It was a triumphant return to St. Louis for Albert Pujols on Friday night. Albert legged out an infield single that beat the throw to first by a substantial margin, took a four pitch walk, and hit a deep fly ball that stunned the anxious crowd. It was definitely fun for everyone involved. Too bad the Angels weren’t involved.
Michael Wacha, literally the worst that the Cardinals could offer, was moved up to start against the Angels because reasons. Fortunately for the massive crowd of real fans, a lifeless Angels squad would be utterly quashed by his middling, shaky, and wild stuff.
The Angels would muster 5 hits against the former MLB-quality pitcher, 4 of which came via Justin Upton and Mike Trout. The two took advantage of some fielding antics by Harrison Bader in the 1st to score a run and that was it. The Angels would get pitched around and fail with runners in scoring position the rest of the night. 5 of the Angels’ 8 strikeouts would be looking at pitches well in the zone.
Meanwhile, Griffin Canning was stellar... for 3 innings. 9 up, 9 down. It was beautiful and he looked like that bulldog we all know and love, even buckling down for his first out after a game-halting siren was tripped. I had a beautiful title ready that began, “Whiffin’ Canning alarms real fans.” He then walked Carpenter in the 4th and his command escaped him. He ended his night after 5 1⁄3 with only 4 hits allowed, but an uncharacteristic 3 walks allowed, an extremely low 3 strikeouts, and 2 earned runs, both of which came at the hands of a pesky Marcell Ozuna.
Fortunately, Luke Bard was called up to put away any stressful thoughts of postseason contention and Wild Card chases.
Welcome back to another episode of Sub-.500, where the effort’s made up and the games don’t matter. If you are interested, Trout’s OPS rose to 1.121 behind 2 singles and a walk. If you aren’t, I don’t blame you dude.