games for them last season.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals will have to make another roster move before Wednesday night’s game to add right-hander Johan Oviedo to the roster to make the start against the Phillies. Because of the desire to keep their starters on five days of rest the team will need Oviedo to make two starts during this 17-game stretch.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out STLSportsPage.com. Rob Rains, Editor.