The game started pretty promisingly.
The first couple innings cruised by, with both starters each throwing ten pitches in the first inning. The Cardinals got their first hit in the second on a single by Jedd Gyorko. Fortunately, Morgan dispatched the next batter to keep the game scoreless.
The Phillies got their first hit in the 4th from Freddy Galvis, which was followed by a Maikel Franco walk. With one out and two men on, Ryan Howard came to the plate in St. Louis. This caused some consternation among the home team, as we all know how well Ryan Howard does when playing in his hometown. But he can't just hit a home run in every at bat there, right? I assume that's the sort of thing the Cardinals were discussing in a brief visit to the mound following Franco's walk. If Leake was looking for such reassurances, well...
Ryan Howard goes 421 feet to center to take the lead and shut Cardinals fans up. Not sure which I appreciate more? pic.twitter.com/2bsPBU0K92— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) May 5, 2016
That was Howard's 13th homer at Busch Stadium, tying it for the most homers he has hit at a non NL East stadium. Loves his hometown.— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) May 5, 2016
Overall, the inning was a dramatic shift for Leake, who more than doubled his pitch count from 31 in the previous two innings to 63. He was able to get out of it with no further runs scored, though.
Adam Morgan didn't have the smoothest 4th inning either. After getting Stephen Piscotty to ground out, he surrendered a double to Matt Holliday and a walk to Randal Grichuk. Crisis was averted, however, when our favorite neck tattoo aficionado Yadier Molina and Jedd "Sounds-Like-Jerko" Gyorko were both dispatched.
Mike Leake got some good news and bad news in the 5th inning. Good news: he managed to get through the Phillies on a relatively small number of pitches. The bad news? Well...
Odubel is love. Odubel is life. pic.twitter.com/IiWuORTEsJ— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) May 5, 2016
El Torito comes through for the Phils with an absolutely beautiful home run into the Cardinals bullpen.
That's... right about when things stopped being fun.
Things got weird in the bottom of the 5th when Ruben Tejada fouled a ball that was somehow questionable enough for the Cardinals to appeal to the replay gods in New York, who (after about six full minutes of deliberation) decided to award him with second base. It was... how do you say? Bullshit.
For good measure, the next batter, Eric Fryer walked and Brandon Moss, who was pinch hitting for Leake, singled. The bases were loaded with no outs. And of course, OF COURSE Aledmys Diaz singled to short, scoring Tejada and Moss, despite the fact that Moss was tagged out at home.
And now some more "fun" with instant replay.
HE WAS OUT pic.twitter.com/TjtWcpPQUu— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) May 5, 2016
Thankfully, the Phillies managed to survive the rest of the 5th without New York scoring any more runs for the Cardinals. Unfortunately, the 6th wasn't all that great for them either. After going down in order, the Cardinals were back and again threatening, but the one two punch of Colton Murray and Elvis Araujo managed to hold them off.
Though scoreless, the 8th inning provided some exciting moments for the Phillies. Odubel recorded his second hit of the night off of relief pitcher Seung Hwan Oh in the bottom of the inning, but the Phillies were unable to capitalize on it. At the top, Freddy Galvis made an absolutely gorgeous defensive play to deny Grichuk a hit. Just watch the damn thing.
The amazing defensive plays didn't stop there, though! Tyler Goeddel saved us all from the blood curdling horror of a tie game by robbing Gyorko of a Home run.
FINALLY the Replay Gods decided to throw the Phillies a bone by reversing an out call on Cesar Hernandez at first base in the top of the 9th. It didn't matter in the end, as David Lough struck out for strike three. But at least it was something?
It wasn't enough, though. The bottom of the 9th gave us more drama and, you guessed it, more ~challenges~! With Kolten Wong on base and one man out, Matt Adams hit a sharp line drive double that went off the center field wall. The ball was very close to the top though, so naturally St. Louis tried in vain to see if they could squeeze any more favors out of the umpires.
That left two men on with one out. The Phillies walked the bases loaded because nothing matters anymore. Piscotty singled to short to tie the game and Holliday singled to put us all out of our misery. The Phillies didn't really have a hope of winning this otherwise promising game marred with a comical number of challenges in extras, so we can all go to sleep at a reasonable time and hope for some revenge tomorrow afternoon.