See? What’d I tell you? New day, new result. And I much prefer this one.
Jaime Garcia — yes, on the road! — was impressive. He could have crumbled early after he gave up a solo shot to Arizona’s Miguel Montero in the bottom of the second. We’ve seen the wheels fall off at that point before. This time, though, Jaime pulled it together and pitched 3.2 scoreless innings after that.
His final line looked like this: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K. He threw 97 pitches, 57 for strikes. Sure, the four walks aren’t pretty … especially since he walked himself right into a sticky situation in the 6th, where he left with the bases loaded and two outs.
Fortunately, Mujica/Rosenthal/Boggs seems to work as well as Mujica/Boggs/Motte did last year.
Jason Kubel, facing Edward Mujica in a prime situation to lay down the hurt, fought off six pitches before striking out looking to end the threat.
He also pitched a scoreless seventh. Mission accomplished.
Trevor Rosenthal just blows people away. Literally. Aaron Hill at least made contact, but to no avail. Paul Goldschmidt and Montero just couldn’t catch up to 98-98-98-99-100 mph fastballs.
And Mitchell Boggs? He filled in for Jason “Straight Heat” Motte just fine. Strike out swinging, ground out, pop out … Cardinals win.
Oh, I guess I should mention the offense, too.
Montero wasn’t the only guy to hit the ball hard. Matt Carpenter did his thing again, leading off the fourth inning with a double that might have been a triple if he hadn’t hit it so hard! Then Allen Craig picked up an RBI with a ground out that scored Carpenter.
That, though, was just the beginning.
Matt Holliday blasted a two-run shot off of Trevor Cahill in the top of the sixth to put the Cardinals up by two. After the Redbirds survived the sixth-inning scare, they decided to have a little fun … at the expense of Heath Bell. Poor guy must really hate having to play St. Louis!
Bell’s first pitch of the night — a 94 mph fastball to Pete Kozma — took a reverse trip over the center field wall. Yes, Pete “Don’t you dare sign another short stop” Kozma. Then, Shane “I can be a champ, too” Robinson worked an eight-pitch walk. Not to be outdone, Jon Jay stepped in and teed off against Bell for the second homer of the inning — another two-run blast — to give the Cards a 6-1 lead.
That was fun, right?
On the night, the Cardinals notched 10 hits. A much better sight than the five in game one!
And, more importantly, they secured their first victory of 2013.
They won’t go 0-162 now. Good thing. Twitter might have had a complete meltdown, had it not been for the late-game heroics.
Instead, we celebrate the “W” while we prepare for tonight’s pitching matchup between slim and trim Lance Lynn and Brandon McCarthy in his first start since taking a line drive to the noggin last season.
For the first time in 2013, “That’s a winner!”
Tara is a St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball and a contributor to Around the Horn. Follow her on Twitter @tarawellman.