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St. Louis is off Monday while Cincinnati travels to Milwaukee to begin a four-game series with the Brewers.
Mike Leake takes the tough-luck loss. He pitched eight innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits in getting the complete game. He is now 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA.
Jordan Walden gets his first save of the season. He gave up a lead-off hit but did not allow the run to score.
Wainwright is now 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA.
The winning pitcher is Adam Wainwright, who pitched eight innings, allowing one earned run on seven hits. He walked two and struck out four. He got many early-count outs to keep him in the game for eight innings.
After just 2:02, the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Cincinnati Reds 2-1. The Cardinals complete the sweep of the weekend series.
Ground ball to Matt Adams, who makes the play himself to end the game.
96-mph fastball blows pst him for strike one.
It's all up to Joey Votto!
Bryan Pena bats for Leake. He pops up the first pitch to Carpenter at third for Out #2.
Walden takes a LONG time to delover the ball, and with that jump he takes in his delivery, Boesch had an extra step on him.
Barnhart strikes out swinging. Boesch steals second on the pitch. It was an uncharacteristic poor throw from Yadier Molina.
Barnhart is 1 for 3 on the night and the season. He is looking to get down the sacrifice bunt. 2-2 the count after fouling off the bunt attempts.
No Billy Hamilton, so we wonder how ready he really is.
Boesch lines one off a diving Matt Adams for a base hit. Adams kept it from rolling into the corner for at leastt two base.
Jordan Walden is in for St. Louis. Trevor Rosenthal threw a lot yesterday, so Walden gets the save opportunity.
This would be a VERY tough loss for Leake if the Reds cannot score in the ninth. He pitched his heart out for eight innings: two runs on four hits.
Top 9: Last chance for Cincinnati, who will send up Boesch, Barnhart, and a pinch hitter for Leake.
Reynolds pops out to center to end the inning. After eight complete, St. Louis leads 2-1.
Mark Reynolds pinch hits for Adam Wainwright.
Wong lines it DEEP into left. Schumaker makes a running grab, but Jay scores the go-ahead run on the sacrifice fly. Cardinals lead 2-1.
Kolten Wong is up. This could be the ball game here.
Chopper to third. Fraizer has to go to first to get Molina, but Jay advances to third with only one out.
Yadier Molina hits with a man at second and nobody out.
Jay lines it into right center, and he will hustle into second for a lead-off double. Boesch may have kept Jay to a double with the sliding stop.
Jon Jay leads off. There is action in the Reds bullpen.
CORRECTION: Bottom 8: Due up for the Cardinals -- Jay, Molina, Wong with Wainwright due up fourth. He is right around 100 pitches now, maybe a little over.
Cozart hits it sharply to Wong, who bobbles it. Wong recovers to get the force out at second to end the threat. Two hits ad walk but NO runs. After 7 1/2, it is STILL tied at 1.
Ball four to Bruce loads the bases with two outs for Zack Cozart.
Maybe Wainwright will throw a 3-1 curve? Fastball fouled off. Full count.
Jay Bruce takles a 2-0 CURVE from Wainwright, who will not give in.
Matheny makes a visit to the mound. Wainwright will stay in there. THAT's a true ace. Will he get out of this jam?
Phillips loops another one into right on the 0-1 pitch. Not hard but perfectly placed. Jay Bruce is up with two men on and two out.
Billy Hamilton may be available to pinch run. We will see what Price has in mind.
Fraizer gets his first hit of the night, a nice line drive into left field. Two outs, runner at first for Brandon Phillips.
92 pitches now for Wainwright. He is due up fourth in the bottom of the eighth.
Todd Fraizer is 0 for 2 with a walk.
BIG curveball to get Votto swinging 2 down. Votto went down on three pitches.
Joey Votto is 2 for 3.
Wainwright and Leake are matching up pitch for pitch and STILL getting early-count outs.
Schumaker is 0 for 3 and hitting .091. He grounds out weakly to second.
Top 8: Due up for the Reds is the to of the order -- Schumaker, Votto, and Fraizer.
HOT smash to third. Fraizer throws out Peralta to end the inning. STILL a fast-paced game as we go to the eighth tied at 1.
Adams chases strike three way up high for the second out.
Adams is 0 for 2 and hitting .212.
Holliday grounds the first pitch to Cozart at short. One out.
Matt Holliday is 1 for 2 and is hitting .371.
Bottom 7: Cardinals have Holliday, Adams, and Peralta due up.
