By Adam Kaufman, from Cardsblog.com
In a shocking development, tickets to Sunday's game were markedly cheaper coming straight from Cardinals.com than they were on StubHub. The cost of our tickets, along with those annoying fees came to $16 a pop for seats in section 267. Safe to say us college kids were pretty pleased with that price for admission.
Also need to mention how incredibly convenient the St. Louis Metro system is for getting to a Cardinals game. The 12:12 train from University City - Big Bend was perfectly on time, and delivered us to the third base side of Busch Stadium in a tidy 25 minutes.
Today was Stephen Piscotty Jersey giveaway day, but Piscotty himself wasn't healthy enough to play after his unfortunate trip around the bases a few days back. The Piscotty jersey was a hot topic of discussion between my friends and I, as we weren't quite sure what the quality of said jersey would be.
We knew they couldn't possibly be giving away the $120 replica ones sold online, so we were pretty curious what was coming our way.
Upon entering Busch and receiving the grey #55 away jersey, we were pleasantly surprised. Other than a sponsorship on the sleeve and screen-printed numbers, you couldn't really tell the difference!
Pretty much everybody was settled in their seats by first pitch, which is an accomplishment that many other teams in the MLB can't claim. Attendance was announced at just over 45,000 people, but that seemed a bit high to me. Barely 10% even stuck around for the final out, but maybe that's understandable given the blowout.
Carlos Martinez took the hill today sporting what appeared to be some new dreadlocks. Martinez has been known to experiment with some wacky hairstyles in the past, but this one was certainly the most noticeable with a baseball cap on.
Of all the St. Louis batters to come to the plate in the first few innings, Yadier Molina still appears to be the fan favorite.
His ovation was by far the most enthusiastic, followed by leadoff man Dexter Fowler. Yadi went 1 for 3 at the plate, but managed to throw out Adam Duvall stealing for a strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play in the fourth inning.
Martinez obviously struggled today in his second start of the season. When all was said and done, he yielded 6 runs, 5 earned in 5+ innings pitched. The line could have been a little neater, but Brett Cecil allowed two of Martinez's runs to score on an RBI double after Martinez departed.
While the velocity was there today for Martinez (95.4 avg. fastball velocity), the chart below shows each of his first pitches to batters. His inability to get ahead really hampered him, and pitching behind in the count all day led to his diminished strikeout total of just 3.
Enough ink will be spilled about the lifeless Cardinals offense, but I just want to add a few of my thoughts from up in section 267. We all know Scott Feldman isn't going to win a Cy Young any time soon, but you wouldn't really know that from today's game.
He kept the Cardinals hitters off balance all day with three different variations of his fastball - four-seam, sinker, and cutter. The velocity wasn't overpowering, but he did a stellar job inducing weak contact.
Some were surprised to see Seung hwan Oh appear in a 7-0 game, and everyone else who stuck around became concerned to see The Final Boss allow a homer, walk, and a sharp single in his inning of work.
While Oh didn't look his best Sunday, it's not unexpected to see a closer struggle in a game that's had all of the life sucked out of it. With no adrenaline and basically nothing on the line, Oh simply made a mistake pitch to Joey Votto, and he capitalized.
All in all, it was a gorgeous day at the ballpark. Busch is still about as good a venue for baseball as there is in the bigs, and the crowd is genuinely interested in the game from the first pitch to the last. Unfortunately for that crowd, though, everyone in the ballpark likely would have preferred a different outcome than the 8-0 loss on Sunday.
Thursday, Lance Lynn made his first start since October 2015 due to Tommy John Surgery. It was a huge boost to the organization to watch him limit the defending World Champions to just two runs on five hits over five and a third innings. The most promising sign?
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