MIAMI — If anyone can counter even the smartest moves the Cardinals make in the closing stages to keep their lead, it’s someone who knows the view from the dugout.
Longtime Cardinals and former Cardinals bench coach and now Marlins manager Skip Shoemaker deftly moved the bench in the seventh inning to close the two-run deficit and give the Cardinals bullpen another save. added. After Cardinals starter Myles Mikolas left the game, the Marlins combined pinch-hit and pinch-run for three runs to turn the Cardinals into a 5-4 win at Lawn Depot Park on Monday night.
The Cardinals (35-49), bottom of the NL Central, fell to 10.5 games behind first-placed Cincinnati after defeating Washington 3-2.
The Cardinals tied the game without moving runners in the ninth, but then got a little annoyed with home base umpire CB Buckner’s strike zone.
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The Cardinals rallied to take a two-point lead in the seventh, and Mikolas was helped by a defense that caught several strong drives, at one point going into the seventh with a 14-game losing streak. At that time, he took issue with the strike zone and the lack of low-ball calls. Three walks clinched the crucial inning. Two were given to the Marlins and one was given by Mikolas heading from the mound to the bullpen.
The bullpen had a two-point lead to defend, and the Marlins were making moves that could handle the Cardinals going either way.
When Andre Palante enters the game, there are still some teams that choose left-handed hitters, ignoring his river split for the traditional matchup they prefer. Not the Marlins manager. He’s not a former Cardinals bench coach. he knew very well. He had better options.
Instead of keeping shortstop Joey Wendle, who could hit against Palante, Shoemaker sent first baseman and right-handed hitter Yuri Gurriel as a pinch hitter. What is the additional bonus? Gurriel has improved his slugging ability against right-handed pitchers this season, further tilting the matchup.
He carried a short-ranged fastball from Palante to the right field seat, and teammate Mikolas walked to base to decide the game at 4-4. Shoemaker was still moving. He replaced Gurriel with speedster John Barty as the runner on second base and was ready for shortstop, which proved to be an advantage. Eighth hitter Nick Fortes hit a ground ball to right field, and Barty broke the tie with speed to home the throw, giving the Marlins their first lead since the third inning.
The execution ability of the players made the strategy shine.
The Marlins wiped out what the Cardinals did in less than an inning thanks to Wilson Contreras. The catcher had hits in his first three at-bats and made it safely to base in the first four innings he came up to. His ninth home run of the season tied the game 2–2, and then his opening double in the third inning gave the Cardinals the winning streak. In addition, he caught a runner who attempted to steal a base, disallowed the base runner, and ignited Mikolas’ 4/3 runs.
It ended with seven walks that ended up being the Cardinals’ doom.
Mikolas pitched 6 1/3 innings, pitching mostly excellent, allowing only four hits. Of the four points the Marlins put together with his lineup, two came after he left the game.
“DeLong” makes it happen
Above Paul DeJong’s locker in the Visitor’s Clubhouse at Lawn Depot Park on Monday was a nameplate that caught the eye of outfielder Alec Burleson. Burleson promptly called his teammate after only slightly misspelling his surname.
“Paul de Long,” Burleson said, sounding it out.
As expected, it was written on the nameplate of the locker.
De Young’s J was replaced with L.
It was far from prophetic.
De Jong didn’t go far, but hit the ball long enough.
In the sixth, with two outs, the Cardinals shortstop hit a ball deep in right field that hit the wall and doubled for the other side. The ball hit Marlins reliever Andrew Nardi and Contreras scored from second base to tie the game at 2-2.
Contreras’ third hit of the game put him ahead in the first inning, and the Cardinals’ chances of breaking the tie began to dwindle from there. A fly and a strikeout put DeJong at bat and a new pitcher on the mound. DeJong ignored the first three pitches and took the lead with a count of 3-0. He took the strike with a 93.6 mph fastball. Left-hander Nardi threw the first curveball of the at-bat, and DeJong hit it to the right, giving the Cardinals the lead.
the card is erased
Marlins left-hander Braxton Garrett, who missed two starts from his 13-strikeout trophy against Pittsburgh, gave the Cardinals a glimpse into Miami’s success this season.
Like most members of the Marlins rotation, he rarely allows more than two runs these days. Garrett, 25, posted a 1.98 ERA in his nine starts Monday and allowed three runs in five 2/3 innings against the Cardinals (one of which came away from the game). But the Cardinals got five hits and could have been worse. By the end of the second inning.
The left-hander tiptoed past them, conceding just one goal.
Marlins manager Shoemaker said of his advice to lefties against the Cardinals’ batting lineup, “Don’t get into a set routine or a set progression.” “It’s the biggest thing for ‘Goldy’ and Arenado, and anyone on our staff who have some really impactful hitters in the middle of the order. I think they’ll be beaten, they’re very good at game planning, and that mix will be key to the Blacks’ success.”
Luken Baker earned promotion from the Cardinals to the majors on Monday for his success against lefties (two home runs against lefties on Saturday and a .723 slugging average against lefties in the AAA class), and he did it in his first swing. Continued. The rookie hit a single to Nakamae and took the lead from the second inning. He scored on a Lars Nutvaal RBI from second base to cut the Marlins’ lead in half. There, Garrett crushed Larry with a double play.
The next inning, Contreras tied the game 2–2 with a home run by Garrett.
welcome hometown children
The Marlins acquired two All-Star players, one for his power and one for his flirtatious .400 batting average this season.
Back in South Florida, Mikolas’ first batter was Miami infielder Luis Araez, who has a .389 batting average. An elite contact hitter, he singled to the third base line that didn’t have enough momentum to reach the outfield before Arenado caught up. Jorge Soler, who has already hit 22 homers this season, hit a double that broke the top of the left field wall. Had Soler not appeared to have hit his 23rd home run, Araez could have scored on the play.
Going into the game with two hitters, Mikolas allowed two runners in scoring position.
With four batters in the game, the Marlins led 2–0.
The Cardinals right-hand man took the lead from there. He finished the last two batters in the first inning, and faced the next 18 batters with a minimum number of batters. Contreras contributed to a strikeout/throw double play by catching a runner who stole a base in the second inning. That was the beginning of Mikolas’ 14-batter streak.
It took eight pitches to throw a perfect second inning and seven pitches to throw a perfect sixth. And in the seventh, he lost the lead on eight pitches, walking two to the last two batters he faced. Mikolas contested part of Buckner’s call midway through the two bases that ended the night, but only started the rally for the Marlins.
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