If ever there were a time to get a sweep, this was the time to do it. The St. Louis Cardinals swept the Washington Nationals Wednesday afternoon with a 4-2 victory.
The Fox Sports Midwest crew pointed out another interesting tidbit about this sweep … it was the first time the Cardinals swept either the Expos or Nationals outside of St. Louis since September 1969.
Wow. Just. Wow!
So many great things about this game. Let’s discuss!
* Matt Holliday. Is he ever not clutch? Wow! Yes, that was sarcasm, kiddos! Yesterday he was 3 for 4 with a run and an RBI. In the eighth inning, Matty Ho singled on a grounder to short allowing Matt Carpenter to score. Matt Carp scored the fourth run of the day. A pretty pivotal insurance run for the Cards.
* Matt Carpenter. He was also 3 for 4. He scored two runs. In addition to the run he scored when Holliday drove him in, Marp led off the game with a double. With Holliday and Carlos Beltran also on base, Yadi singled a liner to Jayson Werth, scoring Carp and Holliday. One more run came in that inning as Daniel Descalso reached on a force to score Beltran.
Yay for productive first innings!
* Dirty Dan. He gets playing time sporadically these days. So why did he get the call Wednesday? According to a tweet from Post-Dispatch writer Derrick Goold:
* Jon Jay. Hey! Coming off the bench certainly seemed to work for you this time! He broke an 0 for 21 streak with a single to center field in the eighth inning. Hopefully this was just the kick start he needed.
* Cardinals Pitching. The starting pitching remained great and the relief staff seemed a little more … settled. Jaime Garcia improved to 2-1 on season. He pitched 5.2 innings, giving up four hits and one earned run. He walked one and struck out three. Excellent for Jaime!
Joe Kelly got another pitching appearance! He even got a little bit of a longer appearance this time too! Kelly pitched 1.1 innings. He gave up two hits and made things a little interesting and tense for a few moments. But he struck out two, including the last batter he faced. That K seemed to give Kelly a jolt of needed confidence. By the way, seriously enjoyed these tweets from Goold regarding Pitching Coach Derek Lilliquist and Kelly.
It was Derek Lilliquist who called Joe Kelly a “Ferrari in the garage,” the explanation is here: bit.ly/11kXQK7 #stlcards #cardinals — Derrick Goold (@dgoold) April 24, 2013
#Cardinals RHP Joe “Ferrari” Kelly hits 98 mph with his fifth pitch of a key strikeout there in the sixth inning. No longer in the garage. — Derrick Goold (@dgoold) April 24, 2013
Next up, Trevor Rosenthal pitched the 8th inning. He gave up one hit. Guess what that one hit was, my friends? That would be a home run to Jayson Werth to make it 4-2. He walked Bryce Harper and then settled down and struck out the next two batters – Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond.
Edward Mujica came in to pitch the ninth and earned his fourth save of the season by getting hitters to either fly or ground out.
* Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals star pitcher didn’t look as amazing as we have been lead to believe. He pitched seven innings and while he did strike out seven, he also gave up five hits, a walk and three earned runs. It is the first of the season still. He will come around and pitch lights out, I’m sure. Hopefully not against the Cardinals though!
The Cardinals are now 13-8 with a half game lead over the Cincinnati Reds, who play the Nationals this weekend. The Cardinals start a series at Busch against the Pirates tomorrow night.
Miranda Remaklus is a contributor to Aaron Miles’ Fastball. She’s also lead writer for Aerys Offsides in the NFL section. Follow her on Twitter, @missmiranda.