Arroyo loses tough one
As the St. Louis Blues won a playoff overtime game a few blocks away, here are the Three Stars from a closely contested baseball game as the Cardinals edged the Reds by a 2-1 score. (Click here for the full game story)
No. 3 star: Bronson Arroyo — 7 ip, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K. — 78 pitches. That’s it. No runners in scoring position. By usual standards, that’s enough to earn a win. But with the offense sputtering of late — not quite.
No. 2 star: Jamie Garcia, STL — 8 ip, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 92 pitches — All Garcia gave up that hurt was a two-out RBI double by Shin-Soo Choo in the fifth inning that scored Derrick Robinson. As you’ll read in the game story, Garcia noted that the Reds were swinging aggressively much of the night.
“That one ball hit by Choo was definitely something you didn’t see much of, which is mistakes up in the zone,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “He was down and the ball was really running all over the place. You can’t really teach the stuff he has. It’s just different, and it was sharp today.”
No. 1 star: Matt Holliday, STL — 1-for-4, 2-run HR — Holliday smacked a 3-2 Arroyo curveball for a low-line drive home run. It was deceptive in that it didn’t look like it would be high enough originally from up here. Arroyo explains his thinking on the pitch sequence:
“I went 3-0 on three sinkers there and then I threw him three breaking balls in a row,” Arroyo said. “The full count was either going to be a sinker in or another curveball. I thought I’d walk him with the sinker because he hasn’t been fishing for it much. I had to be perfect in there. I picked the choice of going right at him rather than having first and second with one out and [Allen] Craig up and kind of getting into the meat of their order with the crowd coming into play around the sixth or seventh inning like they always do. You take your chances and play the best odds you can. A big strong guy like Matt Holliday sometimes can beat you, which he did.
“He’s just so strong. There’s maybe a handful of guys in this game that can hit the ball out of the ballpark with that low of trajectory. Especially with the wind not blowing out tonight. He’s a beast. He’s 6-4, 6-5, 240. He is solid and swings as hard as anybody in this game. He hit it good.”
*The Reds have scored only 15 runs over their last eight games as they finished April with a 15-13 record.
*Choo is batting .316 (6-for-19) vs. STL This season.
*Garcia is 9-2 lifetime vs. the Reds. They are his most wins vs. any opponent.
*The game lasted only two hours and 15 minutes.