Thursday’s Game Report: Angels 11, Cardinals 7
By Rob Rains
Normally scoring seven runs should be enough to win most games. Not so far this season for the Cardinals, when there has been anything normal about the start to this year.
For the third time in their first 32 games the Cardinals scored seven runs on Thursday and lost – swept at home by the Angels, now mired in a six-game losing streak and with 13 losses in their last 16 games.
At 10-22, they have the worst record in the National League and are 12 games below .500 for the first time since 1999.
There is, at least in the opinion of veteran Paul Goldschmidt, a fairly simple explanation.
“We haven’t been doing a good enough job,” Goldschmidt said. “We’ve got a good team – but you’ve got to go out there and prove it.”
The Cardinals have lost in a variety of ways, and in this game, the primary reason was because of a poor start from Jack Flaherty, charged with a career-high 10 runs in 2 1/3 innings.
Of the 17 batters that Flaherty faced, 11 reached base. He left with the bases loaded in the third, and Jake Woodford allowed all three inherited runners to score.
It was the third time in Busch 3’s history that a Cardinals pitcher allowed 10 or more runs, the first since Mitchell Boggs gave up 11 in six innings on July 3, 2008.
Here is how Thursday’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals found themselves in an 11-2 hole before Tommy Edman hit a three-run homer in the fourth, his fifth of the season, and Goldschmidt doubled in two runs in the sixth. They had been gifted two runs in the first when Hunter Renfroe misplayed a routine fly ball hit by Willson Contreras, letting it go over his head … After getting two hits Wednesday night, Nolan Arenado was 0-of-4 … Lars Nootbaar had four of the Cardinals 10 hits, the most he has had in a game in his career … Singles by Edman and Nootbaar put two runners on with two outs in the eighth but Goldschmidt grounded out to end the inning.
On the mound: Flaherty gave up nine hits, which tied his career high, while recording seven outs as his ERA jumped from 3.94 to 6.29. One of the hits was a three-run homer in the second inning, the 19th homer the Cardinals have allowed this year with two strikes, the most in the majors … Even with Mike Trout getting the day off the Cardinals gave up 16 hits … After Woodford gave up an unearned run in the fourth, Chris Stratton, JoJo Romero and Drew VerHagen shut out the Angels over the final five innings.
Key stat: The Cardinals are now 5-3 this season when scoring seven or more runs. In all of the major leagues, teams are 201-28 when scoring seven or more runs. Last year, the Cardinals were 35-1 when they scored at least seven runs.
Worth noting: Taylor Motter pinch-hit for Nolan Gorman in the sixth because Gorman had to come out of the game dealing with lower back tightness, a problem he has had for the past couple of seasons. With the Cardinals trailing by six runs between innings, manager Oli Marmol had already told Motter he was going into the game. Motter had not played since April 19 … The Cardinals fell to 5-11 at home. They did not lose their 11th game at home last year until May 29 … The team is 1-9 since Jordan Walker played his last game before being optioned to Memphis … As of now Steven Matz is still scheduled to start for the Cardinals on Sunday. Matthew Liberatore is scheduled to start for Memphis on Saturday.
Looking ahead: The Detroit Tigers come to town for a three-game series beginning Friday night. Jordan Montgomery will start for the Cardinals, with Adam Wainwright set to make his season debut on Saturday.
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