Some nights, everything looks so easy for the St. Louis Cardinals. Given that it was another late-night-for-those-of-us-in-the-Midwest game, that was good. Always better to go to sleep happy, right?
Those of us who like good pitching saw plenty of that from the Cards — starter Lance Lynn and all three relievers who followed.
Lynn was terrific, dominating the Dodgers with nine strikeouts and allowing only two hits with one walk in six innings. The only drawback to Wolf Pup’s night: discomfort in his back that caused him to leave the game after only throwing 77 pitches, as Jenifer Langosch details:
“As the game went on, it just kept getting tighter and tighter and it kept getting harder to get looser,” Lynn said. “I would have loved to go longer, and I wish I could have, but we made the decision that we’ll let the bullpen finish it from there and we’ll get ready for the next one. With the run support and the day off [on Thursday], it was a good time not to hurt myself and let some guys get some work.”
First up was Randy Choate, who retired all three Dodgers in order — and they just happened to be Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
Next, Seth Maness. He made all the Skip Schumaker fans happy in allowing a single to the former Cardinal — but then, given that he is Seth Maness after all, got Juan Uribe to next ground into an inning-ending double play.
Finally, Mitchell Boggs — and the barrage of oh-so-clever tweets about hoping a seven-run lead was safe enough for him to appear in a game. Guess what? It was. Three up, three down.
If your preference is hitting over pitching, you obviously were happy as well. It didn’t matter a bit to the Cardinals that they were facing a lefty in Chris Capuano — they had six hits and scored six runs off him and benefited from three walks.
David Freese, finally back after getting the stitches in his hand removed earlier yesterday, continued his resurgence. He doubled to drive in the first run, scored by Jon Jay as he collided with Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis. Then, in the sixth, this two-run homer — and listen to all those cheers. Freese is hitting .298 this month and has increased his average to .236.
Then there was Allen Craig being Allen Craig. Two more hits, a double and a solo home run, three more RBI … ho hum. He’s now third in the NL in RBI with 35.
The win was the Cardinals 16th in May and 31st overall, keeping them with the best record in majors at 31-16. For the Dodgers, it was their 14th loss of the month and 27th overall and kept them in last place in the NL West.
Game two of the series is tonight on FOX, starting at 6 p.m. Central Time. John Gast makes his third big-league start against Ted Lilly.
Christine Coleman is the lead 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.