Final Score: Cardinals 9, Phillies 4
For seven of nine frames Saturday evening, Philadelphia Phillies pitching didn’t allow the St. Louis Cardinals to score a run. Unfortunately for Joe Girardi’s squad, the Cardinals scored nine runs between the third and fourth innings, leaving you with a relatively bleak feeling about the Phillies depth at the back of their starting rotation.
- Matt Moore walked Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt to begin the game, but after a mound visit from pitching coach Caleb Cotham, he retired three straight batters, including Nolan Arenado and Yadier Molina. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but pitchers have really seemed to settle in after mound visits from Cotham, the first-year pitching coach.
- After Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura were retired to begin the home half of the first, Rhys Hoskins reached base on a single. Following J.T. Realmuto getting hit by a pitch, Alec Bohm drove in Hoskins to give the Phillies an early 1-0 lead.
- Didi Gregorius followed Bohm’s RBI by working a walk, which brought Matt Joyce, starting in place of Bryce Harper, to the plate. But while Joyce worked a 3-0 count, he was ultimately struck out by Cardinals starter Kwang-Hyun Kim, leaving the bases loaded.
- Disaster hit the Phillies in the top of the third inning, as the Cardinals got to Moore. While Moore retired the first two batters in the inning, the Cardinals three most accomplished hitters feasted. Goldschmidt singled, Arenado walked and Molina unloaded for a three-run home run, his 12th career bomb against the Phillies.
- Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong, known more for his defensive prowess than offensive output, followed Molina with a 415-foot home run to center field:
- Austin Dean drew a walk to follow up the back-to-back home runs. That brought the highly-touted Dylan Carlson to the plate, who plated Dean with a double, extending the Cardinals lead to 5-1.
- Moore was ultimately yanked in favor of JoJo Romero after his wild pitch allowed runners to advance to second and third base. Romero inherited a 1-0 count to Kim, the opposing pitcher. Romero induced a ground ball to Alec Bohm, but Bohm threw into the baseline and Hoskins was unable to clean it up, allowing another run to score. Bohm was charged with an error, which brought home what turned out to be the final run of the inning.
- To their credit, the Phillies did get two runs back in the home half of the third inning. Realmuto brought Segura home with a swinging bunt down the first-base line, and Hoskins score on a Bohm sacrifice fly.
- Unfortunately for the Phillies, their attempt to get back into the game was short-lived. With Goldschmidt on first, Arenado hit a 364-foot home run.
- Not to be outdone, Molina followed with a 391-foot blast, his second home run in as many innings:
- The Phillies did get a run back in the bottom of the fifth inning when Gregorius brought Hoskins home with an RBI double, cutting the Cardinals lead to 9-4.
- In the top of the sixth inning, the Cardinals appeared poised to add to their five-run lead after Vince Velasquez loaded the bases up with no one out. However, Velasquez struck out Carlson, before giving way to David Hale on the mound. Hale got Justin Williams to hit the ball back to him, he fired home for the force out and Realmuto threw to first to finish off an inning-ending double play.
- The Phillies did threaten against Cardinals closer Alex Reyes in the bottom of the ninth, but ultimately Didi Gregorius lined out to the warning track to end a game that lasted nearly four hours.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- Kwang-Hyun Kim wasn’t especially effective today, but he didn’t have to be. The 32-year-old lefty allowed five hits and three earned runs over three frames, which was good enough to help his team win.
- Matt Moore struggled mightily with his control Saturday, with just 37 of his 66 pitches going for strikes. The 31-year-old allowed four hits and six runs – five of which were earned – over just 2 2/3 innings. With three starts in the books this season, Moore now has a 9.82 ERA.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Yadier Molina
Saturday was the eighth career multi-home run game for Molina, and he added a double for good measure. The nine-time All-Star caught his 2,000th game as a member of the Cardinals earlier this week, a feat that Joe Girardi marveled at. Now 38, Molina doesn’t look like his career is winding down, as he’s hitting .340 early in 2021.
- Jean Segura departed the game after the fifth inning Saturday, but it was not because of an injury. The Phillies were being especially cautious with the former All-Star, who had an upset stomach. The belief is that it came from something that he ate.
- Bryce Harper was not in the lineup Saturday because of some lower back tightness, but Joe Girardi didn’t seem especially concerned after the game. Harper is day-to-day, but the Phillies didn’t want to make things worse by potentially pushing Harper to play to this early in a 162-game season. Harper could play in Sunday’s game, but he was not a candidate to pinch hit today.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Sunday, April 18 vs. St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
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