It feels like just yesterday that Mike Matheny won his first career game as manager of the Cardinals.
Time really does fly.
On Friday, the Cardinals looked to bounce back from a disappointing 2-1 loss against the Washington Nationals. To do so, they would have to beat one of the top pitchers in Major League Baseball: Max Scherzer. For the Cardinals, they sent Jaime Garcia to the mound, who also was looking to have a bounce-back performance.
Scherzer was able to avoid allowing runs in the first two innings, but was not so fortunate in the third inning.
With one out in the top of the third, Garcia singled. Greg Garcia was issued a walk and Aledmys Diaz singled. Then Matt Holliday walked to score Garcia, making it 1-0 Cardinals. That brought up Stephen Piscotty, and Piscotty made Scherzer pay.
The young-right handed hitter launched his first career grand slam, turning a 1-0 lead into a 5-0 lead in the blink of an eye. This was the second time the Cardinals essentially “pounded” a top National League pitcher, as they did the same to the Cubs’ Jake Arietta earlier in the week.
As for Garcia, he pitching seven solid innings, while allowing two runs on seven hits en route to winning his fourth game of the season. In his previous two starts, he had allowed eight runs in 15 innings. A solo home run by Danny Espinosa and an RBI from Ryan Zimmerman were the only two blemishes on his night.
In the eighth inning, Garcia hit his second home run of the season, a solo shot that would make it 6-2, which turned out to be the final score.
With the win, Matheny’s managerial record improves to 400-297 (.574), the 165th manager to ever accomplish the feat, and the ninth Cardinals manager to do so. Of the other eight Cardinal managers, seven of them are Hall of Famers.
His .574 winning percentage ranks ninth in Cardinals history.