Matt Carpenter and the Cardinals break out the bats in Miami
The St. Louis Cardinals won their series against the Miami Marlins on the road by blowing out the Fish 7-1 on Wednesday.
In both wins, infielder Matt Carpenter hit the go-ahead home run. Carpenter is the first player in baseball this season to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases. The last Cardinal to accomplish that feat was Albert Pujols in 2010.
One major reason why Carpenter was able to hit for 31 home runs while in the middle of a 27-game on-base streak is being paitent enough to draw walks. He already reached the century mark in walks.
“One thing I’ve always prided myself on,” Carpenter said on Tuesday, “is getting pitchers back in the strike zone because they’re eventually going to come back on the plate. They have to. Tonight was a good example in my last at-bat. I ended up going 3-2 with them and they obviously don’t want to walk the winning run (on).”
Half of Carpenter’s home runs have occurred during his on-base streak. His last five home runs cameduring his last six games. He was on pace to hit 39 home runs going into Wednesday’s game but there’s a possibility that he could get to well within 40 home runs by the end of the season.
”This is a new career-high for him,” Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong said on Carpenter. “The sky’s the limit. There’s a lot of baseball left, 40-something games, so who knows how many he can hit.”
”He’s doing what he knows he can do and what we all believe in,” said Cardinals pitcher John Gant, who got the win the series finale after giving up only one run on six innings.
On Wednesday, catcher Yadier Molina hit his 15th home run of the season in the first inning off Marlins rookie starting pitcher Trevor Richards. Carpenter’s homer came after the Marlins tied the game 1-1 in the second inning off a RBI base hit by shortstop Miguel Rojas.
Richards has been building a reputation of throwing one of the best changeups in the game. He posted a 1.32 ERA in his last five starts going into Wednesday’s outing.
It hasn’t been able to fool Carpenter and he was mercifully taken out of the game in the sixth inning after an RBI double by former Marlin Marcell Ozuna made it a 3-1 ballgame.
The Marlins sent out two rookie pitchers against St. Louis in the past two games. Pablo Lopez has a 2.92 ERA in his last four starts and yet the Cardinals have been able to bash two home runs on both him and Richards in this series.
DeJong hit his 10th home run on Tuesday to become the ninth Cardinal to hit double-digit home runs in each of his first two seasons. He also came through on Wednesday with a two-run double off Marlins reliever Kyle Barraclough in the eighth inning. Molina hit a two-run double in the top of the ninth to round out the scoring.
The Cardinals are four games behind the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Wildcard. Those two teams are separated by a half game so there’s still hope for plenty of teams like the Cardinals.
About: Tony Capobianco
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