Wainwright is still seven hitters away, so there is time for Matheny to decide what to do with him.
Leake grounds sharply to second. Wong gets the force out at the bag to end the inning. Bottom of the 7th coming up, tied at 1.
Leake will hit for himself. He has thrown only 66 pitches through six innings.
Barnhart finds a hole on the right side. One on, two outs. That breaks a string of 12 straight outs from Wainwright.
Brennan Boesch is 1 for 2. He flies out to right (first pitch) just in fromt of the warning track. 2 away
Cozart grounds to Adams, who slides to make the play. Wainwright covers for the out.
As the game gets late, what will Mike Matheny and Bryan Price do with Wainwright and Leake when their spots in the order come up? Both are dealing on the mound. We shall see very soon.
Top 7: Cincinnati will send up Cozart, Boesch, and Barnhart.
Mike Matheny thought about challenging the call at first, but he went back into the dugout. The double play ends the inning. We are still tied after six complete.
Heyward grounds into a 5-4-3 double play. It was a bang-bang play at first, but Heyward was out.
Jason Heyward has fouled off a few pitches. 1 ball 2 strikes is the count.
For Carpenter, that is his SEVENTH consecutive two-hit game. That's TWO hits per game.
Line drive to center for Carpenter. He is now 2 for 3, and that ends a string of 14 straight hitters retired by Leake.
Carpenter is 1 for 2 with a home run.
Ground ball to third. Fraizer makes the play to first for the first out.
Wainwright struck out his first time.
Wainwright will lead off the bottom of the sixth, followed by Carpenter and Heyward.
Jay Bruce bounces out to first to end the inning. Wainwright threw only eight pitches in the sixth. The botttom half is coming up in a 1-1 tie.
Phillips is called out on strikes. Phillips did NOT like the call as it was well off the plate. 2 down. Wainwright has retired nine straight.
Phillips is 1 for 2 with a run driven in. Quick two strikes and then a foul ball.
Fraizer grounds to short. Peralta throws him out at first. 1 out for Brandon Phillips.
Todd Fraizer is 0 for 1 with a walk. He leads off the sixth.
Due up for the Reds in the top of the sixth are Fraizer, Phillips, and Bruce.
Kolten Wong pops out to third to retire the side. That makes 14 in a row that Leake has retired.
Molina flies out to left on the first pitch fpor the second out.
Both pitchers are getting balls in play early in the count. Hence, the fast pace to this point.
Jon Jay grounds hard to Votto, who takes it himself for the first out.
Due up for the Redbirds in the bottom of the fifth are Jay, Molina, and Wong.
Votto flies out to center on the first pitch to end the inning. It's a 6-pitch inning for Adam Wainwright, and we go to the bottom of the fifth still tied at 1-1.
Strike three called on the outside corner. Wainwright got the benefit of a wide call.
Schumaker bats with one out and the bases empty.
Mike Leake leads off the top of the fifth with a first-pitch ground out to third.
If the pace remains like this, the game should end by around 10:15-10:30 p.m. EDT. That's a big IF!
Leake, Shumaker, and Votto are due up for Cincinnati in the fifth.
Peralta (.317) flies out to shallow right field. Leake has retired 11 straight now. After four, we are still tied at 1.
Matt Adams hits into the shift. Cozart fields on the first-base side of the second-base bag and throws him out. 2 down.
Finally, Hollliday puts the 10th pitch in play. Ground ball to short. Cozart to first for the out. 1 away.
Holliday has fouled off a number of pitches to run the count full. He just keeps on fouling off pitch after pitch.
Holliday leads off. He suffered a stiff back yesterday, but he looks just fine now. He singled his first time up.
Bottom 4: Cardinals have Holliday, Adams, and Peralta scheduled.
One hopper right at Kolten Wong. He backs up on it but gets the out to retire the side. ALREADY, we have playd 3 1/2 with the score tied at 1.
Tucker Barnhart hits with two outs and the bases empty.
Ground ball to Adams at first. He takes it himself for Out #2.
Boesch doubled his first time up. It was his first hit of the season, a line drive that rolled to the wall in right center.
Top 4: Cozart leads off. Smasjed back at Wainwright, who knocks it down and gets the out at first. 1 away.
Cozart, Boesch, and Barnhart are due up for the Reds in the top of the fourth.
Three up, three down. We are tied at 1 after three full innings.
Strike three on a ball WELL out of the strike zone -- low and away. Heyward really chased a terrible pitch.
