(Busch Stadium) For the first time in the month of May, the St. Louis Cardinals posted back-to-back victories, accomplishing the feat in dramatic fashion as Matt Carpenter delivered a ground rule, walk-off single in the 10th inning for the 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.
“They had their entire 25-man roster on the right side of the field,” quipped Carpenter, who faced an extreme shift with four Cubs on the right side of the infield and only two outfielders. “I just knew that hitting pull side on the ground–pull side in the air, that’s fine. We could still score. Pull side on the ground was not an option, so my approach in that at-bat was to look for something to hit the other way and get something in the air and was able to do it.”
Carpenter took the first pitch from Steve Cishek inside for a ball and then launched the second pitch ten feet inside the foul line towards the left field corner. It bounced off the dirt over the wall and brought home Kolten Wong from third with the winning run.
“In that situation, you can really sell out to the left side because you don’t need a hit to win the game,” Carpenter continued. “I can hit a fly ball to left field in my sleep. You get a pitch, you can do it. You can hit a can of corn to the left fielder for a sac fly to win the game. In that situation, just a lazy, fly ball–there’s nobody over there. That’s how it worked out.”
— Brian Stull (@StullySTL) June 1, 2019
In his career, Carpenter is now batting .510 (25-49) with 73 runs batted in with the bases loaded.
For the Cardinals, it was their first walk-off win of the season and improved their record to 9-18 in the month of May.
“Yeah, it was an ugly month as far as winning,” Carpenter said. “We did some things well, but the most important thing is winning games. We weren’t able to do it as consistently as we had hoped. We got a good team and we got good players. A lot of guys in here that are not performing like they wish they would, myself included. I have a feeling we’re all going to get going at the same time. Hopefully, tonight was the start of that.”
Starter Miles Mikolas went 7.0 innings and allowed the lone run with two walks and three strikeouts.
“I made some mistakes early in the game,” Mikolas said. “They came out swinging. I was kind of the middle of the zone and worked around that. Made some frustrating two strike pitches early in the game, cleaned it up a little bit as the game went on and found a groove there towards the later innings.”
Carlos Martinez threw a scoreless 8th inning and Jordan Hicks handled the 9th and 10th for his second win of the season.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports