Baseball clubs make pitching changes either to head off trouble before it begins or perhaps even more often, to stop the bleeding before it becomes terminal. On Wednesday in Miami, the moves to the pen made by manager Mike Matheny proved fatal for the St. Louis Cardinals’ chances on that night.
During the seventh inning, Cardinals starter Joe Kelly had to watch from the bench as he was removed from the game after six solid frames of two-run baseball.
The move was understandable, given Kelly’s rookie status. Though he had thrown just 85 pitches, Kelly had gotten into trouble in the fifth, with two walks having turned into runs.
The Cards plated a run in the top of the seventh on Tony Cruz’ home run. It broke a 2-2 tie and set up Kelly for a nicely-deserved win. He did not get to enjoy the possibility of his second career victory very long.
After a second out was secured, Victor Marte came in to escape the inning, but the right-hander yielded a run of his own in the eighth to create the final 5-3 margin.
It was not pleasant symmetry – three relievers, three two innings, three runs allowed.
FOX Sports Midwest stat man Tim Trokey tweeted that the back-to-back home runs served up by Salas and Freeman were the first allowed by different Cardinals relievers in 35 years. On June 20, 1977 versus the Dodgers, Larry Dierker and Clay Carroll were the victims.
Casting a wider net, researcher Tom Orf provided a list of the 16 times since 2000 that any two Cardinals pitchers allowed home runs in the same inning. On the average, the event occurs slightly more often than twice once per season, with four of them happening during the forgettable 2003 campaign. The club avoided this malady entirely during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Wednesday was the Cards’ second two-pitcher, two-homer inning of 2012. It previously happened 15 days earlier against the White Sox when Marc Rzepczynski and Mitchell Boggs were taken deep during the eighth inning on June 12.
St. Louis Cardinals, home runs allowed by two different pitchers in the same inning, 2000-present
|7/23/2000||Heathcliff Slocumb||@HOU||Bill Spiers||down 6-9||b7||123||1||4|
|7/23/2000||Alan Benes||@HOU||Lance Berkman||down 6-13||b7||1–||2||2|
|5/18/2001||Mike Timlin||@PHI||Marlon Anderson||tied 0-0||b8||1–||0||2|
|5/18/2001||Steve Kline||@PHI||Jimmy Rollins||down 0-2||b8||1–||0||2|
|9/12/2002||Dave Veres||@HOU||Craig Biggio||ahead 3-2||b8||—||0||1|
|9/12/2002||Mike Crudale||@HOU||Jose Vizcaino||tied 3-3||b8||-12||1||3|
|9/18/2002||Gabe Molina||@COL||Ross Gload||ahead 3-1||b7||—||1||1|
|9/18/2002||Jeff Fassero||@COL||Ben Petrick||ahead 3-2||b7||—||2||1|
|4/10/2003||Lance Painter||@COL||Todd Helton||ahead 6-4||b8||—||1||1|
|4/10/2003||Steve Kline||@COL||Jose Hernandez||ahead 6-5||b8||1–||2||2|
|4/27/2003||Jeff Fassero||@FLA||Luis Castillo||ahead 6-2||b9||—||1||1|
|4/27/2003||Russ Springer||@FLA||Mike Lowell||ahead 6-4||b9||1–||2||2|
|8/20/2003||Jason Pearson||PIT||Reggie Sanders||down 0-5||t5||—||0||1|
|8/20/2003||Esteban Yan||PIT||Reggie Sanders||down 0-9||t5||123||2||4|
|8/22/2003||Steve Kline||PHI||Jim Thome||ahead 4-3||t8||1–||1||2|
|8/22/2003||Esteban Yan||PHI||Pat Burrell||down 4-5||t8||-2-||2||2|
|4/6/2004||Jason Marquis||MIL||Lyle Overbay||tied 3-3||t6||3||0||2|
|4/6/2004||Jason Simontacchi||MIL||Chad Moeller||down 3-5||t6||1–||1||2|
|6/10/2004||Dan Haren||@CHC||Moises Alou||down 0-5||b4||-12||2||3|
|6/10/2004||Cal Eldred||@CHC||Derrek Lee||down 0-9||b4||1–||2||2|
|5/10/2005||Matt Morris||LAD||Jeff Kent||ahead 7-3||t6||—||0||1|
|5/10/2005||Kevin Jarvis||LAD||Hee-Seop Choi||ahead 7-6||t6||-12||2||3|
|7/18/2006||Jason Marquis||ATL||Chipper Jones||down 1-10||t6||—||0||1|
|7/18/2006||Tyler Johnson||ATL||Brian McCann||down 1-11||t6||1–||0||2|
|9/17/2007||Brad Thompson||PHI||Aaron Rowand||down 0-1||t4||1–||0||2|
|9/17/2007||Andy Cavazos||PHI||Jimmy Rollins||down 0-3||t4||-23||2||3|
|7/9/2008||Kyle McClellan||@PHI||Ryan Howard||tied 2-2||b8||—||0||1|
|7/9/2008||Chris Perez||@PHI||Pedro Feliz||down 2-3||b8||—||2||1|
|5/22/2011||Jaime Garcia||@KCR||Jeff Francoeur||ahead 7-2||b6||—||0||1|
|5/22/2011||Miguel Batista||@KCR||Wilson Betemit||ahead 7-3||b6||-2-||0||2|
|6/12/2012||Marc Rzepczynski||CHW||Adam Dunn||down 1-3||t8||—||1||1|
|6/12/2012||Mitchell Boggs||CHW||A.J. Pierzynski||down 1-4||t8||1–||2||2|