Jason Heyward (.222) is 0 for 1. He got his first Cardinals home run yesterday.
Ground ball to Votto, and Leake covers for the second out. Leake is really working fast tonight.
1 out for Carpenter, who homered to lead off the game.
Wainwright leads off with a strikeout. The bat went well past the third base coach but foul. It looked like the hammer throw.
Wainwright is no slouch at the plate. He is a career .200 hitter with 6 HR and 39 RBI. He is 0 for 6 so far this season.
Bottom 3: St. Louis will send up Wainwright, Carpenter, and Heyward.
Bruce grounds to Peralta, who goes the short way to get the force out at second. One run on a couple of hits and a walk. We go to the bottom of the third tied at 1.
Wainwright has slowed it down once again.
Jay Bruce (.205) with runners at the corners and two outs.
Phillips (.279) bloops the first pitch into short right center. Votto comes around to tie the game at 1-1. RBI single for Phillips.
Fraizer (.217) draws a four-pitch walk to put runners at first and second for Philllips.
Line drive single to left down the line. Votto's second hit already. One on, two outs for Todd Fraizer. The Reds REALLY missed Votto's bat last year!
Votto is hitting .366 after his first-inning single.
Shumaker grounds harmlessly to Peralta at short for the second out.
Shumaker is hitting just .111 on the season so far -- 0 for 1 tonight.
Leake pops it up, and Jay comes in to make the grab for the first out.
Wainwright is speeding up just a bit.
Leake is hitless so far this year, but he is a decent hitter. He is a career .231 hitter with 4 HR.
Leake, Shumaker, and Votto are due up in the top of the third for the Reds.
Kolten Wong grounds to second. Phillips makes a patented sliding grab and gets the out at first to end the inning. 1-2-3 go thr Cardinals in the second. After 2, Cardinals lead 1-0.
Yadier Molina is up. Molina grounds out to third -- Fraizer to Bruce. 2 outs
Jay lines the first pitch to Cozart for the first out.
Jay leads off the second.
Jon Jay is hitting .206 with 0 RBI. Molina is at .306, and Wong is hitting .233.
Jay, Molina, and Wong will come up for St. Louis in the bottom of the second.
Barnhart flies out weakly to Holliday in left. One hit, no runs. Bottom of the second coming up, 1-0 Cardinals.
Catcher Tucker Barnhart is playing his first game of the season and now batting.
Make that 1 for 8 as he doubles off the right-field fence. Well hit and rolled to the wall for two bases.
Brennan Boesch is o for 7on the season.
Cozart pops it up to Adams behind the bag for Out #2.
LINED right at Matt Adams, who leaps to make the snag for the first out. THAT is a highlight-rell play!
Bruce is 11 for 33 with 2 HR vs. Wainwright.
Bruce comes very close the other way, but it lands foul.
Jay Bruce leads it off.
Top 2: Due up for Cincinnati are Bruce, Cozart, and Boesch.
Peralta lines viciously to Cozart at short to reture the side. Leake is not fooling anyone so far. He needs to mix up his pitches better and find the corners. After one, Cardinals lead 1-0.
Jhonny Peralta hits with Holliday at first and two out.
Adams lines very hard to Brandon Boesch in center field for Out #2.
Adams is 8 for 18 against Leake with 1 HR.
Holliday bangs one into right field for a base hit. One on, one out, on in. Matt Adams (.226) is coming up.
Carpenter hit a fastball right down broadway! NOT where Leake wants to stay.
Mike Leake is working very quicky in the first inning.
Heyward grounds to first. Votto takes it himelf for the first out.
Carpenter takes the 2-1 pitch OVER the center field wall for a lead-off HOME RUN! Cardinals jump out to the early 1-0 lead!!!
Bottom 1, no score. Matt Carpenter will lead it off for St. Louis. Carpenter has seven doubles in his last five games!!!
Mike Leake (0-0, 4.97 ERA) starts for Cincinnati.
In the bottom of the first, the Cardinals will start off with Carpenter, Heyward, and Holliday.
Two foul balls, then Swing and a miss for strike three. Phillips out to end the inning. No score after a half inning.
Wainwright is taking his time on the mound.
Brandon Phillips (.286) is hitting with Votto at first and two outs.
Fraizer pops to shallow center. Jon Jay jogs in to make the grab. Two outs!
Joey Votto lines a single to right for the game's first hit. One on, one out for Todd Fraizer.
