Monday’s Game Report: White Sox 5, Cardinals 1
By Rob Rains
With Andrew Vaughn coming to the plate with two outs, a runner on first and the Cardinals clinging to a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning Monday night, Mike Shildt came out to the mound to visit with starter Kwang Hyun Kim.
The manager, knowing his team’s two best relievers were not available, had to make a decision – leave Kim in to face the dangerous right-handed hitter, or go to his bullpen. He decided to leave Kim in the game.
It took three pitches for that decision, and the game, to go awry.
After falling behind 2-0, Kim left a changeup over the plate and Vaughn didn’t miss it, slamming a go-ahead home run that sparked a four-run inning and sent the White Sox to the win over the Cardinals in Chicago, the first time in 5,272 career games as a major-league manager that Tony LaRussa ever managed a game against the Cardinals.
“I wanted to make sure he had some gas left, he was throwing the ball very well,” Shildt said about his conversation with Kim. “Didn’t love the matchup with Vaughn with him, but still had command of what he was doing. Wanted to treat it pretty much like he was 0-2 the whole at-bat and we’d take our shot with (Leury) Garcia.
“He made a pitch and the guy put a good swing on it. That’s baseball.”
In addition to the loss, the Cardinals suffered another injury. Harrison Bader had to come out of the game after suffering an injury to his right ribs as he tried to make a diving catch in the third inning. Shildt said initial imaging was clean but Bader will be examined further on Tuesday.
Here is how Monday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: Facing former Cardinal Lance Lynn, the Cardinals did not get their first hit until Paul Goldschmidt singled through the shortstop with one out in the sixth. That hit produced their lone run, driving in Tommy Edman, who had walked, stole second and advanced to third on a fly ball by Dylan Carlson, back in the lineup after missing the last two games because of tightness in his back … Goldschmidt’s single was their only hit in six at-bats with a runner in scoring position … The Cardinals have scored a combined seven runs in their last four games, losing three of them.
On the mound: Kim had allowed just four hits prior to the home run by Vaughn, only the second he has allowed in 32 innings this season … Daniel Ponce de Leon took over for Kim after he walked Garcia but he hit a batter and allowed a double by Tim Anderson that drove in the final two runs of the inning. He left after two walks and a throwing error in the seventh, with Kodi Whitley giving up a sacrifice fly that produced the fifth run … Neither Alex Reyes or Giovanny Gallegos were available for the game after each pitched the last two days, meaning Genesis Cabrera and Ryan Helsley had to be kept available to pitch the final two innings if the Cardinals had the lead.
Key stat: The Cardinals have gone 39 consecutive innings since they scored more than one run in an inning, dating back to the fifth inning of Wednesday night’s against the Pirates, when they scored two runs.
Worth noting: Miles Mikolas will visit Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday to get a second opinion on the “tightness” in his right arm which forced him out of Saturday night’s game and back onto the injured list … Andrew Miller is scheduled to pitch for Triple A Memphis at Gwinnett on Tuesday night as he begins what is expected to be a short rehab anssignment … Johan Oviedo is traveling with the Cardinals as a one-man taxi squad in anticipation of getting the start on Friday night, in Mikolas’s spot, on Friday night in Arizona. He will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday and the Cardinals will make a decision after that about their rotation for the four-game series against the Diamondbacks.
Looking ahead: It will be a matchup of Jack Flaherty against his high school teammate Lucas Giolito in the second game of the series on Tuesday night. Flaherty was a sophomore at Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles when Giolito was a senior. The pitching coach at the school then, Ethan Katz, is now the pitching coach of the White Sox.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains