Mikes Mikolas deserved better on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium. The St. Louis Cardinals lineup offered two runs on five hits for their pitchers, which wasn't enough to defeat the San Diego Padres.
Context: Jordan Hicks had four strikeouts in relief, which would be one less than the total amount of hits for the Cards on the evening. That's an ugly way to play in a home game in June for a supposedly contending team. A day after putting together a strong overall game, the Cardinals couldn't solve the Padres bullpen, which completed all nine innings with precision.
That's right, the Cardinals couldn't beat the Padres when the opposition put forth a bullpen plan of attack from the first pitch. Let's take a closer look.
5) Mikolas was solid again. By the time he was pulled for a weak-hitting Dexter Fowler in the sixth inning, Mikolas had struck out five, walked none, and kept his team in the game. He gets the loss for a game he should have won. Mikolas remains one of the most pleasant surprises not only for the Cards, but in the Major Leagues.
4) The top four Cardinals hitters in the lineup went 2-12 with four strikeouts. Matt Carpenter, Tommy Pham, and Jose Martinez have carried the weight at different parts of the season, but when they are kept collectively silent, the Birds will most likely lose. Punch the Cardinals early and you may hold them down.
3) The Padres bullpen is superb. Five pitchers struck out nine and allowed zero extra-base hits. That's efficiency. Bullpen games are treacherous, but when your unit is as solid as San Diego, it may not be a bad idea. In other news, their closer Brad Hand, has 20 saves. The southpaw impressed with 21 saves last year for San Diego after moonlighting in Miami.
2) Another night and another Marcell Ozuna RBI. Look, I know that is a cleanup hitter's job, but it's nice to see the Big Bear really string together some hits and produce. Ozuna is tearing June up, hitting .390 with a .732 slugging percentage. He has more home runs (4) than strikeouts (3) for the month.
1) Hicks is falling in love with the strikeout. He had four in last night's two innings of work, giving him 16 punch-outs in his last 9.1 innings. The slider has been a game changer for Hicks repertoire. Watch out, National League.
Overall, it was a snoozefest for Cardinals fans hoping to see the Cardinals ignite and go on a run. They are a perpetual 5-5 team who manages to hang around in the N.L. Central division for the time being. Lately, they are having a hard time beating bad teams. Time is being wasted.
Back at it tonight. Score some runs, Birds.
Thanks for reading,