Wednesday was a good night for Matt — all three on the St. Louis Cardinals roster.
It also was a good night for the Cardinals overall, as they finished a perfect 5-0 home stand with sweeps of the Miami Marlins and Houston Astros.
The Astros had a 2-0 lead in the second when Matt Adams came up with Allen Craig on via a walk. After Craig moved up to second on a wild pitch, Adams connected — as he so often does — and singled. Craig scored to make it 2-1.
It was not the best of nights for Shelby Miller. He lasted only 5 innings, allowing 5 hits and 5 of those 6 walks plus 3 runs. He did strike out 5 but left trailing 3-1.
Enter Matt Holliday in the bottom of the fifth with two outs. Following hits by Tony Cruz and pinch-hitter Shane Robinson, and with Matt Carpenter at first via a walk, he was up with the bases loaded. And he came through to tie the game with a single to right (and likely improved Shelby’s mood as well).
The score stay tied until the top of the seventh when Brett Wallace, who had four hits against the team that drafted him, singled off Seth Maness to score Jose Altuve and give the Astros the lead once again.
Because then Matt Carpenter came up with Cruz on first. And there’s was no doubt where the ball was going once he hit it, which gave the Cards their first lead of the night — which, really, was the only one they needed.
Trevor Rosenthal and Edward Mujica both made things a little interesting in the eighth and ninth innings, but they both did what they needed to — kept the Astros off the board. Mujica earned his 25th save, while Maness earned the win.
Back to the offense, though. The Cardinals now have three of the top four hitters in the National League: Yadi leading the league at .343, Allen Craig is third at .327 and Matt C is third at .322. (Michael Cuddyer and his .337 average are intruding in second.)
And Matt C is not just having a nice break-out, All-Star first half.
Nope. He’s having a historic one — as this graphic from Fox Sports Midwest’s post-game demonstrates.
How’s that for company — doing something only two Hall-of-Fame Cardinals have done before? And how about a reminder that he’s also playing a new position and new to the lead-off spot?
Speaking of Carpenters, there was big news yesterday about the other one on the Cardinals — Chris. Following a three-inning simulated game at Busch Stadium, it was announced he will begin a minor-league rehab assignment by pitching for the Double A Springfield Cardinals on Monday. Read the details here:
Needless to say, a tremendous step forward for CC — and quite the journey back, yet again, from what was thought this time to be a career-ending injury. And, if you’re in the Springfield, Mo., vicinity and going to Monday’s game, let me know! It would be great to post some pictures and a first-hand account!
Now that the perfect home stand is over, the Cards head north to Chicago and will face the Cubs for the final four games before the All-Star break. Game one is tonight starting at 7:05 p.m., with Jake Westbrook facing former teammate Edwin Jackson.
Plus tomorrow at AMF, a recap of the game from a Cubs fan. So here’s hoping that the Cards treat Edwin Jackson like That Guy Who Used to Play First Base and his teammates treated Jeff Samardzija last night …
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.