Saturday marked the annual Progressive Game Blog collaboration by the United Cardinal Bloggers, where a host of the member site from the UCB come together to cover a game, frame by frame. Here at I70, we were assigned the second inning and ninth inning, with me carrying the front end. Coming into the second inning, the Cardinals had just scored the first run of the game and carried a 1-0 lead.
To recap the first inning, head to Aaron Miles’ Fastball for coverage.
Top of the second—Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0
The story: The Cardinals entered the inning with a fresh one run lead, after Jhonny Peralta’s ground out which allowed Kolten Wong to score in the bottom of the first. Paired with a lead, Wacha set back to work on the Dodgers’ 5-6-7 lineup, with Andre Ethier, Yasmani Grandal and Scott Van Slyke set to come to the plate.
Working at his usual quick work rate, Wacha set back into what he began in the first inning. The Dodger right fielder Ethier set in first. Entering carrying a .306 average on the season, he has proved once again why LA is in a dilemma to find at-bats for their plethora of outfield talents. Wacha worked quickly working the quick swinging Ethier into a 0-1 hole off a foul ball, before missing with a fastball away for a ball. In the end, he quickly dispatched of Ethier as he drove the third pitch of the at-bat to Randall Grichuk in right field for the first out.
Grandal was next to the plate, and followed suit with Ethier in checking in with a quick 1-1 count. Following a foul ball and near miss fastball off the corner of the plate, Wacha lost a curve instead and led to a full count. Following a pair of fastballs fouled away, the bout between Grandal and Wacha ended on a broken bat ground out to second base and the inning’s second out in as many batters.
Local product Scott Van Slyke of John Burroughs High School was the third Dodger batter, as the rain began to check back into the affairs. Following his established suit thus far, Wacha made quick work of Van Slyke as he grounded out on the third pitch he say to Peralta, ending a quick Dodger frame.
Analysis: Wacha dominated the pace of play and delivered his fastball with confidence. The Dodger woes at the plate were clear in reason why, as they were very aggressive early in the at-bat, opting to swing over ease into the at-bat. However, in fairness to Wacha he did command the zone with tough to pass on pitches and attacked the way it should be expected against a lineup eager from both a prolonged shutout streak and downtime from a rain delay.
- Andre Ethier fly out to right fielder Randall Grichuk
- Yasmani Grandal groundout to second baseman Kolten Wong, force to Mark Reynolds at first.
- Scott Van Slyke groundout to shortstop Jhonny Peralta, force to 1B Mark Reynolds.
Bottom of the Second—Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0
The Story: Right-hander Carlos Frias took back to the mound after surrendering the first run of the game in bottom of the first, with Yadier Molina, Jon Jay and Mark Reynolds awaiting due up in the bottom half of the inning.
The rain picked up in intensity as Frias opened up with balls in his first two pitches. Molina swung on the first hittable pitch of the at-bat and hit a towering pop up on the third base side of the infield, where the weather situation made for a more complicated than usual catch for third baseman Justin Turner. But the out was made and the first Cardinal hitter was retired on three pitches.
Jay was next to the plate and Frias opened up with a fastball low and inside for a strike. After losing a fastball inside for a ball, the next pitch was over the outside corner of the plate, which Jay drove into left field. The rain re-emerged as an issue again on this play, as the left fielder Van Slyke slipped while fielding the ball and allowed it to bounce away into the corner. Jay took the easy extra base, and then looked for more, rounding the corner at second and heading towards third.
Van Slyke got back to his feet and quickly caught up to the ball. He fired it ahead of Jay to Turner at third base, who quickly put the tag on Jay and lost the extra base that he was gifted by Mother Nature.
With two outs, Reynolds came to the plate and took a strike on the outside corner. Frias changed speeds and caught the Cardinal first baseman swinging with his next pitch to work a quick 0-2 count. After a pair more pitches, Reynolds connected for a short chopper on the infield which Turner came up from at third base to make a sharp play to end an eventful inning for him.
Analysis: The weather clearly impacted the inning, as Cardinal batters were aggressive at the plate and did not work any counts deep. Frias did well at locating down in the zone and letting his defense do the work. Jay’s indiscretion on the bases simplified this some, but the hit did no damage in the big picture.
- Yadier Molina: pop up to third baseman Justin Turner
- Jon Jay: base hit to left field, advanced to second on error by outfielder Scott Van Slyke. Thrown out on attempt to stretch to third base by Van Slyke.
- Mark Reynolds: ground out to third baseman Turner, force to Adrian Gonzalez at first base.
To continue following the UCB Progressive game blog head over to Cardinals Nerve Center for third inning action and analysis.