Jose Quintana expanded his record of the Cardinals to nine games early in his career with them, allowing them to run two runs or less. But Saturday night’s game against Cincinnati was his best.
The 33-year-old left-hander only allowed two hits in eight goalless rounds, scoring six goals and collecting 11 touchdowns. It had to be good because Hunter Green, who was practicing fireball, with a record 46 throws of at least 100mph, was also obliterating the Cardinals.
Quintana, who had his longest stint since being fired by the Milwaukee while bidding for the Chicago Cubs on September 24, 2017, only got back satisfaction and inside satisfaction for his efforts as the Cardinal’s attack hit 16 times against the Reds. While Quintana was on the hill.
But the Cardinals managed to sweep their head off anyway, defending via the only round of the game in the eleventh inning, winning 1-0 over a crowd of 48,299.
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Their magic number for the National Central League title is nine.
Paul Goldschmidt, who had netted four times, made the only game in the eleventh on a burial for quarterback Nick Senzel, who was third on the five-man defense with the rules loaded and no one out.
Snuzel stopped diving but his throw hit Andrew Kneissner in the left elbow and rolled away. The Reds protested against Kneisner’s intervention, but to no avail.
With Kneisner the auto sprinter in second, Brendan Donovan marched against Fernando Cruz, who had started for the Reds the night before. Tommy Edman, sacrificed, beat a blow when Cruz hesitated before throwing to the start.
The winning bowler was Stephen Matz, who wasn’t even on the list in the afternoon but was omitted from the hit list when right-handed Jordan Hicks was put into IL with arm strain and neck spasms.
The Cardinal missed a huge opportunity in 10th place when they had bases loaded with one against the five-man Reds. Kneisner flew a pop-up to the short left midfield as Jose Barreiro and his left player TJ Friedel converged on the ball.
At the last moment, Friedl snatched the ball off Barrero and shot home to get Corey Dickerson, who had marked.
Green means go
Green, a rookie who has played three games and thrown 38 pitches at 100 mph or more — his league record was 39 — was knocked out of the injured list in Saturday’s second game. He went out shooting.
Green, who was suffering from a strain in the right shoulder, hit 11 hitters in the first six rounds, routinely throwing 101-102 mph. He already had 35 runs over 100 mph after three tires and a new record 46 after six. Also, according to Major League Baseball research, he became the first player since the current tracking system began in 2008 to hit at least nine 101mph hits in the game. The record was three.
As a better gauge, Houston’s Justin Verlander has nine hits of at least 101 mph—in his career.
But the Quintana barrage
Meanwhile, Quintana was tossing around 9 to 10 miles per hour slower but achieved the same results.
Quintana gave up only second-half double-league Donovan Solano over the course of the first six rounds, scoring six goals and scoring another 10 times on the field. He only needed 69 throws to get this far and only 104 throws in eight rounds.
The first six rounds sailed in an hour and 33 minutes. Greene, who came out after the sixth, only dropped four songs, one from Alec Burleson. He threw 58 out of 81 shots.
Pujols pinch hits, fans to change
Cardinals coach Oliver Marmol, with left-hander River Sanmartin in the match, was largely emptied off the bench in the seventh. Albert Pujols has hit for Burleson and Pujols, still at 698 Homer, are kindled on a change. Then, with two people out and no one left, Marmol raised the left-handed hitter Lars Knottbar for hitting Dylan Carlson, who also spread.
Pujols didn’t stay in the game, Carlson did, and Ben Delluzio came in to play midfield, leaving only Paul Dejong and Yadir Molina with right-handed strikes on the bench, and the Reds had no other left-handed attackers.
DeLuzio would make a solid catch before landing on the ground in the center right to help Quintana into eighth.
Fifty home wins
The Cardinals’ 5-1 win in today’s game was their 50th home win of the season, drawing them most often with the New York Yankees. It was the club’s 19th win on Saturday and propelled them to their highest level of the season in 26 games over 0.500.
Yadier Molina led his two-round lead with his fifth Homer and scored another goal in a rules-filled outing as Cincinnati player Mike Minor walked five hitters into the first two runs.
Pujols wasn’t Homer but played first base and featured in his team’s 1,653 career win, tying Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial to fourth on the career list.