Flaherty dazzles again, Cardinals drop Pirates 2-0

PITTSBURGH (AP) Jack Flaherty always had the tools. Figuring out how to put them together has been the challenge for the 23-year-old pitcher since the former first-round pick arrived in St. Louis two years ago.

While Flaherty is sketchy on specifics about what what exactly he changed heading into the All-Star break, one thing is for certain: the roadblocks - mental, physical and otherwise - are all gone. Flaherty is rolling, and so are the Cardinals.

Flaherty overwhelmed the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 2-0 victory on Sunday, striking out 10 against five hits and a walk over eight electric innings to keep up a dazzling run that has turned him into the de facto ace for the NL Central leaders. Flaherty (10-7) won for the sixth time in eight starts while dropping his post All-Star break ERA to 0.76 as St. Louis pushed its lead in the division to 4 1/2 games over second-place Chicago with three weeks to go in the regular season.

''He's in control of the conviction of what he's doing,'' Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. ''Just a lot of big league pitches consistently. Fastball where he wants it to with good life on it, and a really good slider as well. That's what pitching looks like. Phenomenal job.''

Flaherty's surge began with seven innings of two-hit ball against San Francisco on July 7. The Cardinals lost 1-0 that day, but the switch flipped. Flaherty has been lights out while fueling St. Louis' sprint to first and has allowed just three earned runs 56 innings across eight starts since Aug. 1.

''(I've made) small adjustments, not really to my mechanics, but mentally to how I was going about things,'' Flaherty said. ''So little things here and there. Just tried to kind of carry it from one start to the next.''

Carlos Martinez worked a perfect ninth for his 19th save to finish off a season series dominated by the Cardinals. St. Louis won 14 of its 19 meetings with Pittsburgh, including 10 of 12 in the second half, one of the main reasons the Cardinals are heading to October while the Pirates are planning for next season.

''Guys are healthy,'' Flaherty said. ''We're playing together. Playing as a team. Not letting any moment get too big.''

Paul Goldschmidt had an RBI double , and Harrison Bader added a run-scoring single off Pittsburgh rookie James Marvel (0-1). Matt Carpenter went 2 for 3 while starting at third base and is hitting .400 (6 for 15) in September as the veteran tries to shake out of a season-long slump.

''Like everybody else, he understands it's about the team,'' Shildt said of Carpenter. ''He's got his head in the right spot to help us win baseball games.''

Flaherty's effectiveness ended Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle and second baseman Adam Frazier's respective days a little bit early. Both were ejected by home-plate umpire Roberto Ortiz in the seventh for arguing balls and strikes after Ortiz ruled a pair of borderline pitches in favor of Flaherty.

''He's taken it to another level,'' Hurdle said of Flaherty. '' He was as advertised from what we watched coming in here. It's been going on for two months.''

MARVEL-OUS DEBUT

Marvel, the 1,087th player chosen in the 2015 draft, was solid in his first major-league start after piling up 16 victories across Double-A and Triple-A this season. With more than 40 people in the stands who roared every time he stepped out of the dugout onto the field at PNC Park, Marvel gave up two runs and four hits in five-plus innings with two walks and two strikeouts.

''I can't really hear things when I'm pitching,'' Marvel said. ''I tend to zone out and focus on what I'm doing and the glove. But I'd be lying if I said that today there weren't a few instances where I heard them.''

There was plenty to cheer about. Marvel, who won 16 games combined during stops at Double-A and Triple-A this summer, didn't allow a hit until Marcell Ozuna's two-out single in the fourth. Bader's flare to center in the fifth scored Carpenter to put the Cardinals in front and Goldschmidt hit an opposite-field double following a lead-off walk to Kolten Wong in the sixth. Otherwise, Marvel was efficient and rarely rattled.

''A very good first impression,'' Hurdle said.

Marvel will get a chance at a second, third and fourth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cardinals: C Matt Wieters was unavailable on Sunday. Manager Mike Shildt declined to provide specifics. Wieters is expected to be available on Tuesday in Colorado.

Pirates: CF Starling Marte sprained his left wrist while making a catch in the ninth inning. The team pinch-hit for Marte in the ninth. ... OF Jason Martin was moved to the 60-day injured list with a dislocated left shoulder. ... RHP Yefry Ramirez (right calf strain) was activated off the 10-day IL.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Start a three-game set in Colorado on Tuesday with Michael Wacha (6-6, 4.98 ERA) on the hill.

