The Cardinals have two days off in a span of four days next week, so their need for a fifth starter will be lessened for one turn.
Helsley takes the cake on birthdayRyan Helsley gave the Cardinals a present on his 27th birthday, wriggling out of a first-and-third jam he inherited Sunday from starter Wade LeBlanc in the sixth inning Sunday. Helsley, who struck out two hitters in the inning, has allowed only four inherited runners to score out of 25 inherited.
Maintaining the Cardinals’ 1-1 tie with the San Francisco Giants, Helsley was involved in what probably was the key stretch of the game that the Cardinals won 2-1.
“I would say that’s probably accurate,” Shildt said. “(There were) clearly some big moments to it but Helsley was tremendous. First and third, nobody out. He’s got some serious firepower, boy. He has the heater going, touched 100, sitting on 98 plus. That was one fantastic job by ‘Hels.’”
Even though Darin Ruf had hit the ball halfway to the moon in his previous at-bat for a homer off LeBlanc, he was lifted for lefthanded-hitting Lamonte Wade Jr., who struck out on a 99.3 mph fastball from Helsley.
Wilmer Flores flied to short center and Donovan Solano was held at third, and Harrison Bader’s throw home sailed well off line.
The Cardinals pitched around All-Star Brandon Crawford, walking him on four pitches — the fourth of which was intentional. Helsley then fanned Mike Tauchman on a 99.8 mph fastball to end the inning.