On a night where Mizzou pulled off an amazing 21-20 comeback victory over South Carolina, another Missouri sports team had a big chance to win, but did not do so.
The Cardinals lost to Arizona 5-2, in a game that could have clinched the NL Central for St. Louis.
Earlier on Saturday, the Reds and Pirates clashed in one of the most important games of the season, for not only Pittsburgh, but for St. Louis as well. It was a back and forth battle, with multiple lead changes, the game went into extra innings. In the bottom of the 10th, with the bases loaded and two outs, the Reds’ Ramon Santiago hit a walk-off grand slam to give Cincinnati the 10-6 victory over Pittsburgh.
The loss cut the magic number down to one for St. Louis to clinch the NL Central, with two games remaining on the season.
On Saturday night, the pitching match-up was Lance Lynn (15-10, 2.73 ERA) against Wade Miley (8-12, 4.35 ERA).
In the first inning, Lynn struggled on the mound, allowing back to back home runs by David Peralta and Mark Trumbo, putting the Diamondbacks up 2-0, just like the night before. A couple innings later, in the top of the third, the Cardinals got on the board as well. With the bases loaded and one out, Jhonny Peralta hit a sacrifice fly into center field, allowing Matt Carpenter to score, cutting the Diamondbacks’ lead to one run.
After that, Matt Adams stepped up to the plate, and while he struck out, ball got away, allowing Randal Grichuk to run home all the way from second base, and tie the game. A hit by Yadier Molina loaded the bases once again, this time for center-fielder Jon Jay. While Jay struck out looking, the damage had been done, and with Lynn beginning to settle down, momentum started to shift in the Cardinals’ favor.
Miley himself was pitching very well also, striking out six batter through the first four innings, while allowing two runs and five hits.
In the top of the 6th, the Diamondbacks sent in Randall Delgado in relief of Miley, who became just the 2nd lefty in team history to have back-to-back 200 inning seasons.
As for the Cardinals, in the 6th inning, both Randy Choate and Seth Maness were warming up in the bullpen, though Lynn remained in the game. Peter Bourjos was brought in for Matt Holliday, who had misplayed a ball hit into left field the previous inning. Bourjos moved to center as Jay was moved to left.
It was later determined Holliday left the game due to “flu-like symptoms.”
Choate would come in to start the seventh inning, and was able to get the first out on just one pitch. However, when Maness came in, after two base hits, Trumbo hit his second home run of the game, a three-run shot to left field, giving Arizona the 5-2 lead.
And that home run sealed the fate of St. Louis for the remainder of the game.
Sam Freeman and Jason Motte both would later make relief appearances during the remaining innings.
While losing the game was tough, it by no means writes St. Louis out of a chance at the NL Central title.
On Sunday, ace Adam Wainwright will attempt to get his 21st win on the season.
St. Louis has had a knack for cutting things close at the end of the season lately. It has been an adrenaline-rush of a division race, but it’s not over yet.
Strap in, Cardinal Nation. Game 162 is going to be a big one.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)