(Busch Stadium) In a game with potential playoff implications it is usually rare for the losing team to have a mostly positive takeaway from the outcome, but that was the prevailing mood in the St. Louis Cardinals clubhouse after their 9-7 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night.
“Clearly, you’re frustrated after any loss but I can tell you this–you’re down 8-1 against Kershaw and we’ve got their closer throwing 29 pitches in the 9th with the tying run in Matt Adams at the plate,” pointed out manager Mike Shildt. “It speaks volumes about how this team competes regardless of the situation. We talk about consistency, we talk about habits. That was on full display tonight. I’m really proud of the guys tonight. They 1 thru 9 battled to the end. That’s what this team does.”
The Cardinals scored three runs in the 5th inning to cut the lead to 8-4 and the teams traded runs in the 7th. St. Louis then added two more runs in the 9th before making the final out.
Clayton Kershaw earned his 8th win of the season, but allowed four runs (three earned) and struck out 8 batters in 6.0 innings of work. The Dodgers then used three more pitchers–including closer Kenley Jansen to finish things off.
“This is a positive game, 100%,” said Jose Martinez, who had a hit and scored a run. “We actually did everything we needed to do to stay in the game. We put some pressure, when you’ve got an open game like that, just keep putting pressure on the other team. Especially with one of the best pitchers in the game. Every time like a man on first, man on first and second no outs–it’s like it’s showing that we were here just to give up. We’re here to battle.”
Rookie Austin Gomber suffered the first loss of his career. He allowed 7 earned runs on 9 hits in 3.0+ innings. Of note was a 14-pitch at-bat from David Freese in the 1st inning that resulted in a 2-run triple.
“I threw him everything I had,” said Gomber. “I went back and looked at the video, I thought the first 13 pitches were good pitches and the 14th one wasn’t. He made me pay. Kind of just how the night went. They put some swings on pitches that I thought were good pitches.”
Gomber was relieved by Tyson Ross, who besides covering 3.0 innings of just one run scoring, also hit his 2nd career home run. Cardinals pitchers have now hit six home runs on the season between Miles Mikolas (2), John Gant (2), Carlos Martinez, and Ross. The franchise record is 8 home runs hit by pitchers, set in the 1972 season.
3 MILLION AND COUNTING…
–With a Thursday night attendance of 44,997 the St. Louis Cardinals passed the 3 million mark for the 15th consecutive season and 22nd time in franchise history. The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are the only other teams in MLB to draw more than 3 million fans so far this season.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports