This blog was written as part of a United Cardinals Bloggers project, the "Progressive Game Blog". My responsibility was to write about the Cardinals half (bottom) of the 8th inning of the game on Saturday, May 7 vs. MIL.
What else really can be said about the bottom of the 8th? Thanks to a base hit up the middle by Daniel Descalso, Yovani Gallardo was unable to extend what, up to that point, had been 7 innings of no-hit baseball. Descalso's single would prove to be the only hit the Cardinals could come up with in Saturday's 4-0 loss to the Brewers. I suppose the take-away today is that "at least we weren't no-hit".
Insanely, Jamie Garcia came close to throwing a perfect game against this Milwaukee ballclub the night before, and while Gallardo was carrying a no-no into the 8th against the Cardinals today, Justin Verlander did the same, only finished his no-hit bid, against the Toronto Bluejays. Outstanding performances all the way around! Crazy how good the pitching has been the last two nights in St. Louis on both sides--Kyle Lohse takes a REALLY tough loss today, after a phenomenal performance, giving up only one run in 8 innings. Mama said there'd be days like this.
The Cardinals scored six runs on Friday night, but went hitless after the 4th inning of that contest. The drought extended through the first 7 on Saturday, making for eleven consecutive innings without a hit--hardly a recipe for winning under any circumstances. Though, I suppose the silver lining is that those eleven innings were spread out over two games. (Not exactly the same thing as a Jimmy Rollins hitting streak, but I'll take it)
So, in a nutshell, here's what the bottom of the 8th looked like...
Descalso singled on the 3rd pitch he saw, breaking up Yovani Gallardo's no-hitter. Then, Tyler Greene stepped in, and in between a couple of pickoff attempts, worked the count to 3-0 before bunting foul to strikeout. Gotta execute there. Given that Greene couldn't move the runner over, TLR decided to pinch hit John Jay for Lohse (who, at 107 pitches was likely done for the day anyway, given what the Cardinals lineup had done up to that point in the day). Jay grounded the ball to Rickie Weeks at 2B (and broke his bat doing so, if I recall), who took the fielder's choice, and got the lead runner, Descalso, out at 2B. So, with two outs & Jay on 1B, Nick Punto dug into the box. He took a ball, then swung at the next pitch he saw, flying out to LF, Ryan Braun to end the 8th.