Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 15, Reds 6
By Rob Rains
Adam Wainwright’s warmup act did a pretty good job of revving up the crowd on Saturday night at Busch Stadium.
That band, otherwise known as the Cardinals offense, kept rolling out hit after hit to the tune of a 10-0 lead before the second intermission, or inning, was over.
Before they turned the stage over to Wainwright for his post-game concert, the middle act, reliever Andre Pallante, was a dud, but the Cardinals were able to get through it without ruining the evening as they finished off the win over the Reds with more hits from the offense, another four-run inning, in the eighth.
With the loss and a win by the Marlins, the Reds were eliminated from the wild-card playoff chase, setting up a possibility that Wainwright could be the designated hitter for the Cardinals in the season’s final game on Sunday.
Here is how Saturday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: The top five hitters in the Cardinals lineup each reached base in both of the first two innings and each also scored in each inning. Reds starter Connor Phillips walked the bases loaded without throwing a strike to start the first before he came out of the game … Jordan Walker doubled in each of the first two innings with Ivan Herrera also delivering a two-run double in the first … In the second Lars Nootbaar launched a three-run homer and Jose Fermin doubled in two more runs … Tommy Edman singled and scored his third run on Paul Goldschmidt’s second double in the third, but that was the last hit and run for the Cardinals until Lars Nootbaar reached on an infield single in the eighth. He later scored on a bases-loaded walk to Luken Baker, followed by a bases-loaded walk to Fermin and a two-run single by Masyn Winn.
On the mound: Starter Drew Rom was pulled with a nine-run lead after 4 1/3 innings, two outs shy of qualifying for the win, with two runners on base … Pallante allowed both runs to score plus one of his own in the four-run inning. He left with two runners on and one out in the sixth but Drew VerHagen pitched out of that mess to keep it a six-run game. He then gave up a home run in the seventh that cut the Cardinals lead to 11-6 … The Reds, who had 14 hits, loaded the bases against John King in the eighth before he got out of the inning.
Key stat: The five runs were the most the Cardinals have scored in the first inning this season. They had been shut out in the first inning in each of their last eight games.
Worth noting: To get a fresh arm in the bullpen after their 19-2 loss to the Reds on Friday night, the Cardinals recalled James Naile from Memphis, whose season ended last week. In what amounted to a paperwork move, Jake Woodford was optioned to the Florida Complex League, since it is the only facility still open because the minor league seasons are over.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will honor Wainwright in a pregame ceremony on Sunday before the final game of his career. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m., with gates to Busch Stadium opening at 11:45 a.m. The game’s first pitch is scheduled for 2:15 p.m., with Miles Mikolas the scheduled starter.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains