Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 4, White Sox 0
By Rob Rains
Tommy Edman’s bat was far more important to the Cardinals’ win over the White Sox on Wednesday than Giovanny Gallegos’s hat – but did not spark near the same level of controversy.
Edman hit a pair of solo homers – for eight innings the only two hits for the Cardinals – as they salvaged the final game of the series in Chicago.
The biggest post-game topic, however, was umpire Joe West telling Gallegos he had to change hats when he came in to pitch in the seventh inning, apparently because of a smudge on the bill of his cap, likely caused by a combination of resin and sunscreen.
The hat was confiscated by the umpires and will be sent to the baseball offices, apparently because of concerns about pitchers using illegal substances on baseballs, which is becoming more of a problem in the game in the opinion of Cardinals manager Mike Shildt.
Shildt was ejected by West – and was still bothered by what happened after the game, speaking for more than 10 minutes about the issue.
“This is baseball’s dirty little secret and it’s the wrong time and the wrong arena to expose it,” Shildt said. “First of all, Gio wears the same hat all year … Did Gio have some sunscreen at some point in his career? Possibly. Does he use resin? Possibly. Are these things that baseball really wants to crack down on? No it’s not. That is not anything that is going to affect his ability to compete.
“There are people that are effectively and not even trying to hide essentially flipping the bird at the league with how they are cheating in this game with concocted substances … There are players that are obviously doing it going to their glove. There’s clear video of it. … You can see based on spin rates how guys’ careers are jumping off the charts and then do cause and effect.”
Shildt went on to say, “let’s go check the guys who are going to their glove every day with filthy stuff coming out, not some guy even before he’s stepped on the mound, with a spot on his hat. That’s how you want to start policing this? Unfortunately that’s how this is going to start. Maybe this is the crescendo for things to come.”
Shildt said he intended to give his hat to Gallegos when he realized what was going on but got ejected first and then got “sidetracked.”
Gallegos, after putting on a new hat, struck out the next two batters to end the inning, stranding two runners on base, and protecting the Cardinals 1-0 lead at the time.
“Why don’t you start with some guys who are cheating with some stuff that are really impacting the game and impacting how people play this game,” Shildt said.
“It wasn’t the right time, in my opinion, for that to happen. Now you’ve opened it up, so let’s go.”
After making those comments to the media in a zoom setting, Shildt later realized a statement through the team’s media relations department saying that he was not upset with the umpires’ actions but added, “Having to police foreign substances, candidly shouldn’t have to be a part of their job.”
Here is how Wednesday’s game broke down:
At the plate: Edman had not hit a home run since April 19, a span of 136 plate appearances, before he connected off Carlos Rodon with two outs in the third. He homered again five innings later for the second two-homer game of his career … The Cardinals got more hits, and two more runs, in the ninth, when Paul Goldschmidt singled and Nolan Arenado doubled before both scored on a single by Edmundo Sosa, hitting fifth for the first time. The two runs marked the first time in a span of 57 innings the Cardinals scored more than once in an inning … Prior to the ninth, their only other baserunners had come on two hit batters and a walk. One of hit batters was Sosa, who has been hit a league-leading seven times in just 50 plate appearances.
On the mound: John Gant pitched into the sixth inning, once again getting himself into and out of trouble. He got out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning when Justin Williams threw out a runner at the plate and stranded eight batters in the first five innings … Genesis Cabrera and Gallegos protected the slim lead by retiring nine of the 11 hitters they faced before Alex Reyes completed the shutout, striking out two, in the ninth.
Key stat: This was the sixth shutout of the season for the Cardinals, the fourth caught by backup catcher Andrew Knizner, who has started just 16 of the team’s first 49 games.
Worth noting: The Cardinals’ seventh through ninth hitters – Lane Thomas, Max Moroff and Williams – were a combined 0-of-12 and struck out nine times, four by Moroff … With errors by Gant and Moroff, this was the third consecutive game with multiple errors for the Cardinals and made it their first three-game series with seven or more total errors since 2011 … This was Shildt’s second ejection of the year and seventh in his career … The Cardinals expect to hear the results of Miles Mikolas’s visit to Dr. James Andrews on Thursday as he sought a second opinion on the reason for his right arm issues … Tyler O’Neill, out with a broken finger, likely will be activated at some point over the weekend … One of the Cardinals’ top prospects, third baseman Jordan Walker, has missed the last week at Class A Palm Beach with “discomfort” in his left wrist. His status is said to be day-to-day.
Looking ahead: The road trip will continue on Thursday night with the first of four games in Arizona. Carlos Martinez will get the start.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains