Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Cubs 3
By Rob Rains
The Cardinals have not been able to get much offense from their catchers this season, which is why a fly ball became a pretty big deal in Saturday’s game against the Cubs.
Ivan Herrera, who entered the game in the seventh after the Cardinals’ pinch-hit for Andrew Knizner, came up to bat with one out and runners on first and third in the eighth inning of the 3-3 game.
He was looking for his first major-league hit, which is still the case, but his fly ball to left was deep enough to score pinch-runner Edmundo Sosa from third and send the Cardinals to the win at Busch Stadium.
It was Herrera’s first RBI since he was promoted from Memphis to replace the injured Yadier Molina on the roster and only the second by a Cardinals since June 4, a span of 21 games.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals added an insurance run in the eighth on Tommy Edman’s RBI single … The rally began with a one-out double by Juan Yepez, followed by a walk to Harrison Bader … The Cardinals took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, a two-run single by Brendan Donovan that followed a two-out single by Paul Goldschmidt and a double by Nolan Arenado … Dylan Carlson’s double drove in Arenado with their third run in the sixth … Arenado had singled to lead off the inning, one of his three hits in the game.
On the mound: Miles Mikolas made another quality start that did not result in a victory. He gave up only one run over six innings, when the Cubs bunched two singles and a sacrifice fly in the fifth … He retired 12 of the first 13 hitters he faced, giving up only a two-out double in the first. He walked one and struck out nine … Mikolas left the game with a 3-1 lead, but lost his chance for the win when Rafael Ortega hit a two-run homer off Giovanny Gallegos that tied the game in the eighth, his fourth blown save of the season … Ryan Helsley pitched around two walks to get the final two outs of the inning and keep the game tied, then protected the lead, allowing only a two-out single in the ninth.
Key stat: For the season Cardinals catchers rank 13th among the 15 NL teams with a .195 average (50-of-257) ahead of Arizona and Pittsburgh. They are tied for 13th in home runs with three, ahead of the Mets, and are tied for 12th with 21 RBIs in 74 games, ahead of Washington and Pittsburgh.
Worth noting: The Cardinals made another roster move before the game, placing reliever Genesis Cabrera on the 10-day injured list. That list is used for Covid cases, but no official designation was listed by the team … Jake Woodford was recalled from Memphis.
Looking ahead: Jack Flaherty will start in Sunday’s series finale, making his third start since coming off the injured list. He has only pitched three innings in each of his first three starts.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains