Cardinals Shut Down by Garland

Jon Garland won his first ever start against the Cardinals 1-0 Tuesday night on a Jerry Hairston Jr. home run.

How dominant was Adam Wainwright?  He didn’t allow a single baserunner to get to third.  In fact, only two runners, Yorvit Torrrealba in the fifth, Will Venable in the sixth, made it as far as second.  He struck out 12, including Padre masher Adrian Gonzalez times.  One reads a game recap like that and expects to see Wainwright with the win.

Nope.  He made one single mistake, a hung curve ball to Hairston Jr, and Jerry hit it out.  Talk about unlikely.  Hairston has 20 HR in 3,766 plate appearances; in other words, he hits a HR once every 188 times he walks to the dish.  Wainwright did make one more mistake to Venable, but Ryan Ludwick ran it down.

I talked yesterday about the need to make Garland work.  Here’s the pitch counts for his seven innings:

  • First:  29
  • Second:  19
  • Third:  13 (double play)
  • Fourth:  8 (strike ’em out, throw ’em out)
  • Fifth:  8
  • Sixth:  14
  • Seventh:  15 (double play)

The first two innings the Cardinals were very patient.  In the first they did everything right but score.  Second inning, two on with two out and Ludwick left them there.  After the second, Garland averaged 12 pitches an inning.  Granted, the three double plays turned by the Padres (two conventionally, one a caught stealing on the back-end of a Yadier Molina strikeout) bailed Garland out and killed budding Cardinal rallys.  Although the Padre bullpen is very good, letting Garland negotiate seven innings was not the recipe for success against him.

The other thing from last night was a complete lack of extra base hits.  Other writers will cover the dearth of Cardinal hitting in detail – the grumbling about Mark McGwire as a hitting coach are starting to get louder, but from a performance perspective this time – but one would think a team that features power hitters like Ludwick/Pujols/Holliday/Freese could find a way to get a double in every game.

Last night was the fourth time this season the Cardinals failed to record an extra base hit in a game.  The last time was 3 weeks ago against Roy Halladay.  Barry Zito and Brett Myers also did it.  Adam Wainwright started two of those 4 games.

Kevin Correia will probably go to the hill tonight with the same game plan Garland had Tuesday.  The Cardinals’ response needs to be the same:  be patient, work good at bats, score early.  Otherwise, the as-yet unnamed Cardinal starter tomorrow will be looking to salvage one game of this series.

My coverage of this game from the Padre perspective can be found here.  Yes the content is different.

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Filed under Cardinals recap, NL Central, San Diego Padres, St Louis Cardinals

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