By: Jim Tsapelas
On Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals took game two from the San Francisco Giants on a combined four pitcher shutout by the score of six to zip. It was the Cardinals’ fourteenth shutout of the 2015 season. The Cardinals, who committed three errors on Friday for the second time this season, were fundamentally sound in their defensive execution on Saturday.
Saturday’s win was the eighty-third win of the season. The Cardinals lead the second place Pittsburgh Pirates by four games. If the Cardinals played in the National League East they would enjoy an eleven game lead over the New York Mets (71-58) and if they played in the National League West they would enjoy a twelve game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers (71-56). The Redbirds are thirty-seven games over .500. This reinforces my belief the Central Division of the National League is the strongest Division in all of baseball.
In addition to fundamentally executing defensive plays, the Cardinals’ bats came to life. Saturday’s game featured three triples. Saturday was the first time the Cardinals had three triples in one game since 2008. I believe the most exciting play in MLB is the triple. Hitting triples were Brandon Moss his second of the year, Kolton Wong his third of the year, and Stephen Piscotty also his third of the year.
The Redbird hitter’s found a friend in the extra-base hit on Saturday. Matt Carpenter contributed with a double, his twenty-sixth of the season.
Four players earned RBI’s in the shutout. Matt Carpenter his sixty-eighth, Piscotty his twenty-third, and two players with two runner’s out RBI’s-Yadier Molina for his fifty-sixth, and Jason Heyward his forty-seventh.
Cardinals’ starter Lance Lynn (11-8) worked seven innings, allowed six hits, walked two and struck out two. Lynn appeared to experience some sort of injury or discomfort to his knee in the fifth inning. In the eighth inning, Lynn’s right ankle gave way as he attempted to field a ball from the Giants Juan Perez. Lynn’s throw to first went wide and he fell to the ground. Lynn was assisted off the field by the trainer and manager Mike Matheny. Early reports identified a right ankle sprain. I wonder if the knee concern contributed to the ankle issue.
Lynn was supported by the bullpen to maintain the integrity of his shutout attempt. Lynn was followed by Randy Choate who pitched one-third of an inning, striking out the only batter he faced. In five of the last eight games prior to Choate’s appearance Saturday, he had failed to get an out. Following Choate were Seth Maness who pitched two-thirds of an inning and Sam Tuivailala who pitched the ninth. Tuivailala walked one and struck out three.
On Sunday the Cardinals look to win the series by taking the final game in the three game series. Jaime Garcia (6-4) meets the Giants Chris Heston (11-7) at AT&T Park. Sunday’s game completes the Cardinals ten game road trip. The Cardinals return to Busch Stadium on Monday to meet the Washington Nationals.
Thanks for reading!