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.