By: Jim Tsapelas
Cardinals’ fans know the team is dependent on their pitching. Cardinals’ starter Carlos Martinez did well in his 2016 home debut. On the day where MLB celebrates the life, courage, and legacy of the immortal Jackie Robinson, the Cardinals’ bats are the story of Friday night’s game.
The Cardinals banged out six home runs, three of which were three run homers; two of which were pinch hit homers, and two were authored by the Cardinals’ veteran Matt Holliday; one being one of the three run shots! Friday’s game was the twentieth multi-home run career game for Holliday. The last time the Cardinals enjoyed a six home run game was on July 15, 2007.
Holliday started the home run derby in the bottom of the first, when he hit his first of two home runs; also scoring Matt Carpenter and Jeremy Hazelbaker. Carpenter and Hazelbaker were walked by the Cincinnati starter and St. Louis area native, Tim Melville. Randal Grichuk also scored in the first, on a line-drive single to center by Yadier Molina.
The only blimp on Martinez’s mastery of the mound occurred in the top of the third. The Reds’ veteran first baseman, Joey Votto, perhaps feeling left out, hit a three run home run of his own; scoring Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez.
Answering Votto in the bottom of the third, the Cuban born Cardinal rookie, Aledmys Diaz, hits his second home run of the season. Diaz’s home run was also of the three run variety; scoring Molina and Kolton Wong. Diaz is only the seventh player in MLB history to have eight RBI’s in his first eight MLB games.
In the bottom of the sixth, Holliday hit his second home run of the game, a solo shot to centerfield.
In the bottom of the seventh, Randal Grichuk hit a solo shot to left-center. Also in the inning, pinch hitter Brandon Moss hits a three run shot to right field, scoring Wong and Diaz. Capping the evening off was Matt Adams, who pinch hitting, went yard to right field, scoring Greg Garcia.
So far the 2016 season has witness six pinch hit home runs by the Redbirds in April. The MLB record for most pinch hit home runs in April sits at eight and is held by the Philadelphia Phillies who accomplished this feat in 1958. Since the disappointing three game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates to begin the 2016 season, this Cardinal offense has been explosive!
For the second consecutive night, the Cardinals were gifted with an outstanding pitching performance. Like Jaime Garcia on Thursday, Cardinal starter Martinez pitched an outstanding game. Martinez worked seven innings, allowed six hits, three earned runs, walked one, struck out six, and allowed the home run to Votto.
Once again the Cardinals’ bullpen was most effective. Pitching the eighth, Jonathan Broxton allowed one hit, while striking out one. Matt Bowman had a one, two three, out-ninth.
Taking the Reds’ loss was their starter Melville who threw three innings, allowed six hits, seven runs-six of which were earned, walked three, struck out two, and gave up home runs to Holliday and Diaz.
Saturday in a 1:15 PM (CDT) contest at Busch Stadium the Reds’ send Brandon Finnegan (0-0) to face the Cardinal Ace, Adam Wainwright (0-1).
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