Pirates: Begin a seven-game road trip on Monday in San Francisco. Trevor Williams (7-6, 5.16 ERA) starts against Madison Bumgarner (9-8, 3.81).

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Copyright 2019 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
STL81-62
000011000250
PIT62-81
000000000050
  • W: J. Flaherty (10-7)L: J. Marvel (0-1)S: C. Martinez (19)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
T. Edman RF-3B40000002.278.311.447.7580.0
K. Wong 2B31000110.286.366.426.7921.5
P. Goldschmidt 1B30110100.259.341.463.8044.0
M. Ozuna LF40100002.255.333.496.8301.0
P. DeJong SS40000023.244.324.455.778-1.0
Y. Molina C30000101.274.311.405.7161.0
M. Carpenter 3B31200001.226.336.380.7164.0
R. Arozarena PR-RF10000000.231.333.308.6410.0
H. Bader CF30110100.211.326.354.6803.0
J. Flaherty P20000012.156.188.222.410-0.5
C. Martinez P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    K. Newman SS30100021.313.360.447.8072.0
    B. Reynolds LF40000003.327.391.529.9200.0
    S. Baron C00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
    S. Marte CF30000032.295.342.503.845-1.5
    a- E. Diaz PH10000000.247.301.316.6170.0
    C. Moran 3B40100011.284.331.447.7780.5
    J. Osuna 1B40100021.266.307.511.8181.0
    M. Cabrera RF30200001.282.315.402.7172.0
    A. Frazier 2B30000014.280.338.422.761-0.5
    K. Crick P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    Y. Ramirez P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
    J. Stallings C20000002.260.333.364.6970.0
    b- K. Kramer PH-2B10000000.000.400.000.4000.0
    J. Marvel P10000010.000.000.000.000-0.5
    Y. Rios P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    c- C. Tucker PH10000010.198.265.314.579-0.5
    W. Wang P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    P. Reyes 2B-LF00000100.187.267.297.5641.0
    • a-grounded out for Marte in the 9th
    • b-lined out for Stallings in the 8th
    • c-struck out for Rios in the 6th
    BATTING
    • 2B - P. Goldschmidt (19), M. Carpenter (17)
    • SH - J. Flaherty (7)
    • RBI - P. Goldschmidt (80), H. Bader (32)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - T. Edman 2 (2), P. DeJong 2 (2), Y. Molina, M. Carpenter
    BATTING
    • 2B - K. Newman (18), J. Osuna (16)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - B. Reynolds, S. Marte, C. Moran, A. Frazier
    BASERUNNING
    • Picked Off - J. Flaherty (2)
    FIELDING
    • DP - 2 (Wong-DeJong-Goldschmidt; Carpenter-Wong-Goldschmidt)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Flaherty (W, 10-7)8.050011002.991.0333.0
    C. Martinez (S, 19)1.00000103.071.1710.5
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Flaherty (W, 10-7)8.0
    C. Martinez (S, 19)1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Marvel (L, 0-1)5.04222203.601.203.0
    Y. Rios1.00000006.001.503.0
    W. Wang1.01001003.031.211.0
    K. Crick1.00001204.961.553.0
    Y. Ramirez1.00000006.631.893.0
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Marvel (L, 0-1)5.0
    Y. Rios1.0
    W. Wang1.0
    K. Crick1.0
    Y. Ramirez1.0
    PITCHING
    • WP - J. Flaherty (5)
    • HBP - J. Flaherty (7)
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Flaherty 112-74, C. Martinez 8-5
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Flaherty 8-4, C. Martinez 1-1
    • Batters Faced - J. Flaherty 29, C. Martinez 3
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Marvel 85-53, Y. Rios 8-6, W. Wang 18-10, K. Crick 18-10, Y. Ramirez 14-8
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Marvel 10-3, Y. Rios 1-2, W. Wang 1-1, Y. Ramirez 1-2
    • Batters Faced - J. Marvel 21, Y. Rios 3, W. Wang 4, K. Crick 4, Y. Ramirez 3
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    STL81-62
    000011000250
    PIT62-81
    000000000050
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    T. Edman RF-3B40000002.278.311.447.7580.0
    K. Wong 2B31000110.286.366.426.7921.5
    P. Goldschmidt 1B30110100.259.341.463.8044.0
    M. Ozuna LF40100002.255.333.496.8301.0
    P. DeJong SS40000023.244.324.455.778-1.0
    Y. Molina C30000101.274.311.405.7161.0
    M. Carpenter 3B31200001.226.336.380.7164.0
    R. Arozarena PR-RF10000000.231.333.308.6410.0
    H. Bader CF30110100.211.326.354.6803.0
    J. Flaherty P20000012.156.188.222.410-0.5
    C. Martinez P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
    Total3025204411-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      K. Newman SS30100021.313.360.447.8072.0
      B. Reynolds LF40000003.327.391.529.9200.0
      S. Baron C00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
      S. Marte CF30000032.295.342.503.845-1.5
      a- E. Diaz PH10000000.247.301.316.6170.0
      C. Moran 3B40100011.284.331.447.7780.5
      J. Osuna 1B40100021.266.307.511.8181.0
      M. Cabrera RF30200001.282.315.402.7172.0
      A. Frazier 2B30000014.280.338.422.761-0.5
      K. Crick P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      Y. Ramirez P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
      J. Stallings C20000002.260.333.364.6970.0
      b- K. Kramer PH-2B10000000.000.400.000.4000.0
