(Busch Stadium) With his St. Louis Cardinals team in need of a deep start, rookie Luke Weaver delivered his first scoreless start as he blanked San Diego for seven innings in route to tonight’s 6-2 win.
An aggressive Weaver struck out 10 batters and walked only one while scattering three hits.
“It also helps when the command’s kind of there,” said Weaver. “I just told myself behind in counts, trust your pitch. It’s out of your control at that point, just let the defense work. It paid off.”
“I thought he was great,” stated Mike Matheny. “Had a good fastball, a little deep counts early–the 1st inning was really the only one he looked like he was pulling outside the edges trying to find that rhythm, but then he found it. I thought the changeup was very good. Breaking ball. He had everything. And then he was able to raise the eye-level. He was able to make real nice fastball pitches late in the count. This was an impressive start.”
Weaver has now struck out 18 batters in his last two starts and joins Alan Benes as the only two Cardinals pitchers with multiple double-digit strikeouts in their first 15 appearances.
At times sporting an angry scowl in his previous start, Weaver kept his intensity but in a more relaxed manner against San Diego.
“Probably a better balance,” agreed Weaver. “Sometimes when you pitch angry, things kind of get out of control. But if that’s channeled into the right way, it can be very good. I think tonight was a way to balance both–pitch with a little grit, feel confident, and make sure I can execute those pitches. Just always trying to learn every time I get out there.”
“I’ve never seen a lack of intensity,” said Matheny. “He’s been pretty consistent for me. It’s just been about him trusting his stuff more than anything else. He’s just been playing outside the strike zone trying to get chases more than making good pitches in the zone and trusting defense and trusting his stuff is good enough. I don’t think it’s been an issue where so many guys we do have that–is how you find that balance of the intensity. The intensity has always kind of been there. He has a real good demeanor on the mound. Thought he was very focused and it comes down to execution though and he executed.”
–Kolten Wong, who has hit safely (.455) in his last six games stole the 50th base of his career.
–Dexter Fowler drove in his 50th RBI of the season, his first time reaching that total since 2012.
–Seung Hwan Oh did not record an out for the first time in his 130 MLB appearances.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports