Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina takes a HBP. No damage, no harm done, for walk-off 5-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds
In the month of August, the St. Louis Cardinals have started off 3-4, with two straight losses to the Atlanta Braves who just left St. Louis. Now hosting the Cincinnati Reds for three games. The beginning of the game was looking like another home stand loss. The Reds had a possible shutout for LHP Cody Reed who went six innings, only allowing four hits, issued one walk and four strikeouts. His last outing against the Cardinals at Great American Ball Park, he had given up 1 HR/5 ER. But last night he held the Cardinals scoreless as the Reds had given him a 4-0 lead coming into the last inning of the game. Michael Wacha allowed their four earned runs in his five innings, while issuing four free passes and only fanning three.
The Cardinals stayed a shutout in the ninth with their comeback win with a very strange turn of events. Tony Cingrani in to close for the Reds. Yadier Molina, top-of-the-order, connects for a single. Cingrani gets his next two outs, fly-outs by Jhonny Peralta and Jedd Gyorko. Once again, the game looked to be another for the Cardinals coming up short. However, thegame was far from over.
Cingrani issued a walk , followed by a HBP on Kolten Wong, who had replaced reliever Seth Maness in the line-up, to load the bases. Matt Carpenter, who had been held to 1-3, came to the plate and slugs out a first pitch two-RBI single to right to put the Cardinals on the board, taking away Reed's shutout, to cut the lead to two runs.
Stephen Piscotty followed and served his first pitch for a RBI single to bring the Cardinals within one. Cingrani issued his secondwalk to Matt Holliday, for another full house on the bags.
Reds closer was retired and Ross Ohlendorf was called to the hill, two outs and bases loaded. With the possibility of extra inning play, the Cardinals made a switch, Mike Leake to replace Holliday at first. On a full count, yet another Reds walk issued to Brandon Moss for the tying-walk as Jeremy Hazelbaker crosses home. And, the bags remained loaded.
Back at the plate, Yadier Molina. On a 1-0 pitch, Ohlendorf issued the second HBP of the inning to Molina for the walk-off 5-4 win. Molina may realize a bruise today; but, felt no pain last night.
Yes, for me personally, I don't know that I have seen our Cardinals in such a comeback win. Even though, the Cardinals stayed a shutout and stopped a two game losing streak. No matter that three walks and two HBP help to achieve the outcome, this win was sorely needed by St. Louis. Maness earned his second win. Cingrani was handed his fourth loss. Reds Cody Reed, he'll recover. I feel this young rookie hurler, even though holding a 6.36 ERA, has a bright future ahead of him. Unfortunately for Reed, the Reds have fallen short to support him as he is 0-6 in his nine starts thus far this season.
CARDINALS HOLDING THE SERIES LEAD, GAME TWO - FIRST PITCH AT 7:15 CST.
Cardinals Mike Leake (8-9/4.80 ERA) will look to right the train-wreck he was issued in his last appearance against his former team. He allowed the seven earned runs in the Red 7-0 shutout at Great American Ball Park last Thursday. He has work to do to see a positive stand. Facing the Reds this season, with 11.1 IP, he has given up 2 HR/13 ER/1-BB/7 SO for a 10.80 ERA. He will, once again, face Reds LHP Brandon Finnegan (7-8/4.45 ERA). Don't let his average fool you. He has pitched some of his best facing the Cardinals. He orchestrated the Reds shutout on August 4, only allowing the Cardinals two hits, no walks issued and had four strikeouts in his six innings pitched. Against the Cardinals, with 18 IP, he's only given up one home run, six runs with two earned, five walks and 13 strikeouts for a 1.00 ERA. Therefore, the Cardinals offense, also, will be put to the test for Finnegan to realize his season average. They need to hit early, and often, to bring in the runs. However, Leake needs to give his offense a fighting chance.