Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 2, Guardians 1 (10 innings)
By Rob Rains
The Cardinals managed to do something that isn’t easy in the major leagues on Saturday night – win a game in which they only recorded two hits.
Their winning run scored in the 10th inning without the benefit of a hit. Brendan Donovan started the inning at second base, stole third, then came home on a passed ball.
The win broke a 27-game losing streak for the Cardinals when they had just two hits, the first time they had won such a game since a 1-0 victory over Atlanta on Aug. 5, 2016.
It’s not just the Cardinals who lose most of the time they get two hits. Since the start of the 2022 season, all teams getting just two hits were 7-94 before the Cardinals’ win over the Guardians in Cleveland.
The Cardinals reached the one-third mark of the season with a 24-30 record, equaling their worst record at that point in the season since 1995. They also were 24-30 in 2007.
Here is how Saturday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: The two hits for the Cardinals were a home run by Donovan, his fifth of the season, with two outs in the second and a leadoff single by Alec Burleson in the third … After that the Cardinals were a collective 0-of-24 the rest of the game … They did have a chance to break the 1-1 tie in the seventh when three consecutive walks loaded the bases, but Paul DeJong flew out, Juan Yepez struck out and Tommy Edman hit into a fielder’s choice … The Cardinals are now 10-of-49 this season with the bases loaded, a .204 average.
On the mound: Jack Flaherty turned in a quality start, allowing just the one run over seven innings. That scored in the third when Flaherty issued a one-out walk – his only walk of the game – then threw a wild pitch before giving up a two-out single. Flaherty allowed seven hits and struck out four … The Guardians had two runners on with no outs in the eighth against Andre Pallante before he got a groundout and a strikeout. Ryan Helsley relieved and ended the threat with a three-pitch strikeout, stranding the runners on second and third. He then worked a 1-2-3 ninth, and Giovanny Gallegos needed only five pitches to close out the win in the 10th.
Key stat: Nolan Arenado and Willson Contreras, the fourth and fifth-place hitters in the Cardinals’ lineup, were a combined 0-of-6, extending their combined slump to 0-of-38 since Arenado had three hits on May 21. Arenado is 0-of-16 since, and Contreras 0-of-22.
Worth noting: At least through Tuesday, Steven Matz is going to be available to pitch out of the Cardinals’ bullpen. His next turn in the rotation would have been Tuesday, but Miles Mikolas is going to get that start. After their two consecutive days off next Wednesday and Thursday they will re-set the rotation, said manager Oli Marmol.
Looking ahead: Jordan Montgomery will get the start on Sunday in the final game against the Guardians and of the road trip.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains