BOTTOM OF THE NINTH: CARDINALS 10
(5) – 8 PIRATES
The Cardinals are scraping by. Week by week. Plumbing the depths of decent, of well-roundedness—and, in a way we don’t know how, scraping their way into contention.
They’re down 8-5 in the ninth.
And a string of no-namers comes up: Bader, Voit, Munoz.
Cardinals' WAR leaders, June 1 (source: Fangraphs):
1. Tommy Pham, 1.8
2. Paul DeJong, 1.6
3. Miles Mikolas, 1.5
4-T. Harrison Bader, 1.1
4-T. Michael Wacha, 1.1#stlcards
— Joe Trezza (@JoeTrezz) June 1, 2018
The Pirates have Felipe Vazquez on the mound to close. 3.22 ERA on the year. A win would tie them in the standings with St. Louis.
And on a full count, Harrison Bader at bat, he gives up a double down the line to left.
What the hell is a Harrison Bader?
— Brad Ford (@BrewCrewBlue) May 30, 2018
Tommy Pham gets on base after a sharp ground ball bounces off the glove of Sean Rodriguez—and the tying run comes up to the plate.
Sean Rodriguez is hitting .174. He got brought in for defense last night& made an error. He's started TWENTY GAMES this yr. He hit .167 last yr. How the frig is Rodriguez still on the Pirates, or in the major lgs? #DFA
— Mark Madden (@MarkMaddenX) June 1, 2018
Marcell Ozuna walks, and in comes Luke Voit to pinch hit.
“The St. Louis native!” they say on TV.
Okay Luke Voit, former Missouri State Bears and St Louis Native, it’s up to you. Bases loaded, no outs, go for it.
— La Zona Deportiva (@lazonadeportiva) June 1, 2018
He singles on a line drive to left. Two runs score. Ozuna sneaks into third base, hustling over from first.
Cardinals down one. No outs.
And then, Yairo Munoz comes up. Vasquez still pitching.
We don’t know who he is, but he looks good up there. He sounds good up there. Yairo. Yairo. Yairo.
And with a 0-0 count, a fastball down the middle, Yairo puts a ball onto the grass in center field. Onto the other grass, the far back grass. Beyond center field. Crashing down onto the hill, bouncing, twice, and staying put.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 1, 2018
The quickest five-run rally you’ll ever see.
Not one pitching change, no commercial, eighteen pitches, six minutes.
And when the season began, you looked around the NL Central, you looked around the league, and you thought: How are the Cardinals going to match this?
They picked up Fowler. They picked up Ozuna. But how are they going to match this? The Cubs, the Brewers, the Nationals, the Dodgers, the Giants, the others.
An answer, scrappy and inconsistent, has arrived—mixing and matching its way into a string of wins just long enough to compete.
Luke Voit and Yairo Muñoz. Just like Mo, Mike, and Mike drew it up back in February.
— Matthew Leach (@MatthewHLeach) June 1, 2018
The No-Name Birds of St. Louis are here. Scraping their way into legitimacy.
Into the old, intimidating ways of the Cardinals we know.
When they give Luke Voit and Yairo Munoz their Red Jackets one day, I'll always remember this moment in history.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) June 1, 2018