The scoreless streak has now reached 23 consecutive innings for Jack Flaherty, who turned in seven innings tonight without allowing a runner to touch home as his St. Louis Cardinals beat Kansas City 2-0.
“As long as at the end of the day we have more runs than they do, that’s all that matters,” Flaherty said. “It’s just continuing to go out and execute. Early in the game, they put a lot of balls in play but guys were in the right spots. Dex chased down a couple, Ozu went and chased down a few. Guys were in the right spots early on so it was fun.”
The streak is the longest for a Cardinals pitcher since Trevor Rosenthal threw 23.2 scoreless innings in 2015 and the longest for a St. Louis starter since Adam Wainwright posted 25 straight shutout innings in 2014.
Besides keeping Kansas City off the board, Flaherty struck out seven batters to raise his season total to 157 in 24 starts.
“He’s just really doing a great job coming after guys and commanding the zone,” Matt Carpenter said. “Jack’s a guy who can punch out a lot of guys, but I think when he’s at his best is when he’s pitching to contact. He’s going to get his strikeouts regardless, but when that pitch count’s lower and he’s going deeper in games and he’s getting guys out earlier in the count, that’s when he’s at his best. And that’s what we’re seeing.”
“Just execution and trusting stuff,” Flaherty said. “You don’t have to nibble all the time. Sometimes you’re going to fall behind and get into not so great counts. You just have to challenge hitters, depending on the situations, playing the games within the game. Not just playing to the corners every time, sometimes you have to go out and challenge a guy. And then you get into a situation with first and second and nobody out, there it’s time to bear down, try to work the corners and really execute.”
The win improved Flaherty’s record to 6-6 on the season. It was only his second win in his last seven starts, despite owning a 0.79 ERA (4 ER in 45.1 IP) and holding opponents to a .142 batting average (22-for-155) during the stretch.
Being in an American League park, Flaherty didn’t get to do any of his own batting on the night.
“No, it was boring sitting there and not getting in the game at all,” Flaherty laughed. “It was good watching those guys and getting everybody in the lineup, but it’s more fun getting to go up there and have an at-bat or two or three.”
Reliever Andrew Miller (19 holds) threw 1.1 innings and Carlos Martinez got the final two outs for his 13th save of the season.
The Cardinals (62-55) have won four games in a row and now trail Chicago by only one game in the National League Central.
–The sacrifice fly by Paul Goldschmidt which gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead in the first inning also marked his first RBI against Kansas City. Goldschmidt now has at least one run driven in against all 30 MLB teams.