We are sitting five rows up from the third base line at yesterday's game. Great game. Well, save the two runs given up by the St. Louis Cardinals Adam Wainwright (one on an error) that gave the San Francisco 4-2 lead in the top of seventh. However, Yadier Molina in the bottom seven, covered the deficit with a two-run homer. Yes, the roar of the crowd was deafening with our appreciation. Both teams were held to go into the tenth. That's when Busch Stadium lighted up, again, with one swing of the bat by rookie Tyler O'Neill.
Cardinals rookie Tyler O'Neill came into the game in the seventh with a switch made by Manager Mike Shildt, to replace Jose Martinez in rightfield. In the tenth, he knocked out his first major league walk-off home run for the Cardinals 5-4 win in the tenth.
If anyone is familiar with me, they know my statement about Wainwright above was tongue-n-cheek. I, for one, hold a great deal of respect for him and happy he is back in the Cardinals rotation. Even though he gave a total four earned runs, he had a solid start while fanning six, issuing no walks. By his standards, I'm sure he feels he could have done better and will be determined to so. He will face the Chicago Cubs, Friday, September 28 in his next scheduled start.
And in the course of his stand, Giants rookie Dereck Rodriguez had two outs on the board in the second, Wainwright knocked in a RBI single. In essence he canceled out one of his runs given up.
CARDINALS ROOKIE TYLER O'NEILL
After Tyler O'Neill slugging out his two-out walk-off solo home run, 414 feet over the left wall, arriving home to meet his teammates, the celebration began.
Will Tyler O'Neill now be the Cardinals "Incredible Hulk"? If the build of one's body deems it so, O'Neill fits the bill.
Part of that celebration, teammates determination to rip his jersey and t-shirt away from him. For all to see to exposed "nothing but defined ripples" a lot of men dream about (winking and smiling here) and a 'WOW' from the view in abundance by the ladies.
If anyone questions Tyler O'Neill's 'bulk' being synthetically enhanced, they are totally wrong. His father, Terry O'Neill who was an award winning body-builder in the 1970's from Canada, taught him the body is a temple that is kept with continued maintenance - weight-training, exercise and diet.
Not only his first MLB walk-off winning run for a career record; but, that feat was quite the gift for his mom. Yesterday was her birthday.
SHILDT ONLY NEED TWO BULLPEN PIECES
Rookie Dakota Hudson took over for Wainwright in the seventh and continued for the eighth. He give up one hit, issued one walk but Giants were held to no runs.
Carlos Martinez, called for the ninth and would return for the extra inning. In his two frames, with two hits allowed, two walks, he fanned three with Austin Slater 'looking' to close the tenth. That was his eighth win this season. Second win in his relief role since he returned from his third DL stint this season, August 21. With earning his win Saturday, he matched his "relief" wins of his 2013 rookie season.
GIANTS RELIEVER MARK MELANCON
Mark Melancon was handed his second loss in as many games for this series. Friday's game, he gave up a 2-RBI double to Matt Adams in the eighth for the Cardinals 5-3 win. Yesterday, in the tenth he was called upon again. Two outs on the board and then, facing O'Neill, 2-2 count, and the rest is history.
Both Wainwright and D Rodriguez with a no-decision. Both gave up earned runs in the tied game. Rodriguez closed his day, 6 IP/1 HR/4 ER/1 BB/2 SO. Wainwright, 6.1 IP/4 ER/6 SO.
The Cardinals are holding in their NL #2 Wild Card spot 1.5 games in front of the Colorado Rockies. They are now only two games back of second place Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central, as the Pittsburgh Pirates hand the Brewers a 3-0 shutout on Saturday. Cardinals are 4.5 games back of the first place Chicago Cubs.
After this series with the Giants, as the Cardinals look to sweep the series, they will host the Brewers for three games beginning Monday night. Then travel to Wrigley Field to close their season against the Cubs in three games.
Even though a tough schedule to the end, the Cardinals will concentrate on 'one game at a time' to continue this extraordinary second half under Manager Mike Shildt.
NEXT UP ~ FIRST PITCH AT 1:15 CST
Cardinals Miles Mikolas (16-4/3.01 ERA) will face Giants Andrew Suarez (7-11/4.24 ERA).
This will be the first Mikolas has faced the Giants since 2012. Spending three years with the Japan leagues, St. Louis Cardinals signed a gem before this season began. Mikolas is the first of the Cardinals starters to reach 16 wins and they are 21-3 when he receives two-runs or more in support. At home, Mikolas is 7-4/2.23 ERA.
Suarez reportedly needs to mind his manners. Even with pitching a career high of 7.2 inning his last start, when he was pulled by manager Bruce Bochy, a show of annoyance to his skipper. Evidently not a sportsmanlike display. But he did receive his first win for this month against the San Diego Padres on the road. In September, in 19.2 IP, he has allowed 5 HR/10 ER/8 BB while logging 12 SO. For Suarez's season, on the road, he is 3-6/5.38 ERA. This will be his first appearance facing the Cardinals.
One game at time - take nothing for granted to get the win. Cardinals will be on a mission.
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