hroughout the past 20 seasons, the St. Louis Cardinals have won two World Series and have been to the World Series four-total times.
However, during that stretch, the Cardinals (23-9) haven’t been able to beat the Cleveland Indians (11-20) in a season series. But heading into Tuesday’s game, they were hoping to change that after they defeated the Indians 8-3.
Offensively, the game seemed to be the Mark Reynolds show for the Cardinals throughout the first five innings, as he contributed on the first three runs of the game.
The Cardinals, who came into Tuesday’s game with the best record in the MLB, started the game with a 2-0 lead in the second inning as both Johnny Peralta and Yadira Molina scored off a two-run Reynolds RBI double.
Reynolds would again help the Cardinals to a 3-0 lead, earning his lone run in the fifth inning, off a Matt Holliday single to center field.
As for the home team, nothing went the Indians way for the first six innings of the game.
Prior till that point, the Indians had an opportunity to score with Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis and Jose Ramirez, who had the bases loaded, respectively. But the momentum shifted following back-to-back strike outs by Michael Brantley and Brandon Moss, which ended the inning.
Ramirez would start the scoring for the Indians in the seventh off a Kipnis double to deep center. Later in the inning following a strikeout by Santana, Brantley doubled to left field and sent Kipnis home. Brantley also scored on a double off of Ryan Raburn.
But the Indians lost their momentum after that.
It’s 4-3 and we still got some game left, manager Terry Francona said. “And then it got away from us.”
An error by Ramirez would help lead to a run by Jason Heyward, off a Matt Carpenter RBI single. But it was Holliday who ended hope for Tribe fans on a 1-0 pitch home run that also sent Peter Bourjos and Carpenter home.
Ramirez’s error, allowed any momentum from coming back, but the Indians were never in a scoring position again.
And while the error was costly, his performance from last season till now has changed.
“He used to walk around like he owned the field manager and the one thing we always talked about so much was his clock,” Francona said. “And right now I think he’s pressing a little bit and I understand it.”
Last season, Ramirez had 27 runs off of 62 hits, in 68 games. He also hit two home runs while adding 17 RBI’s at .262. This season in 24 appearances, eight runs off of 15 hits. He’s only hit one home run and has three RBI’s.
Having lost 11 of their last 16 games, the Indians still have time as the season hasn’t reached its midpoint. But is it time to worry?
“I don’t have time to worry about that,” Kipnis said. “I got too much to work for everyday. This is our job. This is what we take serious. Our job is to come and try to win the game that we have that night. We’ll look up later and see where we are in the standings. I’m not going to worry about that stuff just yet.”
Carlos Carrasco (4-3, 4.84 ERA) pitched for 6 2/3 innings for the Indians, allowing 10 hits, four runs, while committing four errors.
Despite that, Carrasco had a positive vibe about his performance after the game.
“I feel good, I think everything is working good with the fastball and changeup,” Carrasco said. “I think sometime my slider is kind of flat a little bit.”
Relief pitchers Scott Atchison and Nick Hagadone each gave up a run and error, while Bryan Shaw gave up two runs in 2/3 innings pitched.
The Indians face the Cardinals again Wednesday at 6:10 p.m. EST.
Corey Kluber (0-5, 5.04 ERA) will start for the Indians against John Lackey (2-1, 3.20 ERA).
Property of The Sports Journal – Recap