CINCINNATI – It took the Cardinals five players and two attackers at the home plate in extra rounds to flaunt their stellar defense and give attacking opportunity after opportunity to do anything, anything. It didn’t even have to be excellent, just objective.
The Cardinals were unable to hit 17 bats with a runner in the scoring position when, in the thirteenth inning, Albert Pujols raised a fly ball deep enough to score a runner from third base. The Pujols’ fly sacrificed Paul Goldschmidt and gave the Cardinals their first lead on a long, crazy night on the board, save for the time they were distinguishing from the Reds there.
Lars Nootbaar gave the match one smile with a two-round Homer who sent the Cardinals to a 5-3 win over the Reds in the 13th inning at Great American Ball Park.
Andre Balant tackled the tied run on base at the bottom of the 13 before taking a penalty and a fall to end the match. The overtime victory decided the Cardinal’s streak, despite scoring only three games in 21 games against the Reds and their patchwork crew. Drawn by Nolan Arenado in the fourth inning, Homer’s fourth-place finisher stayed there through 11 runs as neither team scored in the extras, even with the benefit of a runner-up starting in second.
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Cincinnati couldn’t get past their gloves.
Attacking wouldn’t have had another chance in the eleventh or twelfth game had it not been for the Golden Field defense, highlighted by every catcher marking the board.
With no teams on day eleven and two on base, the Cardinals crowded the field to try and hold the Reds from getting the one ball that would win the game.
The Cardinals brought rookie Nolan Gorman into the game as fifth player behind right-hand Ballant. Any ball on the field would likely score the runner from third, so the cardinal played the jumps. Goldschmidt faithfully sent a globe for the first time. The second was close enough to require a re-.
Jake Fraley hit a solid defender into a shortstop, breaking Colin Moran out of third. Throwing an addictive tommy into the house – but room enough for Molina to get off the plate. It was the catcher’s turn to show his turnover. Molina jumped after catching the ball to meet Moran at the board with a marker. Moran was disqualified, and the Reds’ replay challenge did not provide enough evidence to call off the first call to home team referee Dan Bellino.
The half ended with another test of the Cardinals’ defensive prowess. With the bases loaded, former teammate Austin Romijn hit a ball that required Goldschmidt to scale to his right. Ballant had to beat Romain at the start with a sharp throw in the race for third place.
On his recent visit to Cincinnati, a place where he expected to be booed because it was always, from the heart, Molina had a chance to turn the Reds one last time with his bat. The eleventh inning found him at the board with two teammates at base, two extremities, and proceeding with a run at third base. Instead of booing, cheers rose from a crowd filled with Cardinals fans.
Molina hit on three pitches to finish the inning.
His fitting end to his years in Cincinnati was the play on the board where he dropped the game’s pivotal tag.
JoJo Romero, who has introduced a left-leaning reworking of the Cardinals in the past two weeks, made his debut with the highest influence befitting his new role.
But it was not the stadium that he managed to pass.
With the green light to run on base, Romero entered the eighth inning to face left-handed hitter TJ Friedl, the hacker’s hitter. It was the first time in four games with the Cardinals that Romero entered a tie game, and he had yet to appear in a blocking position. Romero got ahead of Friedel, 0-2, when the starting player didn’t like the look of the fall at first. Stuart Fairchild broke for second. Romero, with the help of two Pauls, Goldschmidt and DeJong, catches Fairchild stealing to finish the run.
The Cardinals responded at the top of the ninth with a runner in the scoring position when the Reds made a pass on a marker at second base. Lars Knutbar set out for a walk, and after Yadir Molina twice tried to drop a hit, Knutbar stole second place. The ball hit him into the sack, but second base captain Alejo Lopez raised his glove just enough for a nutbar’s foot to descend under it and reach the base.
The Cardinal had three chances on the main kick to score Nootbaar for the lead, and they hit a pop-up, fly-out, and off the ground to send the game down to the bottom of the ninth. Romero was there to hold his turn in the tie before Ryan Hillsley finished the run with two runners at base.
In a similar place in the 10th inning, Helsley hit the Cardinals’ well-known bug Colin Moran.
