Wednesday’s Game Report: Giants 7, Cardinals 3
By Rob Rains
On the long list of things which have not gone right for the Cardinals so far this season, the performance of the team’s offense likely has not received enough of the blame.
In suffering their third loss in a row to the Giants Wednesday night in San Francisco, they managed eight hits – half of them coming from Paul Goldschmidt.
Goldschmidt hit a pair of solo home runs on his four-hit night but the rest of the lineup produced only one run as the Cardinals fell to 1-5 on their current road trip with four games remaining.
In the three losses to the Giants, the Cardinals have a collective .237 average and have scored a total of seven runs. They are a combined 3-of-21 with runners in scoring position in those three games.
The cleanup hitter, Nolan Arenado, was hitless in four at-bats on Wednesday night and has three hits in 21 at-bats on the road trip, all singles.
The Cardinals rolled out a starting outfield of Lars Nootbaar, Tyler O’Neill and Alec Burleson, and the trio was hitless in nine at-bats as the Cardinals saw their record to start the season fall to 9-16.
Here is how Wednesday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: Goldschmidt hit his two homers and a double off Giants’ starter Anthony DeSclafani and is now 17-of-30 in his career in that matchup with four home runs. His fourth hit was a single in the eighth inning but he came to the plate with the bases loaded in the ninth, representing the potential tying run, and grounded into a game-ending double play … Paul DeJong, getting the start again at shortstop, drove in the other run with a double in the ninth – the Cardinals’ first hit since Goldschmidt’s double in the fifth … Nootbaar was 0-of-4 and is 1-of-11 in the series; Burleson was 0-of-2 and is 0-of-9 in the series and O’Neill was 0-of-3 and is 2-of-8 in the three games with the outfield’s lone RBI.
On the mound: Steven Matz could only get through four innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks, needing 90 pitches to get the 12 outs … With the game tied at 2, the Giants took the lead in the fifth when Nootbaar dropped a fly ball in right center before a wild pitch from Jordan Hicks let the go-ahead run score … The Giants increased the lead to 5-2 on a home run off Zack Thompson in the eighth and added two more insurance runs off Chris Stratton in the ninth.
Key stat: Goldschmidt has hit 15 home runs in his career at Oracle Park, the most by a visiting player in the history of that stadium. The only other Cardinal to hit two homers in a game at the stadium, which opened in 2000, was Albert Pujols on May 30, 2009. Goldschmidt has four of the team’s seven RBIs in the series.
Worth noting: After sitting out the first two games of the series and three of the last four on the current trip, top prospect Jordan Walker was optioned to Memphis before Wednesday night’s game. The 20-year-old made the team to begin the season, making the jump from Double A, but the Cardinals want him to alter his swing so he can hit more balls in the air and less balls on the ground. Since the 12-game hitting streak to begin his career, Walker was hitting .192 (5-of-26) and going back to Memphis will allow him to get more playing time in right field as well … Taylor Motter, who had been designated for assignment to open a roster spot on Sunday for Paul DeJong and had been outrighted to Memphis on Tuesday, was brought back and added to the 40-man roster … The Cardinals have not made a decision about whether Adam Wainwright will make one more rehab start or return to the Cardinals’ rotation. Jake Woodford is listed as the scheduled starter for Sunday’s game in Los Angeles, which would be the first day Wainwright could start … Former first-round pick Michael McGreevy made his Triple A debut on Wednesday night, allowing three runs over six innings, walking two and striking out five. He got the win in the 7-5 victory at Durham.
Looking ahead: The four-game series in San Franciscio will conclude with a day game on Thursday. Miles Mikolas is the scheduled starter as the Cardinals try to salvage one win in the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains