Postcard from Cardinals spring training camp for Thursday, March 16, 2023

Postcard from Cardinals spring training camp for Thursday, March 16, 2023

Weather: 75 degrees, sunny

Result: Astros 3, Cardinals  0

By Rob Rains

JUPITER, Fla. – Even though Adam Wainwright is still away from spring training while pitching for the U.S. team in the World Baseball Classic, there was a pitcher wearing number 50 in red standing on the mound during Thursday’s game against the Astros.

The pitcher in this case was right-hander Andre Granillo, who happens to wear that number in the minor leagues.

And he did his best impersonation of Wainwright, relieving starter Jack Flaherty with two outs in the fifth and a runner on second and got the inning-ending strike out.

Granillo was the Cardinals’ pick in the 14th round of the 2021 from California-Riverside. He pitched at Palm Beach, Peoria and Springfield last season, striking out a combined 82 batters in 52 1/3 innings.

Here is how Thursday’s game broke down:

High: Connor Lunn, another minor-league pitcher, relieved Flaherty with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth and also got a strike out to end the inning.

Low: The Cardinals were just 1-of-8 with a runner in scoring position and were shut out for the second time this spring.

At the plate: Brendan Donovan, starting at shortstop for the first time this spring, had two hits, including a double, to raise his spring average to .324 … Jordan Walker had a single in four at-bats while Nolan Gorman was 1-of-3 but also struck out twice.

On the mound: Flaherty was able to come back in the game to pitch the fifth inning because of the re-entry rule adopted a few years ago for spring training games. He allowed five hits and three runs, two earned, in 4 1/3 innings … Zack Thompson remained perfect on the spring with another scoreless 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts … The other lefthanded relief candidates, Andrew Suarez. Packy Naughton and Anthony Misiewicz, also pitched a scoreless inning.

Worth noting:  The Cardinals made three roster moves before the game, optioning pitcher Connor Thomas, catcher Ivan Herrera and outfielder Moises Gomez to Memphis … Tommy Edman was trying to readjust to the time change on Thursday after arriving back in Florida from Tokyo, where he said he enjoyed playing for Korea in the World Baseball Classic. “Getting to play in the Tokyo Dome was a very cool experience,” Edman said. “There’s a different kind of way that fans embrace the game over there. One of the coolest things I saw was that for each individual player in Japan they each had a walkup song the fans had made up themselves. It was a great environment to play in. I enjoyed every bit of my time there.” Edman said he also noticed a big difference in playing in the WBC compared to spring training games. “It was neat to have some games where mentally I had to be fully locked in like a playoff environment,” he said.

Up next: Steven Matz will get the start on Friday in the Cardinals’ game against the Marlins in Jupiter. The Cardinals will be the visiting team.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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