And Arenado makes it 50
The 2022 Cardinals already had the club’s record for the most home runs in August when Arenado leaned in to try to keep his firing fair on Wednesday night.
The baseman’s third Homer in the fourth inning slipped off the wrong pole and put the power-up of the month into rare company. Homer Arenado on the last day of August was the fiftieth of the month for the cardinals. Only twice previously did the cardinals have the same number of reptiles in a month. In September 2021, as part of a 17-game winning streak, the Cardinal reached 52, and in April 2000 they opened the season with 55.
The Cardinals trailed 2-0 when Arenado scored a full-count fast ball in front of the board. While he was still in pursuit, Arenado tried to guide the ball with his shoulder. Arenado’s 28th home run came after Goldschmidt’s single and the match was held with a score of 2-2. Arenado tied Goldschmidt for the top spot in the Major League with nine more players in August.
Teammates Albert Pujols entered the evening in second place with eight, and with the last week up in the final week, Tyler O’Neal tied for fifth in August.
There is no beginning to blossom through five in the sensei
Jose Quintana’s departure in the middle of the fifth inning on Wednesday means that none of the three cardinals starting in the series can complete enough innings to qualify for the win, let alone a good start.
The three starters who faced the Reds this week were raised in the middle of the fifth inning with at least one runner at the base. Quintana did as much as he could with the few innings to cut down on scoring, but he was there in the fifth inning yielding the pile after the ball cut him off for singles. Quintana allowed two runs on seven strokes and walked one through 4 and 2/3 innings. The two races came in the third inning with the Reds putting together three singles and walking in some semblance of a rally.
Quintana slid off the worst with batting No. 3 hitter Kyle Farmer.
The left-cut start came after Miles Mikulas threw 4 1/3 innings on Monday and Dakota Hudson threw 4 2/3 innings on Tuesday. Combined, the novices allowed 11 rounds (all earned) on 22 hits in 13 2/3 innings. Quintana was the only one of the three who was not allowed to run on their land. He convinced two doubles to wipe out the hitters after the singles.
The underdogs who came to replace the Novices in the fifth inning — Chris Stratton, Jake Woodford and Jordan Hicks on Wednesday — are all stranded in the feud they inherited.
The seventh swings around the opportunity to hit him with a pinch
On Wednesday, Cardinals coach Oliver Marmol met with defensive player Dylan Carlson to discuss how the lineup is formed each day and what led to Carlson hitting near the top against the left and sitting on the bench against the right-handers. Carlson, the switch hitter, struggled to average 0.210 against a right-handed throw, and that put him in a platoon.
Marmol wanted to assure Carlson that he had not “lost faith” in the young midfielder’s ability to be the “daily dude” for the Cardinals.
But performance must guide decisions.
As I did in the seventh inning.
Tommy Edman’s singles double successfully put two contestants in the scoring position with Carlson’s place in the standings. Against Mike Minor left of the Reds, Carlson went one-on-three with two ground kicks and one. But Minor is gone. In its place stood a right house (Art Warren) and another was about to enter (Back Farmer). Marmol chose to hit Corey Dickerson with his left hand to confront Warren and then after the Reds moved on, Farmer.
Dickerson entered at-bat averaging 374 at Great American Ball Park in his career and 10 of Cincy’s 34 homes were homers. Left-handed hitters fared best against the Farmer, .756 OPS to .578 OPS.
Dickerson hit, and when Goldschmidt rolled to the ground to finish the inning, the score remained tied. The Cardinals were mixed accordingly. Tyler O’Neill replaced Carlson at the center.
Molina settles 0 for 22
The scoring opportunity began in the seventh inning with Molina’s single in the center, ending a streak of 22 batsmen and 12 days without hitting base. The Cardinals started their final streak on Wednesday with Molina and shortstop Paul Dejong back-to-back in the lineup, both riding long skates for a total of zero to 36. Molina was unhurt in three one night against Arizona and then left the next day to watch his professional basketball team win the championship. That slack came into the seventh inning after it popped up in the third and regressed to a short depth in the fourth with a runner in the scoring position. Molina led seventh with a single that raised his hitting average to the better than 200.
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