Throughout this series against Milwaukee, the Brewers have employed a defensive shift against Matt Carpenter. The St. Louis Cardinals infielder has shown bunt on a couple of those occasions–including tonight in the 11th inning. Thankfully for Carpenter and the Cardinals, his effort went foul as the two pitches later he knocked the ball over the right field wall for the 5-3 walk off win.
“I’m really happy and everybody in this room is happy about it too,” chuckled Carpenter. “I was just going to try and beat out a bunt and worse case, have a runner at second. But, like I said, glad it didn’t work.”
The Cardinals tied the game in three different innings before Carpenter’s homer to finish things off for their first extra inning victory (1-1) of the season.
“There’s always a win every year that kind of jump starts you or gets you on the page–we haven’t been playing bad, but we haven’t been clicking like we know we’re capable of and this might be the game that gets us on a little roll here,” said Carpenter. “Hopefully, we can come out tomorrow, win the series and have a nice road trip.”
The home run was the third walk-off in Carpenter’s career and was his second hit of the night.
“It’s the first week of the season, conditions have been ugly, it’s tough to hit right now for everybody,” said Carpenter. “It’s all about having good at-bats and keep playing. Today’s a good example of that. If you would’ve told me in the 9th that I’d have a chance to hit a walk-off homer, you wouldn’t believe it. But that’s why you play. You keep playing and you get a chance.”
Greg Garcia entered the game in the 7th inning and delivered his first hit of the season in the bottom half of the inning. He followed that with a sacrifice bunt in the 9th and then drove in a run to tie things 3-3 in the 10th.
“I wasn’t like panicking, it was all pinch-hitting and stuff like that but it’s tough–those 0-fers add up,” said Garcia. “My teammates do a great job keeping me feeling good, the coaching staff they’ve always done that, everyone knows how hard that role is. I always come to the park every single with a positive attitude but pf course, it’s nice to get that first one out of the way. It took me 11 games, or whatever, but as long as we won that’s all that really matters.”
Carlos Martinez started the game and allowed one earned run through his six innings of work. Dominic Leone struck out a pair of batters for a scoreless 11th inning to earn his first win as a Cardinal.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports