The St. Louis Cardinals on Easter Sunday got another solid start from the pitching staff.
But it was the offense that -- again -- laid an egg.
The Cardinals managed to collect three hits including a pair of singles and a double to start off an inning. Yet they managed to pull off the incredible feat of not scoring.
With Matt Adams on first and Jedd Gyorko on second, Brayan Pena flied to center. Gyorko assumed the ball was caught and turned around between second and third to find Adams parked on the base ahead of him and Pena on the base behind.
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After that, the Cardinals could only mount one rally -- a two-run homer off the bat of Tommy Pham. The had twice the number of hits as the Miami Marlins but half the runs.
Jaime Garcia racked up ground balls in his start. But it was pair of flies and walks that fueled the Miami offense. Two balls that looked as if they might have been caught between Pham and Stephen Piscotty.
Perhaps a residual of Piscotty’s terrible collision with Peter Bourjos last season, (and maybe another suffered by Pham in the minors a couple of years ago) Piscotty seemed to be reluctant to pursue the balls at full speed.
I can’t say I blame the guy. Especially in an exhibition game. But I fear that could be an issue during the regular season.
Hopefully, with regular centerfielder Randal Grichuk in the game, Piscotty will have a higher comfort level.
There was a large group of scouts behind home plate at the game, which isn’t necessarily unusual late in spring training. It seemed as if they got most excited when Cardinals reliever Sam Tuivailala came into the game. They all fished their radar guns out of their bags and jotted down notes on their cards.
At this point of the spring, I’d really like to see the Cardinals field their starting lineup more regularly so the offense can have a chance to gel before the season starts.
Matt Holliday didn’t even make an appearance in the game.