Adam Wainwright (1-1, 2.08) is on the nound for St. Louis.
Schumaker lines softly to third for the first out. Carpenter makes the easy catch.
GAME ON! Schumaker leads it off.
Billy Hamilton (groin) not starting for Reds. He is day-to-day. Matt Holliday (back tightness) is in the Cardinals' lineup.
Due up in the top of the first for the Reds: Schumaker, Votto, Fraizer
8:05 scheduled first pitch barring any delays.
St. Louis, meanwhile, will need to tighten up defensively. They have committed eight errors so far, and while that total is not terrible, they can ill afford to give a Reds lineup with Votto, Todd Fraizer, Brandon Phillips, and Jay Bruce any extra swings. If the Cardinals simply play the same style of selfless baseball they always play, then they should have this game in hand.
Cincinnati will have to get to Wainwright early. Wainwright seems to get better as the game goes along, especially if he has an easy first few innings. He has the best defensive catcher in the game and an expert pitch caller in Molina.
The Cardinals have announced their starting lineup. Carpenter 3B, Heyward RF, Holliday LF, Adams 1B, Peralta SS, Jay CF, Molina C, Wong 2B, Wainwright RHP.
The Reds have announced their starting lineup. Schumaker, LF, Votto, 1B, Frazier, 3B, Phillips, 2B, Bruce, RF, Cozart, SS, Boesch, CF, Barnhart, C, Leake, P.
St. Louis will send ace Adam Wainwright (1-1, 2.08) to the mound. The big right-hander has allowed three earned runs in 13 innings, and he has also compiled an outstanding 1.08 WHIP in his first two starts. His last time out, Wainwright allowed three earned runs in seven innings in losing to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Mike Leake (0-0, 4.97 ERA) starts for Cincinnati. He has made two starts so far on the season, allowing seven earned runs on 12 hits in 12 2/3 innings pitched. He has a WHIP that is a little high at 1.50, but his career WHIP of 1.30 shows his very respectable track record. Last time out, Leake allowed four earned runs on seven hits to the Chicago Cubs on April 13.
St. Louis pitchers lead the National League in ERA at 2.00. Cincinnati’s is 11th at 4.04. Should the game come down to the bullpens, then that advantage goes to St. Louis as well – at least on paper: 1.95 ERA and five for six in save opportunities as compared to the Reds’ 4.36 ERA and 3 for 7 in save opportunities.
Overall, neither team has exactly lit up the scoreboard. The Cardinals come into tonight’s action averaging 4.1 runs per game, scoring 41 times in their first 10 games. They are 10th in the National League in total runs scored. Cincinnati, meanwhile, is 12th with 36 runs in 11 games (3.27 runs per game). With two good pitchers on the mound, runs may come at a high premium tonight.
For Cincinnati, that man is Joey Votto, who is returning this year from a serious injury that cut his 2014 season in half. Votto is hitting .350/.480/.750 with 4 HR and 10 RBI in just 11 games. Only one man (Los Angeles Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez) has put up bigger power numbers to this point but not by much.
Each team has one man who has jumped out to a phenomenal start, and one of those two may surprise a few fans. Matt Carpenter is off to a .381 start with 1 HR and 9 RBI. On a team full of very solid players and really only one start (Yadier Molina), Carpenter has stepped it up in the early going to help lead his team to the division lead thus far.
The next meetings will occur on July 27, 28, and 29 at Great American Ballpark. They will meet again in St. Louis the following week from August 4-6. Finally, these two will hook up seven times in September to possibly decide who moves onto the postseason and who goes home. Those final seven games will occur on September 10-13 in Cincinnati and September 21-23 in St. Louis. The 2015 season ends October 4.
Following this three-game series, which concludes tonight, the Reds and Cardinals will meet 13 more times this year – six in St. Louis and seven in Cincinnati. All of these games will occur in the season’s second half.
Entering play in Busch Stadium tonight, the Cardinals lead the division with a record of 7-3, one game over the Chicago Cubs. Cincinnati is 5-6 and only 2.5 games behind in third place. St. Louis won the first two games of the current three-game series so far after Cincinnati took two of three in Great American Ballpark last weekend. The Cardinals hold a 3-2 lead so far in the season series.
The Major League Baseball season has completed its first two full weeks, and in the National League Central division, we can already see a promise for a tight and exciting division race involving all five teams. Two of these teams, the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals, have gotten off to starts they show they will compete all season long.