Friday’s Game Report: Padres 5, Cardinals 4
By Rob Rains
It was before a game earlier this week in Milwaukee that Cardinals’ manager Mike Shildt made a pretty accurate summation of the goal for the day, and really for almost any day, of the season.
Talking about strikes, Shildt said, “We need to throw them; we need to hit them.”
It was the first part of that equation that the Cardinals had trouble with on Friday night in San Diego.
The Cardinals walked 12 batters – something they have done only one other time in a nine-inning game in the last 20 years – and also hit three and threw two wild pitches in handing the victory to the Padres. Four of the runs scored by the Padres came from players who reached base on a walk. Three of their runs scored in an inning where they did not get a hit.
“The frustrating part is the high majority of them were pretty much unforced,” Shildt said of the walks, the second time in the last eight games that they have issued double-digit walks. “Too many non-competitive pitches that didn’t give us a chance.
“Somehow we figured out a way with 12 walks to have the tying run at the plate in the ninth, one swing away. … We’ve just got to be on go from the beginning and not pitch with our hair on fire when people are on base and get get after it a little more when nobody is on.”
The Cardinals out-hit the Padres 10 to 4.
Here is how Friday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: Despite all of the pitching problems, the Cardinals actually got the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning after Nolan Arenado’s two-out homer but Yadier Molina grounded out to end the game … Tyler O’Neill hit his team-leading eighth homer of the year, a two-run shot in the eighth … The Cardinals also got a sacrifice fly from Molina that drove in Tommy Edman in the fifth. This was the first time this season, in 18 games, the Cardinals lost when Edman scored at least one run … Arenado had a double and single in addition to his home run while Paul Goldschmidt also reached three times on a single and two walks.
On the mound: This was only the second time in franchise history the Cardinals walked 10 or more batters and hit three in a nine-inning game. The other time that happened was on April 14, 2001 … One of the hit batters appeared to be a foul ball, but the call was allowed to stand after a conference of the umpires … The only other time the Cardinals walked 12 batters in a nine-inning game since 2000 was when they issued 13 walks on July 28, 2004 … Starter Johan Oviedo failed to get through the third inning and walked five, including loading the bases on consecutive walks with no outs in the third … The four Cardinals relievers all walked at least one batter.
Key stat: The Cardinals pitchers combined to throw only 15 first-pitch strikes to the 41 San Diego batters. Oviedo threw just two first-pitch strikes to the 13 batters he faced.
Worth noting: The Cardinals expect Paul DeJong to miss between 10 and 14 days because of a deep bone bruise to his ribs, the result of being hit by a pitch on Tuesday night in Milwaukee … Infielder Max Moroff took DeJong’s place on the roster Friday night, coming up from Memphis, where he was 14-of-26 in the first seven games of the Triple A season. Moroff previously played in the majors with the Pirates and Indians … To make room for Moroff on the 40-man roster, reliever Jordan Hicks was transferred to the 60-day injured list. That would allow him to return around the All-Star break, but manager Mike Shildt indicated Hicks likely will be out longer than that as he gets treatment for inflammation in his right elbow. “We are very optimistic he will pitch again this year, barring a setback,” Shildt said … Daniel Ponce de Leon is set to pitch “multiple” innings on Saturday for Memphis as the Cardinals prep him to return to the majors as a reliever … The Cardinals announced Friday night that fans who are fully vaccinated will not be required to wear masks at Busch Stadium beginning when the team returns home from San Diego on Tuesday night. Additional tickets are on sale for the two games next week against the Pirates.
Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start on Saturday night in the second game of the series, which will be broadcast on FS1.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains