Cards utility man delivers after fanning with RISP in first 2 at-bats; Stanley, Pham set stage
By Joe Harris
Special to MLB.com |
ST. LOUIS -- Brandon Moss had a chance to rewrite the script Tuesday night, and he took full advantage of it.
Moss blasted a three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth against Nationals reliever Casey Janssen to lift the Cardinals to an 8-5 comeback win at Busch Stadium. Moss' fifth career walk-off homer erased what was a frustrating evening.
"That obviously felt good, but it felt even better because my first two at-bats were runners in scoring position, bases loaded, and my first at-bat I got punched out looking, and that's a terrible feeling," Moss said. "So to come through right there feels a lot better because of that, to kind of redeem yourself."
The rally, which all came with two outs, was set up by some unlikely characters.
"You've got to calm it down," Stanley said. "It's the same game in a different atmosphere, and that's the approach I took the last time in April, when I was up for a few days, and eventually it worked out again."
Tommy Pham, who was recalled from Memphis on Aug. 17, followed with a walk to bring up Moss.
"He's staying sharp," manager Mike Matheny said of Pham. "He hasn't been playing every day, but I think he realizes that he's got an opportunity to come in and do something late in the game like he did today."
The home run was Moss' second hit of the game. After striking out looking his first two plate appearances, Moss doubled and was hit by a pitch to reach three times.
"We put some pressure on them," Moss said. "We had some really good at-bats late. We had good at-bats all night. We weren't getting a lot of hits, but we were working their pitchers, making them throw pitches and putting pressure on them."
Moss, who struggled initially after being acquired in a trade in late July from the Indians, now has a six-game hitting streak and has multiple hits in his last two games.
"He's been putting together some good at-bats, so that's good to see," Matheny said. "I know he's been pressing a bit to try to show what he can do, and I think we're seeing it."
It is Moss' second walk-off hit as a Cardinal. The other came against the Rockies on Aug. 2.
Moss is definitely enjoying his new surroundings.
"Every night, they bring the same energy, they bring the same focus," Moss said. "We're in every ballgame, and the pitching staff, I love the way they go out, and I love the way they pitch, and I love the way when they're not pitching, they're in the dugout with us and they're rooting hitters on every single at-bat, every single pitch.
"This is a great team to be a part of."
Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.