Any win is great — especially for the St. Louis Cardinals lately. And the 5-4 walk-off win over the Miami Marlins definitely qualified as a great one.
To begin with, it was the first walk-off of 2013 for the Cards … and it took until game number 86 to do it. (Perhaps not surprisingly, they are the last team in MLB to win that way this year.)
Until now, their record when tied after seven innings was 3-4, only 2-6 when tied after eight and they were 11-15 when the opponent scored first.
Second, the biggest hits of the game didn’t come from those you might expect — but instead from pinch hitters. While Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran drove in the first two runs of the game, it was a seventh inning home run from Matt Adams, batting for Seth Maness, that tied the game. See it, or see it again, here.
The walk-off was the result of Jon Jay walking with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and Shane Robinson, hitting for Edward Mujica, singling to right. That advanced Jay to third, which was the perfect place for him to be when the throw from Giancarlo Stanton skipped past Logan Morrison and allowed Jay to score — “a gift handed to St. Louis” as Dan McLaughlin called it. (Sometimes, like on that walk-off call, his exuberance actually fits.)
Third, if it seems like it’s been a while since the Cardinals won back-to-back games, that’s because it has been. Since June 19-20 against the Cubs, actually, and those games against the Cubs were the last time the Cards won a series too.
So things are getting more back on track for the Cardinals, though not everything is sunshine and rainbows. For the second straight game, one Cardinal made two fielding errors — this time Daniel Descalso at shortstop (where Matt Carpenter had made two errors in Friday night’s win).
On offense, the Cards grounded into two more double plays to give them 89 for the season. That ties them with the Angels for the major league lead.
Pitching-wise, Joe Kelly gave up all four runs to the Marlins on five hits, which included two homers, over six innings. Not terrible, but not necessarily something to dance about either. The three innings the bullpen covered, however — feel free to shake it over what Seth Maness, Trevor Rosenthal and Edward Mujica did. One hit, one walk, although only one strikeout. And Mujica, for the second straight appearance since his blown save, retired all three batters he faced in order.
Plus right after the game, to top off the walk-off excitement, came the news that an NL-leading five Cardinals were named All-Stars.
One of those, top vote-getter and all-around BAMF Yadier Molina, had an MRI on his right knee Saturday and the results will be available today. Here’s hoping, obviously, that it’s nothing serious. Yadi is — well, Yadi is Yadi. We know what he means to the team.
Today the Cards will attempt to win three in a row for the first time since the end of May, but it could be a challenge. The Marlins only All-Star, 20-year-old rookie Jose Fernandez, will be starting against Lance Lynn, who will be attempting to get back on track and avoid the one bad inning that’s plagued him recently. Game time is 1:15 p.m.
Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.