(Busch Stadium) After hitting several balls hard this season without anything to show for it, Aledmys Diaz took the defense out of the equation as he hit a pair of home runs to help the St. Louis Cardinals to a 10-4 victory this afternoon over Cincinnati.
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“The thing I took from the last series was you have to trust in the process,” said Diaz, who raised his average from .222 to .304 with his 3-5 performance. “It’s a long season so you can’t be mad if you have a bad day. Just trust in the process and keep working hard everyday.”
“It’s not a secret, yesterday we were disappointed from the game,” said Diaz. “So we came today with a mindset to take good at-bats and hopefully get the lead early in the game and we did it.”
The multi-home run game by Diaz was his first and the 14th time in Cardinals franchise history a shortstop recorded the feat.
PITCHERS CAN HIT TOO
–Michael Wacha finished with a line of 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 hits, 1 BB, and 6 Ks. He also drove in a 4th inning run, his first since July of 2015.
–Fans cheered as Adam Wainwright was announced as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning. He responded with a single and was later driven in by Kolten Wong.
“Significant lobbying by Waino,” shared Matheny afterwards. “He started early too, by the way. He just kind of hangs out by me and just waits for me to acknowledge that he’s there.”
“That’s right,” smiled Wainwright. “Well I saw Bowman was going to go back up for his at-bat and I looked over like, he’s not pitching the next inning and they’re going to send Bowman up, I’m ready. I kind of walked over and just hovered behind (Matheny). David Bell started laughing, he knew exactly what I was doing.
“I said ‘are you serious?’ and Mike said ‘hey, I’m serious if we don’t get to him this inning, you’re going to hit next inning’. I said ‘alright, you’re back in my good graces’ and walked off and stretched to hit.”
Wainwright went down in the cage to take a few swings and then came up for the base hit, which has now raised his pinch-hitting average to .263 (5-19).
“I think our pitchers this year spent more time–they started earlier in spring, they’re doing more in the cages, and your starting to see some of those results,” said Matheny. “Mike Leake taking good at-bats the other day, Lance putting together good swings. They’ve seen the stats. When our pitchers can contribute offensively, whether it’s getting a bunt down or it is having a successful at-bat, their odds of winning grow exponentially so it’s something they need to continue to work on.”
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI