Game Report: Yankees 3, Cardinals 2
It took until his 62nd pitch before the New York Yankees put a ball in play against Carlos Martinez on Saturday in what turned out to be one of the oddest starts by a Cardinals pitcher in franchise history.
Martinez struck out or walked the first 12 batters in the game – six each - and in just 5 1/3 innings became only the second pitcher in Cardinals’ history, and the first since 1930, to strike out 11 or more batters and walk eight or more batters in a game.
Not since Wild Bill Hallahan did it twice that season had a pitcher had that kind of game for the Cardinals, and both of the times Hallahan did it he pitched a complete game and won the game.
The last pitcher on any team to have that kind of game was Randy Johnson with Seattle in 1993, and the last pitcher to do it in the National League was Fernando Valenzuela in 1987, both coming in nine inning outings.
According to Baseball Reference, no pitcher had ever had 11 or more strikeouts with eight or more walks and pitched less than six innings.
It took Martinez 118 pitches to get the 16 outs, the second highest total in game in his career and the most by a Cardinals starter in a start in April since Adam Wainwright had a 126-pitch game in 2008.
The loss dropped the Cardinals to 3-8 to start the season.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Despite getting only two hits against C.C. Sabathia through the first seven innings, the Cardinals gave themselves a chance at a comeback when Jedd Gyorko homered in the eighth and Stephen Piscotty hit one in the ninth. With two outs in the ninth, Matt Adams beat out a slow roller against the shift and Greg Garcia drew a walk, but Randal Grichuk struck out to end the game … Jose Martinez got the start at first base and was 1-of-3 … Dexter Fowler was 0-of-4, dropping his average to .136, while Jhonny Peralta was 0-of-2 and saw his average drop to .120.
On the mound: Despite Martinez’s struggles, the Cardinals were only losing 1-0, the run scoring on a wild pitch in the first, before the Yankees added two runs in the sixth. A bloop double, which Grichuk and Aledmys Diaz both lost in the sun, put a runner on second and he later scored on a wild throw to the plate by Carlos Martinez. Chris Carter, who struck out in his other four at-bats, then added an RBI single … The eight walks was a career high for Martinez and his 11 strikeouts was the second highest total of his career.
Key stat: Martinez, Brett Cecil, Miguel Socolovich and Jonathan Broxton combined to strike out 17 Yankees, which tied for the second most in a nine-inning game in franchise history. The only previous times the Cardinals had 17 strikeouts in a game and lost were on May 21, 1970 against the Phillies and on Sept. 15, 1969, the night Steve Carlton struck out 19 Mets.
Worth noting: The last time a Cardinals starter walked four batters in the first inning was Danny Jackson in 1996 … Matt Holliday, after going 0-of-4 and striking out three times in Friday night’s game, was a late scratch for the Yankees because of tightness in his lower back … In his first 11 games as a Cardinal, Fowler is 1-of-10 in the first inning with one walk and has scored one run.
Looking Ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start on Sunday night baseball in the final game of the series and the road trip. Michael Pinieda is set to start for the Yankees.