The night started out looking like one that might not turn out so great. Facing Clayton Kershaw is never an easy task, and it’s especially difficult when he has a two-run lead in the fourth inning. But, in walked our never-say-die Cardinals, complete with a six-run sixth inning, and took game two of the four-game series by the score of 8-2.
The Cardinals finally broke the eight game losing streak to the Dodgers, and it was a night of mostly good things. But, there were a few not so good things. So, here’s a round of good, bad and ugly.
Adam Wainwright does it all.
He finished the night after pitching 7 1/3 innings, striking out seven, walking just one, and giving up two runs on seven scattered hits. We’ve started to see Waino return to form as his walk/strikeout ratio improves with his command. But that’s not the only thing he did tonight.
With his team down 2-0 in the fifth, Wainwright launched an RBI double all the way to the left centerfield wall. Daniel Descalso scored, cutting the deficit in half. Just one pitch later, Wainwright motored home on a Rafael Furcal bloop single. Tie game.
But Wainwright wasn’t done. In that crucial sixth inning, Waino worked a five-pitch, bases-loaded walk to give the team an insurance run — and inch closer to forcing Kershaw out of the game. Waino would score later in the inning on an Allen Craig two-RBI double.
Adam Wainwright: good arm, good power, good eye, good speed. He truly does it all!
More inclusively good, the Cardinals scored six runs in one inning and eight total off of Kershaw. Also, seven of the eight runs were scored with two outs. Descalso went two-for-three tonight, while the defense turned three beautiful double plays.
As good as Wainwright was, there seems to always be that one inning. This time around, it was the fourth inning for Waino. He was lucky to escape after giving up just two runs — A ground-rule double with runners at first and second would likely have scored two, had the ball stayed in play. Then, Luis Cruz knocked a single to left field to score the second run. If Adam can eliminate the trouble in that one inning, he’ll be good to go.
Unfortunately, even in an 8-2 victory there was some ugly — not necessarily in the play itself (although a game with two errors sounds pretty ugly!), but in the scary moment for Lance Berkman.
Leading off the third inning, Lance Berkman took an 84 MPH breaking ball off his recently repaired right knee. And I mean squarely off the knee. The way he rolled on the ground, wouldn’t let the trainer look at it could hardly limp to the first base bag … I was fearing the worst.
Of course, Berkman was being Berkman and tried to stay in the game. He did a great job of ignoring Mike Matheny’s concerned body language (and, I’m sure, words as well), but when he barely made it to second on a Descalso single, Matheny didn’t have a choice. For a moment, though, I thought he might have to kick Berkman in the other knee to get him to leave the field! (Kidding, kidding. But it was quite a challenge for Matheny to get Berkman to call it a night.)
Fortunately, Berkman believes it’s nothing more than a bone bruise. No, that’s nothing to brush off, but it’s better than what could have been, even if it’s ugly for the moment.
Still, the night ended with an overall “goodness.” A solid team win will do that!
Kyle Lohse takes the mound tonight, hoping to keep the good vibes flowing.
Tara is a St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball and a contributor to Around the Horn. Follow her on Twitter @tarawellman.