Through the seventh inning, the St. Louis Cardinals‘ Adam Wainwright dominated the Cincinnati Reds with a wide variety of pitches. The pitchers’ duel came down to the Cardinals taking advantage of mistakes and the Reds failing to execute when they had the chance.
Wainwright racked up nine strikeouts and only three hits through seven shutout innings, consistently fooling good hitters at the plate to earn his 100th career victory. On the flip side, the Reds’ Johnny Cueto also pitched well. He had virtually the same numbers, with eight strikeouts and only three hits through seven innings. The difference in the game was just one of those three hits.
The Cardinals made a few blunders on the defensive side of the ball during the eighth inning, and the Reds twice had the tying run on third base but just could not score. That was the case the entire game in what really was a game void of any solid offense.
The only reason this game ended after the ninth inning was a solo homer by the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina to left field in the seventh, capitalizing on one of Cueto’s very few mistakes. The Reds had chances throughout the game, but some mental errors also contributed to their demise.
At one point the Reds’ perennial MVP candidate Joey Votto just flat out did not run to first base on a hacked swinging bunt that rested in front of the plate, which led to an easy double play. Those are the kind of plays that get you crummy runs in pitching duels. Also, leadoff speedster Billy Hamilton didn’t help the cause by swinging at every bad pitch and watching good pitches hit the glove.
This was a very similar game to the earlier matchup between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The game was won by the Cardinals because of good pitching but also because the Reds shot blanks with ducks on the pond. The Reds will be a contender, but with their injuries right now, they’ll have to execute when they have the opportunity to steal a few wins before more of their regulars return.