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It's about Baseball, and Off-season Sports

Carlos Martinez fanned 13 hitters in his six innings pitched in Game One facing the Brewers.
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals Carlos Martinez started Game One against the Milwaukee Brewers. In his previous stands at Miller Park he held a 0.69 ERA giving up just one run in 12 innings. Last night he did not disappoint with a repeat performance. Going six innings, first five scoreless, he only give one run on four hits allowed, issued two walks and had 13 strikeouts for his career high. He's had two games with 11 strikeouts. He faced Brewers rookie Zach Davies who was retired after 6.1 IP/2 HR/3 ER, issuing no walks and had nine strikeouts. This was his third game to match his career high in strikeouts this season. His first was against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, June 1. Two solid starts only bought each a no-decision in last night's game. 

Martinez in the sixth, with a two run lead from Kolten Wong's sac-fly RBI in the 4th and Jedd Gyorko's solo home in the fifth. He gave up his one earned run to Scooter Gennett for a RBI single to cut the Cardinals lead in half. Not only had he spent 98 pitches by end of his sixth, he had committed three errors in the interim. However, no runs scored on the error throws, he had no major jams. Per manager Mike Matheny it was the pitch count that made his decision to pull Martinez when he did. "The Dog Days of August" and he did not want another pitcher worn out for his next start. 

In my opinion, no words spoken, but referencing Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia as they have struggled of late. Matheny, also, has two rookies. Luke Weaver and Alex Reyes, with a total of four games between the two that he must rely upon to have solid starts. He wants to keep Martinez, who has proven to be the strong arm of the Cardinals veterans, as fresh as possible. Will everyone agree with that logic? NO. Many will fault Matheny, once again, for his pitcher selection. Especially what would transpire in the seventh inning. 

By the seventh, Cardinals held a 3-1 lead, with top-of-the-order Kolten Wong, Davies still on the hill, blazes a solo homer for Davies second home run allowed. Wong with very little playing time this season, was 2-4/1 HR/2 RBI. 

Matt Bowman was called to follow Martinez and hope of win was dashed. Bowman got his first out. Next up, Orlando Arcia who sent a bullet out for a solo shot to cut the Cardinals lead to one run. He issued a walk and allowed a single. Kevin Siegrist replaced Bowman giving up a RBI on Jonathan Villar's ground rule double to tie, followed by Gennett RBI single to take the lead. He issued two free passes to load the bases for a walk-in run to increase the Brewers lead to 5-3. Matheny made his triple switch for the inning. Miguel Socolovich came to the mound and took out the last two batters to close the seventh; but, the Brewers now had a 5-3 lead.   

Corey Knebel, called up for Brewers in the eighth. Davies possible win would disappear. He allowed a single by Jhonny Peralta. Randal Grichuk, 0-4 for the night, smokes the two-seamer out over right center for a two-run homer to tie the score. Life renewed for the Cardinals.  Socolovich was called for the eighth and took down the side, 1-2-3. 

Tyler Thornburg, in the ninth, saw the tie go one up. Greg Garcia cranked out a double. Stephen Piscotty issued a free pass. Yadier Molina lays down a bunt, Thornburg gets the out at third. 3B Villar sends a bullet across the infield which went past first base. Piscotty in for the score on a error to give the Cardinals a 6-5 lead. 

Cardinals closer "Stone Buddha" Oh to the hill 

And, that he did. Oh takes out the side for his 14 save. Socolovich gets his first season win and Thornburg handed his fifth loss. 

The Cardinals did not give up in their first game back on the road. Coming to Milwaukee off a disappointing 2-4 home stand, this win has set the stage for the next two games. Cardinals Adam Wainwright (9-8/4.67 ERA) facing Brewers Wily Peralta (5-9/5,87 ERA). I predict Game Two will be an offensive battle with the Cardinals coming out on top. Unless, Wainwright is able to repeat his last performance facing the Brewers. He went seven scoreless innings for a 3-0 shutout win. The Cardinals bullpen would appreciate his best effort to go deep into the game. Cardinals have hit W Peralta in the past with a .332 BA. 

GAME TWO - FIRST PITCH 7:10 CST 

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Rookie Aledmys Diaz went on the 15-Day DL July 31, HBP, sustaining a hairline fracture to his right thumb.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Great news this afternoon regarding Cardinals All Star Rookie Aledmys Diaz, contender for the MLB RoY; but, sidelined when hit-by-a-pitch on July 31 during his first at bat facing Miami Marlins Andrew Cashner. He went today for a medical re-evaluation and was cleared to begin hitting exercises. He will begin rehab very soon. 

All were in hopes of his return at the beginning of September; but, now looking at mid-September. To have Diaz back, 100%, will be a welcomed return for the Cardinals and fans. He had worked his way into the line-up as the Cardinals everyday shortstop. When Diaz went down, he held a .312 BA with 14 HR/57 RBI/.376 OBP/.518 SLG. 

As starter Mike Leake was placed on the DL today retro back to August 22, being diagnosed with shingles. Rookie Alex Reyes replaced Leake in the rotation last Saturday against the Oakland Athletics. He will remain in the Cardinals rotation for their series this weekend against the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

Reyes made his major league debut, August 9, in the Cardinals bullpen pitching 9.1 innings with a 0.00 ERA/13 SO. His debut as a starter, he went 4.2 IP/1 ER only allowing two hits, walked four and had four strikeouts for a 0.64 ERA. 

Cardinals recalled reliever Dean Kiekhefer (4.50 ERA/11 SO/14 IP) to take Leake's spot on the 25 man roster. This is his third trip up to St. Louis from Memphis Triple-A. He has joined the team in Milwaukee for their three game series against the Brewers. Report by Jim Hays, Fox Sports Midwest, Leake is doing better. Energy level returning; along with, his appetite. Both are very good signs with shingles, which can be very painful and affect both levels. 

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Due to being diagnosed with shingles, Cardinals starter Mike Leake placed on the DL.
Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

It came as no surprise, St. Louis Cardinals Mike Leake has been placed on the 15-Day DL. He was diagnosed with shingles a few short days ago, which he did not make his start this past Saturday against the Oakland A's. Rookie Alex Reyes got the nod to make his debut as starter to replace the ailing Leake. When called up from Memphis Triple-A, he made his major league debut in a relief role, August 9, against the Cincinnati Reds. With reliever/closer Trevor Rosenthal going to the DL, Reyes took his spot on the roster.  

"Dean Kiekhefer, who is being recalled for a third time this season by the Cardinals, has appeared in 15 games with St. Louis, totaling 14.0 innings pitched (0-0, 4.50 ERA). The 27-year-old Kentucky native hasn't let up a run in his last seven appearances (5.0 IP) with the Cardinals dating to June 3. At Memphis, Kiekhefer has compiled a 6-1 mark with a 2.08 ERA, two saves and six holds in 29 games (34.2 IP). He's limited left-handed batters at the triple-A level to a .192 opponent's batting average this season." (Fox Sports Midwest)

Rookie Alex Reyes, 9.1 IP/0.00 ERA in relief for the Cardinals.. Starting debut, August 27, against the Oakland A's, 0.64 ERA.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing has been penciled in at the moment on the Cardinals schedule. However, I'm presuming they will have Reyes take Leake's start this Friday night, September 2, facing the Reds. This will be his a second time this season to face Cincinnati. He will be in a different role; and, at Great American Ball Park. 

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