Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 1, Yankees 0
By Rob Rains
The true importance of the Cardinals’ win over the Yankees on Saturday night at Busch Stadium probably won’t be known for a while.
The immediate reaction, however, is that at the moment it stands as the biggest win of the season.
Played before the largest crowd in the 16-year history of Busch 3 – bigger than World Series games, bigger than the All-Star Game, bigger than any opening day – the Cardinals scored the only run of the game in the first inning, held the Yankees to two hits and won their season-best sixth game of the season.
The win improved their record to a season-best 11 games over .500 and, combined with the Brewers’ loss to the Reds, left them alone in first place, a game ahead of Milwaukee, for the first time since June 22.
Since Tuesday’s trading deadline, the Cardinals are 5-0 while the Brewers are 1-4, allowing the Cardinals to pick up four games in the standings in five days.
Jordan Montgomery, one of two starters acquired before the deadline, made his Cardinal debut and worked the first five innings of the shutout. He was pulled as a precautionary measure after suffering leg cramps caused by dehydration.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Nolan Arenado drove in what turned out to be the only run of the game with a single on the 10th pitch of his at-bat in the first inning. After fouling off four pitches, two with a 3-2 count, Arenado’s hit brought in Paul Goldschmidt, who had doubled with two outs … The Cardinals only other scoring chance came in the third when Nolan Gorman singled and Goldschmidt doubled again, but Gorman was barely thrown out at the plate … The Cardinals had only one hit after the third, a single by Lars Nootbaar in the seventh. Nootbaar also helped protect the lead with a diving catch in right in the eighth, his second great catch in as many nights.
On the mound: Montgomery allowed the only two Yankees hits, a single by Aaron Judge in the first and a single in the third. Montgomery issued one walk and recorded 10 groundball outs, including a diving stop by Arenado behind third in the fourth, throwing out Josh Donaldson from his knees … Jordan Hicks pitched around a one-out walk and wild pitch in the sixth and Genesis Cabrera pitched around a leadoff walk in the eighth … With Ryan Helsley not available after pitching the last two nights, Giovanny Gallegos got the save opportunity and retired Judge on a fly ball to open the ninth before getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.
Key stat: This was the second 1-0 win at home for the Cardinals this season and the 18th in the history of Busch 3. The other win this year was on May 2 versus Kansas City on a first-inning home run by Goldschmidt.
Worth noting: The Cardinals’ last shutout at Busch allowing two hits or less was on Sept. 13, 2019, a 10-0 victory over the Giants … The announced attendance was 48,581 … Jack Flaherty rejoined the Cardinals on Saturday after doing rehab for his shoulder near his home in Los Angeles. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Sunday and the Cardinals hope he will then be cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment. Their goal is for him to rejoin the rotation around Sept. 1.
Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start on Sunday as the Cardinals go for a sweep of the three-game series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains