With his team having lost the first two games of the series to their division rival, the game being televised to a national audience, and the humidity smothering down on the ballpark, Jack Flaherty responded by throwing his first career scoreless start as the St. Louis Cardinals beat Chicago 5-0 on Sunday night.
“The game started at 7:05, it was a night game, and it was a Sunday–played games before that started at 7:05, that’s all I’ve got to say about it,” responded Flaherty before showing a smile. “You all don’t see it, but we have fun. Yeah, absolutely. We’ll have a great flight right now and get into Philly and then go get after them tomorrow. There’s fun, oh yeah.”
Flaherty finished with a line of 5.0 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 3 BBs, 7 Ks, and 2 HBP.
Twice he struck out the batter to end an inning with the bases loaded, looking more like a veteran than a 22-year old rookie.
“That was impressive by Jack,” praised Mike Matheny. “He got into some deep counts where there was a lot going on and he stayed focused. We’ve seen that now for a couple starts–we talked about that last time about him being on base and trying to keep his legs under him when he’s still kind of trying to catch his breath after running the bases. He comes out and puts it back together. Today, having traffic and making great pitches when he did against a great offense. I thought a great outing by Jack. He made the most out of what he had.”
“It just comes down to executing at that point,” said Flaherty. “When you get in spots like that, you’ve got to trust your stuff, trust Yadi–which is easy to do and trust the defense to make plays, which is kind of what happened tonight.”
In nine starts this season, Flaherty has held the opponent to one run or less. And today he did so with a combination of a 97mph fastball for one of the bases loaded strikeouts, but also mixing in his secondary pitches.
“Having Jack reach back and show some special stuff–but he had good movement all day,” said Matheny. “The sinker, at times you’d look at it from the side, it had a little more depth than what we’re used to seeing. The slider was a swing and miss pitch for him again. It was a good use of his good stuff when he got in trouble.”
–Matt Carpenter hit his 10th home run of the season. It is the 107th of his career, which moves him into sole possession of 20th all-time in Cardinals history. He now trails Scott Rolen (111) for 19th place.
–Tommy Pham extended his hitting streak to 11 games (.289, 13-45), which is currently the longest active streak in the National League. Close behind is Marcell Ozuna with a 10-game streak (.395, 15-38).
photo credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports