With all the advances in baseball, no one’s ever been able to figure out how a team can win without scoring. Doesn’t matter how good the pitching is. A big, fat zero on the scoreboard under that R column? No W.
Our favorite class clown proved that he’s serious when he’s on the mound. He threw 86 pitches in 6 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing a good number of baserunners — 7 hits, 3 walks — yet always working his way out of any potential jams. Early on it was via groundouts, like this nice double play that Daniel Descalso started in the third. Later it was by strikeout, as he had 3 total coming in the 5th and 6th innings — including a great called K of Dan Uggla on a 96 mph fastball to end the 6th.
After getting Chris Johnson to ground out to start the 7th, Kelly gave up a single followed by a double to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Jason Heyward was intentionally walked to load the bases. And, with a double play the obvious requirement for the Cards here, who else to relieve Joe except Seth Maness?
He did what Seth Maness does, throwing exactly one pitch to Justin Upton for the inning-ending double play.
The Cardinals only had two runners on base in one inning the entire game — the 1st inning. Matt Holliday, back from the DL, doubled and Allen Craig was walked. That was the only walk of the day by Braves pitching, and the only other hit was a Jon Jay double in the 5th — which was surrounded by three strikeouts. The Cards whiffed 8 times for the game.
Combined with Friday night’s measly offensive production — 1 run on a Yadi homer, 4 other hits including 2 more doubles, 7 strikeouts — the bats seem rather cold. Or is just that the Braves pitching is that hot? Guess it depends which team you’re a fan of.
The Braves scored their two runs in the bottom of the 8th, when Randy Choate gave up a walk and a single and Trevor Rosenthal gave up a walk and a double to Andreton Simmons that allowed both runs to score.
So the bullpen is not going to be perfect every day. So it goes.
Usually, the Cardinals offense is able to make up for 2 runs scoring by the opposition — yet not this time.
Of course it’s not good that the Cards are now 0-2 on The Biggest Road Trip in the History of The World. But they can get the bats going again tonight behind Shelby Miller when the face Kris Medlen on ESPN. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
Christine Coleman is the creator, lead writer and editor of Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.