In the first, Jedd Gyorko puts the Cardinals on the board early with a solo shot.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
STRICTLY A PERSONAL NOTE
Yesterday's game was one of two that I have missed so far this season. Being Labor Day Weekend, I had the pleasure of spending time with my grandkids giggling, painting, watching crazy videos on YouTube. And, being hammered in a game of "Clue" by my thirteen and nine year old. The day was tremendous.
Obviously, by 'reviewing' the box score of my St. Louis Cardinals hosted by the Cincinnati Reds in Game Two, theirs was not. Someone; or, "something" stole my team because they were hammered by a team that is 10 games below .500, basement dwellers in the National League Central. I realize Cardinals Jaime Garcia receives the least run support (4.1 Runs) during his starts this season. But, the Cardinals were issued a total of eight walks, seven of those by Reds starter Dan Straily, and were unable to put runs on the board, save Jedd Gyorko with solo home run in the first. The lone highlight for the Cardinals.
J Garcia had a solid start with only two earned runs, fanning eight; but, he issued his share of walks with four total. One of those intentional to Joey Votto in the fifth to load the bases. Same inning, Billy Hamilton scored on a pass ball by back-up catcher Alberto Rosario to take a 2-1 lead. I learned later, J Garcia had two wild pitches to advance runners.
As I traveled, I did listen to the game on the radio, last I heard the Reds took a 2-1 lead over the Cardinals by the fifth. With J Garcia retired after his six innings, I knew the one run lead would be overcome and I would see a split series between the two teams. As I got out of my car, I thought, when I check later I would be pleasantly surprised. Whoa, not to be. I was sadly shocked to see the Reds had won 9-1. The Reds had stranded 11 Cardinals on the bag with two of those innings, a clogged infield.
Yes, this was the Cardinals 23 consecutive game with a home run. However, their last three games, losses, they have only put up a total of four runs scored - all solo home runs.
The Reds got their third-fourth runs by Ramon Cabrera's RBI double off Miguel Socolovich in the seventh. Still not at a point that the Cardinals could not overcome. However, the Cardinals were held scoreless by the Reds bullpen. Cardinals reliever Jerome Williams (4.38 ERA), had not pitched since August 25. He was called for the bottom of the ninth. The Reds broke the game wide open on his watch. Williams issued four walks, gave up five earned runs on three hits, and had no strikeouts in the Reds rout and a 2-0 series win.
Teams do have hitting slumps, fans see this throughout the season. But, for the Cardinals, to begin September is ill timed. Intentional? NO. Disappointing? YES. The Cardinals do have Gyorko who continues to connect bat to leather with his 25 HR, but .500 for 50 RBI. Yadier Molina and Randal Grichuk, also, adding solo homers in their two games this month. Which Cardinals player is going to kick-start the team, past the ever exciting home run, to begin adding RBI's to the scoreboard?
IN THE PAST THREE GAMES ~ August 31, September 1 & 2
CARDINALS THREE CONSECUTIVE LOSSES
Lead-off Matt Carpenter: 1-11AB/No RBI
Yadier Molina: 5-12 AB/2 HR/1 RBI
Greg Garcia: 5-7 AB/2-2B/No RBI
Randal Grichuk: 2-12 AB/1 HR/1 RBI
Stephen Piscotty: 2-8 AB/No RBI (2 games, did not play August 31)
Brandon Moss: 0-9 AB
Jhonny Peralta: 0-9 AB
Kolten Wong, last two games played August 29 and 30 against the Milwaukee Brewers (Cardinals last series prior to the Reds), was 3-7/1 HR/2 RBI. Rookie OF Jeremy Hazelbaker, bench player, is 0-4 in the past two games. However, Hazelbaker ties the MLB record with four of the Cardinals 14 pinch hitting home runs. He has produced (26 RBI) 13 RBI on six of his 11 HR total this season.
TODAY'S FINAL GAME AT NOON, FIRST PITCH - 12:10 CST
Cardinals Carlos Martinez (12-7/3.07 ERA) will face Reds rookie Tim Adleman (2-2/3.82 ERA). This will be Martinez first appearance at Great American Ball Park this season. However, prior, he has held a 1.96 ERA/18 IP/2 HR/4 ER with 20 strikeouts. He is 7-1/2.30 ERA in his away games this season. Once again, the Cardinals will face an unfamiliar pitcher. Adleman is 2-0/3.58 ERA at home, 24.1 IP/7 HR/10 ER with 15 strikeouts. He made four starts in May for the Reds and has three starts since August 19. His last stand against the Los Angeles Angels, 6 IP/2 HR/3 ER with four strikeouts for his second loss this season as the Reds fell 4-2 to the Anaheim team.
Martinez, unlike J Garcia, has received great run support from the Cardinals offense. We will see if he is able to inspire some RBI's from his team to save a sweep by the Reds.