Saturday’s Game Report: Reds 5, Cardinals 3
By Rob Rains
Throughout his career, one of the most welcome sights for Cardinals fans has been seeing Matt Carpenter coming up to bat with the bases loaded.
Statistically, Carpenter has been one of the best hitters the game has seen in those situations, posting a .476 career average, 30 hits in 63 at-bats, with 91 RBIs, including two hits in six at-bats this season.
The Cardinals had a chance to get Carpenter another bases-loaded at bat in the eighth inning on Saturday night, when his spot came up with two outs and the Cardinals trailing the Reds -3 in Cincinnati.
The Reds brought in a left-hander, Sean Doolittle, and manager Mike Shildt – well aware that Carpenter was just 1-of-10 against lefthanders this season, pulled him back and sent up Jose Rondon to pinch-hit. For the second night in a row, Yadier Molina was on the bench but not able to hit.
Rondon, after working the count to 3-2, popped out to short, ending the inning, and sending the Cardinals to their sixth consecutive loss against the Reds.
Here is how Saturday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals scored just one run on four hits through the first seven innings against Luis Castillo, an RBI single by Harrison Bader in the second … With Castillo out of the game, the Cardinals got back to back doubles from Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado to open the eighth. Paul DeJong added an RBI single, and a single by Edmundo Sosa and a walk to Andrew Knizner loaded the bases with two outs, before Rondon popped out … The Cardinals were just 3-of-10 with runners in scoring position, leaving nine runners on base.
On the mound: Making his second start, Jake Woodford allowed three runs over five innings, including a home run by Joey Votto. The other two runs scored on a double by Jesse Winker … Woodford was able to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam in the first but allowed seven hits and walked two, leaving him constantly pitching with runners on base … Winker added a two-run homer in the seventh off T.J. McFarland to provide the Reds two insurance runs.
Key stat: Votto’s homer was the 31st in his career against the Cardinals, the most by an active player, nine more than the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo. Winker’s homer was his sixth against the Cardinals in 11 games this year, covering 46 at-bats.
Worth noting: The last time the Cardinals lost six consecutive games to the Reds was in 2003 … The loss also dropped the Cardinals a game under .500 again; they are just 6-18 in road games since May 30 … Molina sat out his second consecutive game because of a stiff neck … Miles Mikolas made his first rehab start on Saturday night for Memphis at Louisville and retired all nine hitters he faced over three innings on 29 pitches as Memphis extended its winning streak to 14 games … Jack Flaherty is scheduled to join him at Memphis to make his first rehab start on Tuesday night, working under a 40 to 45 pitch limit … Jordan Walker, the Cardinals top pick in the 2020 draft, hit his first home run for high A Peoria on Saturday night.
Looking ahead: Johan Oviedo will get another chance to win the first game of his career when he gets the start on Sunday in Cincinnati with the Cardinals trying to avoid a series sweep.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains