Sunday’s Game Report: Phillies 3, Cardinals 0
By Rob Rains
Aaron Nola, a potential free agent at the end of this season, is going to be the first name on the wish list for most Cardinals fans hoping the team can add a top of the rotation starter this winter.
He showed why on Sunday.
After allowing a leadoff double to Tommy Edman in the first inning, Nola did not allow another hit over seven scoreless innings as the Phillies completed a dominating sweep of the three-game series in Philadelphia.
The Phillies outscored the Cardinals 22-3 in the three games.
The only other player to reach base against Nola was Nolan Gorman on a one-out walk in the fifth. Nola, who struck out nine, has allowed a total of 12 hits in 90 career at-bats – with no home runs – against the Cardinals who were in the lineup on Sunday.
The loss left the Cardinals a season-low 19 games below .500 at 56-75. They went 1-5 on the trip to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and are 2-9 in their last 11 games. It was the first time the Cardinals were swept in a three-game series in Philadelphia since 2003.
Here is how Sunday’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals’ only other hit after Edman’s leadoff double was a one-out double by Paul Goldschmidt in the ninth off Craig Kimbrel. That followed a walk to Alec Burleson and brought the tying run to the plate, but Nolan Arenado popped out and Willson Contreras struck out to end the game and strand both runners … Their only other baserunner in the game was Jordan Walker, who reached on a one-out walk in the eighth … It was the 11th shutout loss of the season for the Cardinals.
On the mound: Making his second career start, Drew Rom gave up a first-pitch homer to Kyle Schwarber but then had a much-improved start from his debut Monday night in Pittsburgh. He allowed only one other run over five innings, giving up five hits while striking out six … The other Phillies’ runs came on a sacrifice fly by Trea Turner in the fifth and an RBI single by Bryce Harper off John King in the seventh that drove in a runner he had inherited from Jacob Barnes.
Key stat: In the three-game series, the Cardinals were a combined 10-of-91, a .110 average, and struck out 34 times. They were retired in order in 18 of their 27 innings and had a combined five hits over the final 24 innings of the series.
Worth noting: The last time the Cardinals were 19 games below .500 was on the final day of the 1995 season ,,, After sitting out Saturday night’s game because of lower back tightness, Arenado served as the DH and was hitless in four at-bats … Tyler O’Neill was in the original starting lineup but was scratched before the game because of left knee discomfort and was replaced by Richie Palacios … Before the game the Cardinals placed Guillermo Zuniga on the injured list and recalled James Naile from Memphis … Making a rehab appearance at Springfield, Ryan Helsley allowed three hits and two runs in an inning of work, needing 27 pitches to record the three outs.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals return home to face the Padres for the first time this season in a three-game series beginning on Monday night. Adam Wainwright will be making his 10th try for his 199th career win.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains