ST. LOUIS — It was another case of the Friday night woes for the Cardinals.
Spotting the Phillies a 4-0 lead just 21 pitches into the game, the Cardinals went on to lose the opener of the weekend series at Busch Stadium, dropping their record on Friday’s this season to 4-18.
The loss also was their 82nd of the year, guaranteeing that this will be their first losing season since 2007.
The Cardinals were able to knock Phillies starter Aaron Nola out of the game in the fifth inning, after they had cut the deficit to 4-3, and had chances to tie the game or take the lead in the eighth and ninth but could only score one run, leaving the bases loaded in both innings.
They are now 14-25 in one-run games this season.
Here is how Friday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals bunched a walk and three consecutive singles to score two runs in the third, with Alec Burleson and Nolan Arenado getting the RBIs … A one-out infield single by Jordan Walker, a throwing error by Nola and a sacrifice fly from Masyn Winn made it a one-run game in the fourth … Craig Kimbrel walked the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth but then struck out Burleson to end the threat … In the ninth, an RBI single by Tommy Edman cut the deficit to 5-4 and a walk to Winn loaded the bases but Lars Nootbaar struck out on three pitches to end the game … The Cardinals tied their season high with 15 runners left on base and were just 3-of-11 with runners in scoring position.
On the mound: Starter Zack Thompson allowed four hits to the first six hitters he faced, capped by a three-run homer by Nick Castellanos, that put the Cardinals in the early hole … He gave up only one more hit and walked two over the next four innings, giving the Cardinals offense a chance to try to catch up … The Phillies added an insurance run that it turned out they needed off Casey Lawrence in the sixth.
Key stat: The 15-year run of consecutive winning seasons tied the most by the Cardinals in their team history. They also went 15 years between losing years from 1939 to 1953. It was the second longest active streak in the majors behind the Yankees, who are headed to their first losing season in 31 years.
Worth noting: The announcement was not unexpected, but John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations, used the occasion of media availability on Friday to say that Oli Marmol will return as the team’s manager in 2024, the last year of his current contract. Mozeliak also said that there could be some changes to the coaching staff, which might include the addition of personnel to aid in development and analytic roles … One change was confirmed with the news that Daniel Nicolaisen had resigned from his job as an assistant hitting coach. Nicolaisen was in his first year on the major-league staff after working the last two years in the minor league system. He accepted a job on the coaching staff of the University of Mississippi softball team … Minor-league hitting coordinator Russ Steinhorn and roving pitching instructor Jason Isringhausen are spending this homestand with the team.
Looking ahead: Miles Mikolas will get the start on Saturday night in the second game of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 6:15 p.m.