Granted, it’s tough to say that the team was completely flat when dealing with Cole Hamels. There’s a reason Hamels is at the top of a lot of people’s wish lists of pitchers to slot in for the missing ace. Anytime you go up against him, you aren’t likely to come away with a ton of hits or runs. Perhaps that’s all there was to it–that we are constructing narratives to fit what happened, not delving into the causes.
That said, 13 strikeouts against Hamels and his compatriots was a large number. It was the most that they had struck out all season long, topping the 12 against the Reds on April 10. It was only the fourth time in 18 games that they’d struck out in double digits. It could have been worse, though–neither Matt Carpenter nor Yadier Molina went down on strikes.
The strikeouts are a big reason our Goat from last night was Matt Adams. Three K for Big Fill in the Blank, two of them with runners on. He did draw a walk as well, but a hit in the right place and this game might have had a different feel to it.
We’ll go with Matt Carpenter as our Hero of the night, as he was the only one to get multiple hits. When the team only can muster five, that’s a big deal. Carp’s not gotten enough love in the Hero department anyway, so hopefully this helps make up that deficit.
Overall, it was a game that you don’t want to dwell on. Thankfully Molina was back from his injury and Jason Heyward was available to pinch-hit, hopefully signalling that he’ll be ready to go tonight as well. So two of the three Milwaukee-inflicted injuries seem to be short-term. That third, though…..
With Wainwright out for the season (and then some–it seems likely that he might be slowed in spring training next year as well), there’s plenty of talk about who should slot into that place in the rotation. John Mozeliak confirmed that it would be an internal fix, at least right now, and that Marco Gonzales would be back to throwing in a couple of days. If he could get healthy, they might skip him returning to Memphis and bring him directly to St. Louis, but even so you’ve got to fill at least one start. Tim Cooney was scheduled to go last night for Memphis, but was scratched and Nick Greenwood went instead. Patron Pitcher of the Blog Tyler Lyons is also in the mix for a short-term replacement and we’ll see if that’s still the case after tonight, when he is supposed to go for the Redbirds. Given Cooney’s scratch last night, though, it seems probable that the Cards are going in that direction and it’ll be nice to see another long-time minor leaguer make his major league debut. Cooney had a very strong spring and I can imagine the front office would like to reward him for that as well as see what they have in him versus the big leaguers.
The Cards look to shake a rare two-game slide tonight, sending out Michael Wacha to face the Phillies. Wacha’s never actually faced the Phillies as a team nor any of the batters on the squad (unless he did so in the minors) so this will be a new experience for him. Actually, it’ll be a new experience all around as Philadelphia trots out Severino Gonzalez to make his major league debut. He’s a righty, so St. Louis at least has a chance, but we know how they do against youngsters they’ve never seen before. While Gonzalez isn’t their top prospect, he’s in the top 20 and I imagine Phillie fans are excited to see him get his shot.
Let’s hope there’s more and better things to talk about tomorrow, shall we?