Matt does. His double moves Freddie to third, and Nick Markakis squeaks a well-placed bouncer up the middle to plate both runners. Adonis Garcia works the count on Adam Wainwright, then lines a single up the middle. Cakes moves to third.
Mike needs it. Folty walks the leadoff batter. Hey Mikey: we want you to be Our Ace. Step up, kid. Stephen Piscotty singles. Jeez, Folty. Stop the bleeding.
Holy crap! Brandon Moss drills one. Ender catches it against the wall for out one. A pop to Anthony Recker makes two, and Matt Adams strikes out for the third. Nice damage control, Mike. Ease up on the drama, okay?
Marvin Harrison said, “They pay me to practice and improve. I play the game for free.”
Adonis Garcia plays the game for free. The Braves paid him to get work hard and get better. He did, and now he gets to play the game at its highest level. No matter how good another player may be, he doesn’t love baseball any more than Adonis.
What the heck? Folty singles. Ender singles him to third. Aybar triples them both in. The hitting streaks are intact, and Braves lead 5-0. This is Adam Wainwright you’re slapping around, Braves. He ain’t just some rented mule.
Freddie walks. Again! Kemp flails and looks completely lost, but his weak ground ball drives in Erick. That’s all we get, but six should be enough for Folty to bring this one home.
Let Ender catch all the balls and just back up the plays in case one slips past, Matty. The Cards load the bases for Stephen Piscotty with two out, but Folty escapes unscathed as Adonis turns a nice 5-4 force. For free. How the Cards have failed to score I do not know.
Waino dispels chaos, restores order in the third. On the St. Louis broadcast, David Eckstein serves up a reminder that life trumps baseball. Check out this class act’s story.
Folty needs a quick, clean inning. Thirty pitches per makes it tough to go deep. It looks to be a bullpen kind of day despite the score. Despite Brandon Moss’ leadoff double, this is Folty’s best inning.
Atlanta faces Wainwright for the third time, and it’s only the fourth. Braves fail, haven’t scored in seven outs. Folty holds serve: one, two, three. Nick’s nice catch in right ends it.
How do these guys with full beards play day games in St. Louis and Atlanta? Markakis looks like he’s wearing a fur balaclava. Ten outs without runs for Atlanta.
Third time through the Cards order for Folty in the fifth: Kolten Wong doubles, and Piscotty moves him to third with a liner to right. Folty keeps Nick’s errant throw out of the Cards dugout to save the run, but Wong scores anyway of Moss’ sac fly. Matt Holliday bounces to Play For Free to end it. It’s 6-1 and an official game.
Show of hands: who thought Wainwright would go six today? Look and learn, kid pitchers.
St. Louis announcers say Folty has give Card hitters uncomfortable at bats. I believe that. There are times when he looks like he has no idea where the ball’s going, and the ball is going FAST. Play For Free starts a Pendletonesque double play. Whoever worked with Adonis deserves a raise.
What the Braves need at catcher is a young Yadier Molina who hits like a later career Yadier Molina. That will be enough and answers the opening question. Folty goes six, but what a struggle. Now it’s pen versus pen.
Jerome Williams is a big, big man. He stifles us although Kemp singles after Freddie, ahem, fans. Cards broadcaster says that the Braves are a bad club as Nick is robbed of a hit for out three. Gyork. Tell us something we don’t know. At least today we’re pounding your red asses.
Ian Krol rules the seventh, and Recker gets his second hit as Braves come up empty. Young Madison Younginer debuts against the Cards in the eighth and looked pretty good, even though he gave up the Cards second run. Matt Kemp is not a good leftfielder. A wickedly weird bounce past Play For Free scores the third, as a baseball game erupts at Busch. Hold ’em, boys.
Snit calls on Eric O’Flaherty to quell the uprising. Clown baseball ensues, bringing the tying run to the plate; but EOF prevails. 6-3 Braves with an inning left to play.
After the Braves fail to pad their lead, Jim Johnson climbs the hill for the save. He gets it. Ho-hum. Braves win 6-3 in a laugher. In your face, Redbirds.