Every fifth day when we reach Strider day I wake up with an unmatched feeling of joy in my heart. In a cruel turn of events, tonight’s Braves vs. Cardinals game quickly turned that joy sour, as the Cardinals jumped on the Braves flamethrower early in route to their 11-6 win.
It is not often I find myself with such an empty feeling so shortly into a Spencer Strider start. Sadly, that was the case as St. Louis jumped all over Strider early on. After a leadoff walk, reigning NL MVP, Paul Goldschmidt belted a two-run bomb.
The first inning assault didn’t stop there, the Cardinals added two more runs via a Contreras groundout and a Burleson single to right. Strider struck out Jordan Walker to mercifully end the inning with Atlanta trailing 4-0.
The Braves tried to answer back in the bottom half as they got runners on the corners against Cardinals starter, Dakota Hudson. Unfortunately, Hudson was able to register a punch out of Ozuna to escape the jam.
Although Strider had a better second inning of work, things ultimately unraveled for him in the top of the third inning. St. Louis scored two more off Strider thanks to RBIs from Contreras and Burleson once again and made it a 6-0 Cardinals lead.
After a walk to Edman, Snit went out and pulled Strider from further frustration. It was just the second time all season Strider failed to get through five innings. The recently called up, Ben Heller entered the game and got the Braves through the inning.
Atlanta’s offense finally broke through against Hudson in the bottom of the fourth. Ozuna doubled home the first run, and Arcia hit into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded to make it a 6-2 ballgame in this frame. However, that’s all the Braves could manage.
The other recent call up for Atlanta made his second big league appearance in the fifth. Darius Vines came on in relief and pitched a scoreless fifth. However, Winn tagged him for a moonshot home run down the left field line to get a run back for St. Louis.
The Braves really got cooking in the bottom of the sixth with some of their best ABs against Hudson on the night. Olson started it by homering in his third straight game and collecting his third hit on the night. Ozuna singled, Rosario doubled, Murphy walked, and just like that the Braves had the bases loaded and chased Hudson from the game.
Casey Lawrence came in with the task of putting out the fire. Michael Harris II made sure not to let the Cards off the hook by lacing a two RBI single to right (at least I assume so because the camera team gave us a close up of Sean Murphy running the bases). Lawrence stopped the bleeding there by getting Ronald Acuña Jr. to hit into a inning ending double play.
In the top of the seventh the Braves brought out Jiménez to pitch. The Cardinals were able to grab one of those runs back when Contreras hit his 17th home run of the season and made it an 8-5 St. Louis lead heading into the stretch.
The slugfest continued in the bottom half as Austin Riley homered for the second consecutive night. This one a solo shot for his 34th of the season.
The straw that broke the camels back however came in the top of the eighth. An error and a soft single preceded a three-run homer from Nolan Gorman off Dylan Lee killed the hopeful comeback energy in Truist as the deficit ballooned 11-6.
The Braves bats went quietly in the night as the Cardinals bullpen pieced together the last few outs for a 11-6 win.
Pitchers of Record
W: STL: Charlie Morton: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K
L: ATL: Spencer Strider: 2.2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
ATL: Olson (46), Riley (34)
STL: Goldschmidt (23), Contreras (17), Gorman (27)
Ben Heller: 1,1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Darius Vines: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Joe Jiménez: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Dylan Lee: 1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Brad Hand: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
September 7th, 2023 vs. STL 7:20 PM EST