Shane Robinson hasn’t gotten a lot of attention this season, and probably rightfully so. He hadn’t done much, hitting just .100 before he was sent to Memphis in late April and, now that he was recalled this week, flying out as a pinch-hitter on Wednesday night to drop his average to .095.
Then came last night.
Robinson started in right field (with Allen Craig at first and Matt Adams getting a day off) and definitely made a big impact: three hits and two RBI that tied the game in leading the Cardinals to a 4-2 win and sweep of the Diamondbacks. He also scored the final run of the game on Matt Carpenter’s RBI single.
Great to see for Shane? Definitely. Plus his success — two singles and a two-RBI double — boosted his batting average all the way to .200. Progress!
Also great to see: Allen Craig driving in the go-ahead run in the seventh, after he singled in the sixth. Craig still isn’t the Craig we’ve gotten used to, but he’s showing signs at times. Progress!
Plus all four runs by the Cardinals came with two outs. With those, the Cards as a team are now hitting .217/.320/.343 with two outs and runners in scoring position and .235/.322/.334 with RISP overall. Progress!
With just two runs allowed, the pitching obviously went well — although you certainly wouldn’t have known that if you glanced at Twitter during the first inning, when Lance Lynn allowed two runs on three hits and a sacrifice fly. Calamity! Lance Lynn is the worst! OMG! Release him! They’re doomed! Continue reading →
Here’s a quick review: games with 8-run innings and 5 homers, including one by the pitcher – good.
Extending hitting streaks to 16, 15 and 10 games — also good.
Photo: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Six innings with 9 strikeouts from the starting pitcher and maintaining the National League ERA lead at 1.91 — obviously good as well.
A 12-2 lead — very good.
Getting rookie pitchers a chance to gain some experience — yes, that is good.
Having to bring your closer into a game because the score becomes 12-7, the bases are loaded, it’s now a save situation and he gives up a sac fly to make it 12-8 — not good.
But all’s well that ends well, as the saying goes.
And despite the drama that built as Seth Maness and Keith Butler had rough nights and allowed three runs each, it was a good night. Not ideal, obviously, and of course getting battered around like that is not what anyone wants to see from any relievers — especially ones in a bullpen with the Cardinals’ track record for too much of this season.
Yes, the St. Louis Cardinals 10-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks got ugly. Very ugly.
No, I don’t want to talk about Randy Choate or Maikel Cleto or a depleted bullpen that meant of course they were going to lose or two losses in a row (for the first time since the end of April, by the way).
No talk about Ty Wigginton either, just because.
Instead, here are five positives from last night’s game. Grab the red pom poms …
1. Joe Kelly
Though some of the ever-overreacting Twitter crowd were calling for Joe to be sent back to the minors in the second inning when he gave up two consecutive hits and a run, the truth is Joe did a good job in his first start of the year. He threw 80 pitches, lasted 5 2/3 innings, gave up two runs although the second was unearned thanks to Matt Holliday making a cringe-worthy error, and retired 12 consecutive batters between the second and the sixth.
After all his ups and downs out of the bullpen, an outing like this was terrific to see — and gave the team what it needed last night: innings on the mound.
Seven runs, 14 hits, 2 home runs — great night for the offense. Seven innings pitched allowing 1 run on 5 hits with 6 strikeouts from Lance Lynn to tie Adam Wainwright for second in the National League with his 8th win — great pitching night (yet again!) And all against the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks to top it off.
That outburst on offense came from the usual contributors. Yadier Molina was 2 for 4 with one of those homers and an RBI single to raise his batting average to an NL-leading .350. Carlos Beltran was 3 for 5 with a 2-run homer and an RBI single. Allen Craig was 2 for 4 with an RBI single. David Freese was 2 for 3 and has upped his average to .265. Even Lynn had a hit.
Oh, and Matt Carpenter.
He did what he has been doing like crazy all season — he was 3 for 5 leading off and scored 3 runs. He now has a 12-game hitting streak and increased his batting average to .319. And those aren’t the only good numbers he has.