It was a good night for the St. Louis Cardinals against the Arizona Diamondbacks: good pitching from Adam Wainwright and the “bullpen trio;” good hitting from David Freese, Allen Craig and Rafael Furcal; good results with a 5-2 win and a move up in the NL Central and wild card standings.
And “good” really was the word of the night.
Here’s Mike Matheny describing last night:
“It was a good mix, there’s no question,” Matheny said. “It took a little while to get started, that’s not that unusual for our team, as well. But it seems once we do get a little something, the guys jump on board.”
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson on Adam Wainwright:
“It was typical Wainwright …You look at him, and he gets behind and he’s throwing secondary pitches making good pitches. He did a good job of managing his bad counts.”
Plus David Freese talking about his two-run homer:
“I’ll be honest. It felt good.”
Let’s go back to the good pitching. Wainwright was, in fact, good. He went six innings, allowing a mammoth 456-foot solo homer to Paul Goldschmidt in the fourth that briefly gave the D-Backs a lead and another run in the sixth when Goldschmidt grounded into a double play with a runner on third. Waino gave up five hits and struck out five, walking only one.
Then it was the bullpen’s turn, and the situation was ideally set up for Edward Mujica, Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte. On a day of baseball perfection in Seattle, this trio was perfect as well. Mujica, in fact, has a perfect 0.00 ERA as a Cardinal. Can’t ask for much more than that. Motte earned his 27th save.
So how about that good hitting?
David Freese had been anything but lately, as he was in an 0-for-20 slump. That changed in the bottom of the fourth, as he launched a homer directly into the Diamondbacks bullpen with Carlos Beltran on base to put the Cards up 2-1. Allen Craig followed suit with a solo homer in the fifth. And Rafael Furcal, whose back is finally feeling better, tripled for the second straight night to drive in the Cards final two runs. He also doubled in the third.
So the evening’s goodness continued when compared to the rest of the National League. The Pirates, who are 3-7 in their last 10 games, lost their third straight game and fell to 64-53 and seven games back in the NL Central — precisely the same as the Cardinals. More importantly, the Pirates loss and Cardinals win put them in a tie for one wild card spot. The Braves also are atop the wild card standings. (Hmmm, where have we heard that before?)
Tonight the Cardinals will go for the sweep of the D-Backs, with Kyle Lohse taking on Trevor Cahill. Then it’s a big series this weekend: the Pirates are in St. Louis.
And as part of that series, Jaime Garcia will return — he’s scheduled to start on Sunday, with our Baby Giraffe Joe Kelly moving to the bullpen. Another roster move will have to be made as well.
But, Sunday is still several days away. In the meantime, here’s to the good times still rolling along tonight.
Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.