Matt Vierling’s history book day comes a blank card in Phillie’s loss to the Cardinals

ST. LOUIS – The attendance at Busch Stadium for Sunday afternoon’s match between the Phillies and host St. Louis Cardinals was 36,112.

Dozens of these people were family and friends of Matt Vierling, Phillies’ novice midfielder who grew up in the area.

“Thirty,” he said, putting a number on it. “There were others scattered around the stadium from high school and stuff.”

Vierling wanted to put on a good show for the locals. And he did. He had an RBI single in the fourth round. But he wanted more. It was therefore the bottom of the eighth round and the Phillies’ 4-3 loss to the cards sweated a little extra.

The Cardinals pushed over the clear signal at the bottom of the eighth when pinch-runner Dylan Carlson scored from third place on a sacrificial fly to midfield by Tommy Edman.

Vierling’s throw from the center was powerful and in goal.

Carlson crossed the record with a foot-first slide and was first called out by home record judge Todd Tichenor. However, the call was reversed after the cardinals challenged.

Vierling saw the bad news in real time on the video board over the midfield.

“I saw him sneak his hand in there,” he said. “I really wanted it. I really did. Uh. It’s a tough pill to swallow. Man, it’s hard.”

The loss interrupted a three-game winning streak for the Phillies, who still control the third and final NL wild card spot with a match lead over the Cardinals.

Phils won the first two games of this four-game series, both with shutouts, and will look to win the series behind Aaron Nola on Monday night.

Vierling, 25, grew up as a Cardinals fan and, like all children his age, idolized Albert Pujols, now 42, with the Cardinals for the final season of his Hall of Fame career.

Now as a part-time player, Pujols got his start on Sunday. He had three hits, including his 684th homer, and started the clear signal on the eighth with a base hit.

“It’s pretty special to compete against him,” said Vierling, who had his picture taken with Pujols last week in Philadelphia. “He still does, and it’s pretty impressive.”

Pujols’ hit in the eighth came against Phillie’s bullpen ace Seranthony Dominguez, who worked for the third time in four days and struggled with placement. Dominguez allowed two hits and his first time since May 21. He had gone 17 excursions without walking before giving one in four places to pinch hitter Paul Goldschmidt to load the bases before Edman’s clear signal.

Phillies had control of the match in the middle of the inning. Kyle Schwarber gave them a 3-1 lead with his 28th homer in the fifth. Cristopher Sanchez gave up Pujols’ homer in the sixth and a lead-off hit to Austin Romine that equalized in the seventh. The Cards took the lead in the eighth in the close game on the record.

“Great throw by Vierling,” said manager Rob Thomson.

“We’ve had a bunch of super close fights, all the way down to the thread against these guys,” Vierling said.

Another Monday night. Phils is 4-2 against the cards this season.

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