      J. Marvel P10000010.000.000.000.000-0.5
      Y. Rios P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      c- C. Tucker PH10000010.198.265.314.579-0.5
      W. Wang P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      P. Reyes 2B-LF00000100.187.267.297.5641.0
      Total30050011115-----
      • a-grounded out for Marte in the 9th
      • b-lined out for Stallings in the 8th
      • c-struck out for Rios in the 6th
      BATTING
      • 2B - P. Goldschmidt (19), M. Carpenter (17)
      • SH - J. Flaherty (7)
      • RBI - P. Goldschmidt (80), H. Bader (32)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - T. Edman 2 (2), P. DeJong 2 (2), Y. Molina, M. Carpenter
      BATTING
      • 2B - K. Newman (18), J. Osuna (16)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - B. Reynolds, S. Marte, C. Moran, A. Frazier
      BASERUNNING
      • Picked Off - J. Flaherty (2)
      FIELDING
      • DP - 2 (Wong-DeJong-Goldschmidt; Carpenter-Wong-Goldschmidt)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Flaherty (W, 10-7)8.050011002.991.0333.0
      C. Martinez (S, 19)1.00000103.071.1710.5
      Total9.05001110---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Flaherty (W, 10-7)8.0
      C. Martinez (S, 19)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Marvel (L, 0-1)5.04222203.601.203.0
      Y. Rios1.00000006.001.503.0
      W. Wang1.01001003.031.211.0
      K. Crick1.00001204.961.553.0
      Y. Ramirez1.00000006.631.893.0
      Total9.0522440---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Marvel (L, 0-1)5.0
      Y. Rios1.0
      W. Wang1.0
      K. Crick1.0
      Y. Ramirez1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - J. Flaherty (5)
      • HBP - J. Flaherty (7)
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Flaherty 112-74, C. Martinez 8-5
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Flaherty 8-4, C. Martinez 1-1
      • Batters Faced - J. Flaherty 29, C. Martinez 3
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Marvel 85-53, Y. Rios 8-6, W. Wang 18-10, K. Crick 18-10, Y. Ramirez 14-8
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Marvel 10-3, Y. Rios 1-2, W. Wang 1-1, Y. Ramirez 1-2
      • Batters Faced - J. Marvel 21, Y. Rios 3, W. Wang 4, K. Crick 4, Y. Ramirez 3
      • 6TH INNING
        Goldschmidt doubled to deep right center, Wong scored20
      • 5TH INNING
        Bader singled to left, Carpenter scored10
      • 9TH INNING
        • Steven Baron catching
        • Yefry Ramirez relieved Kyle Crick
        • Y. Molina: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Molina fouled out to third
        • R. Arozarena: Strike looking, Ball, Arozarena grounded out to third
        • H. Bader: Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Bader lined out to center
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Carlos Martinez relieved Jack Flaherty
        • Elias Diaz hit for Starling Marte
        • E. Diaz: Ball, Diaz grounded out to first
        • C. Moran: Ball, Moran flied out to left
        • J. Osuna: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Osuna struck out swinging
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Pablo Reyes at second base
        • Kyle Crick pitching
        • K. Wong: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Wong struck out swinging
        • P. Goldschmidt: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Goldschmidt walked
        • M. Ozuna: Strike looking, Ozuna lined out to left
        • P. DeJong: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, DeJong struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Kevin Kramer hit for Jacob Stallings
        • K. Kramer: Kramer lined out to right
        • P. Reyes: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Reyes walked
        • K. Newman: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Newman struck out swinging
        • B. Reynolds: Strike (foul tip), Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Reynolds grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Wei-Chung Wang pitching
        • M. Carpenter: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Carpenter singled to right center
        • Randy Arozarena ran for Matt Carpenter
        • H. Bader: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Ball, Bader walked, Arozarena to second
        • J. Flaherty: Ball, Flaherty reached on fielder's choice to pitcher, Arozarena out at third, Bader to second
        • T. Edman: Foul, Ball, Flaherty picked off at first, catcher to first, Ball, Strike looking, Edman flied out to deep left
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. Flaherty Pitching:
        • C. Moran: Foul, Moran singled to left
        • J. Osuna: Strike swinging, Osuna lined out to second
        • M. Cabrera: Foul, Cabrera grounded out to first, Moran to second
        • A. Frazier: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike looking, Frazier struck out looking
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • J. Marvel Pitching:
        • K. Wong: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Wong walked
