You’re not going to win all 162 games. That’s a given. For a team who struggled last year, starting 4-0 was huge. This team was a 76-86 last year and 4th in the NL Central. The Chicago Cubs were only worse (sorry Cubs fans). It hurts how they lost and who they lost to. You stranded six base runners. The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 to even their record to 2-2 on the year while dropping the Reds to 4-1.
It was a battle of aces with Johnny Cueto pitching for Cincinnati and Michael Wacha going for St Louis. The scoring began in the bottom of the 1st with a solo shot from Reds 3B Todd Frazier that just sneaked over the left field fence. The sellout crowd loved it. However the very next inning the Cardinals answered. Kolton Wong tied up the ballgame with a sacrifice fly to deep right field scoring Johnny Peralta. St Louis took the lead for good in the 4th off a solo homer from Matt Adams (his first hit of the season). St Louis would add two more in the top of the 9th to give breathing room for closer Trevor Rosenthal to shut the door. Cueto gave the Reds 7 strong innings allowing 4 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts on 89 pitches. Todd Frazier went 2-4 with his 3rd home run in 5 games this season along with his 6th RBI this season. Zach Cozart also had a 2-hit day.
The moral of the story is when you have base runners you have to convert. There’s more failure than success in baseball, yes. However, Cincinnati was 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position while St. Louis 3-6 with a sacrifice fly. That was the difference. Your starter went 7 strong only allowed two and your offense couldn’t get the necessary run or two to keep him in the game. Cueto is an ace, but he does half the job. The offense has to do their part. The biggest positive? Defense was phenomenal all day long. Hamilton and Byrd both made dazzling catches to deny base runners. Frazier and Phillips made big infield plays. Historically, defensive teams prove to play more in October…with good pitching.
The final game of the 3-game set is Sunday. Rookie Raisel Iglesias will make his Major League debut for Cincinnati. He will be opposed by hurler Carlos Martinez for St. Louis.