For the last five years, members of the United Cardinal Bloggers participate in a progressive game blog, with each writer sharing their perspectives on an inning of a game. This year, we will look at a Saturday afternoon game between the Cardinals and Brewers from May 4.
We take over from our friend, Bill Ivie at I70-baseball , as the game moves into the fifth inning. As expected, this has turned into something of a pitchers duel, and the innings are starting to move by rather quickly. Both starters struggled in the early going, Adam Wainwright in the first inning and Yovani Gallardo moments later in the second. A three run homer by Jon Jay and two run shot by Jean Segura account for all of the runs in the game. So far.
Both teams will be turning over the lineup card in this inning. Due up for the Cardinals in the top of the inning are Pete Kozma, Adam Wainwright and Matt Carpenter.
Pete Kozma (0-1, ground out) swings at the first pitch and grounds out.
Adam Wainwright (0-1, strike out), currently second in career home runs among active players (6), works the count on Gallardo, but eventually flies out harmlessly to center field.
That brings Matt Carpenter (0-2, fly out, line out) to the plate. After throwing curve balls for strikes, and fastballs just off the plate, Gallardo strikes out Carpenter looking with a fastball right at the knees.
Yovani Gallardo ends the inning at 69 pitches.
Coming up to bat for the Brewers, Yovani Gallardo, Norichika Aoki and Jean Segura. If anybody gets on, Ryan Braun.
Gallardo (0-1, fly out) is the current home run leader among active pitchers (12), but does not add to that total as Wainwright strikes him out looking with one of his trademark curveballs. In the shadows from the late afternoon sun, that was an exceptionally nasty pitch.
Norichika Aoki (1-1, single, hbp, run) slaps a single to center, Ichiro style. For the Brewers, that would be the first hit since the first inning.
Jean Segura (1-2, home run, double play) smokes a single up the middle, with Aoki taking second base on the play.
With the tying run now in scoring position, Ryan Braun (0-2, strikeout, ground out) steps up to the plate. Braun works the count full, and then Wainwright throws a 93 mph fastball right past the Brewers slugger for a strikeout. He is now one pitch away from getting out of this jam.
Make that two pitches, as Yuniesky Betancourt (1-2, single, fly out) hits Wainwright’s second pitch, his 78th of the game, up the middle and Pete Kozma easily makes the play, throwing Betancourt out to end the inning.
The inning ends with the Cardinals leading Milwaukee, 3-2. For the sixth inning, we hand control over to Wes Keane at Keene on MLB. But before we do, it is worth looking back at that first inning and the play Pete Kozma made to end it. As the innings go by, that play becomes more and more significant.