I like games like last night’s. Sure, we all love a good pitcher’s duel, or a back-and-forth nail-bitter every now and then. But last night was a game where, for once, nearly everything went right.
The Cardinals started a nine-game home stand with a decisive 8-2 win over the Diamondbacks. And, to be honest, I’m not sure there was enough negative to even classify a “Good, Bad and Ugly.” So instead, today you get “Good, Better and Best.”
Here we go.
Joe Kelly. Our Baby Giraffe had another solid start — this one, perhaps one of his best. Through six innings, he’d given up just four hits and struck out six. He’d worked out of some trouble with a couple of walks in the mix, but was looking as good as ever. The downside was the lead-off single and two-run homer he gave up in the seventh inning.
Tough break for a guy to make that one mistake after looking so solid. But, it’s a quality start nonetheless, and his night was a success as he picked up his third win of the year.
Defense always makes the highlight reels — for good reason! And this game had some stunners. Two Schumaker-Furcal-Craig double plays helped Kelly out of a few trouble spots.
Here’s one of them, if you want to see for yourself!
And then Jon Jay (who misplayed a ball straight at him earlier in the game) made THIS inning-ending grab. I love the way he covers ground in center!
Also good to note, the job by the bullpen, which consisted of Edward Mujica, Mitchell Boggs and Fernando Salas. The trio combined for 2.2 scoreless innings to secure the win.
Matt Holliday is kind of good at making baseballs go real far, real fast.
Allen Craig is still blazing hot.
Oh, Jay is on an eight-game hitting streak himself.
Also, Skip Schumaker should play more often, and Matt Carpenter is trying to become Mr. Clutch.
Yeah, offense was fun last night, too. And it came from all over the place.
Jay was two-for-four with a run scored, two RBI, a walk, and a solo home run.
Craig was two-for-five with a run scored and an RBI.
Holliday mashed a ball down the left field line that was WAY gone. He scored and drove in two runs, as well as drawing a walk.
Skippy Schu had two hits and two runs.
And Mini Carp pinch hit for Boggs in the eighth, only to hit a two-RBI double and come around and score on Jay’s second hit of the night.
It’s like a well-oiled machine, when it’s running right. And last night, Mike Matheny had the Cardinal machine oiled up just right.
I kind of prefer “Good, Better and Best,” don’t you?
Tonight, Adam Wainwright takes the mound to stake his claim to this series. Let’s go, Cards!
Tara is a St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball and a contributor to Around the Horn. Follow her on Twitter @tarawellman.