        • P. Goldschmidt: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Ball, Goldschmidt doubled to deep right center, Wong scored
        • Yacksel Rios relieved James Marvel
        • M. Ozuna: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ozuna lined out to shortstop
        • P. DeJong: DeJong grounded out to third
        • Y. Molina: Strike swinging, Molina lined out to center
        • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Cole Tucker hit for Yacksel Rios
        • C. Tucker: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Tucker struck out swinging
        • K. Newman: Ball, Newman hit by pitch
        • B. Reynolds: Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Reynolds grounded out to first, Newman to second
        • S. Marte: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Newman to third on wild pitch, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Marte struck out swinging
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • J. Marvel Pitching:
        • Y. Molina: Ball, Molina grounded out to shortstop
        • M. Carpenter: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Carpenter doubled to deep left
        • H. Bader: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Bader singled to left, Carpenter scored
        • J. Flaherty: Flaherty hit sacrifice bunt to first, Bader to second
        • T. Edman: Ball, Strike swinging, Edman grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 5th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Flaherty Pitching:
        • J. Osuna: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Osuna doubled to deep right
        • M. Cabrera: Cabrera singled to left center
        • A. Frazier: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Frazier reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Osuna to third, Cabrera out at second
        • J. Stallings: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt to first, Stallings grounded into double play third to second to first, Frazier out at second
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • J. Marvel Pitching:
        • K. Wong: Wong grounded out to second
        • P. Goldschmidt: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Goldschmidt grounded out to third
        • M. Ozuna: Strike looking, Ozuna singled to left center
        • P. DeJong: Strike swinging, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, DeJong struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. Flaherty Pitching:
        • B. Reynolds: Ball, Ball, Foul, Reynolds grounded out to second
        • S. Marte: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Marte struck out swinging
        • C. Moran: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Moran struck out looking
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • J. Marvel Pitching:
        • H. Bader: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Bader grounded out to shortstop
        • J. Flaherty: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Flaherty struck out swinging
        • T. Edman: Ball, Edman flied out to center
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Flaherty Pitching:
        • J. Stallings: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Stallings flied out to right
        • J. Marvel: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Marvel struck out swinging
        • K. Newman: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Newman struck out swinging
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • J. Marvel Pitching:
        • M. Ozuna: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ozuna grounded out to second
        • P. DeJong: Ball, Foul, Ball, DeJong lined out to center
        • Y. Molina: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Molina walked
        • M. Carpenter: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Carpenter reached on fielder's choice to center, Molina out at second
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Flaherty Pitching:
        • J. Osuna: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Osuna struck out swinging
        • M. Cabrera: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Cabrera singled to left
        • A. Frazier: Frazier grounded into double play second to shortstop to first, Cabrera out at second
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • J. Marvel Pitching:
        • T. Edman: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Edman grounded out to second
        • K. Wong: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Wong grounded out to second
        • P. Goldschmidt: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Goldschmidt flied out to center
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Flaherty Pitching:
        • K. Newman: Strike (foul tip), Newman doubled to left
        • B. Reynolds: Foul, Reynolds lined out to third
        • S. Marte: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul tip, Marte struck out on foul tip
        • C. Moran: Ball, Strike swinging, Moran grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)