Cardinals fall short of sweep, drop finale to Milwaukee 2-1, Patty Wiz smacks first career HR
The double-play ball was the Cardinals best friend this afternoon, as they would induce three twin killings in a tight, one-run, contest. The first coming in the top of the 1st inning after Yelich began the afternoon with a bloop single into LF off Gant. Lo-Cain would get a fastball on the inner-half, starting the 6-4-3 double-play to erase the Yelich leadoff single. Moustakas would fly out to Harry Bader on the 14th pitch to end the inning.
Jhoulys Chacín was unstoppable this afternoon, tossing six strong shutout innings, holding the Birds to four hits, all singles. Chacín retired the side in order to begin his afternoon, getting O’Neill to ground out to Moustakas on the 12th pitch.
Speaking of O’Neill, he would start the top of the 2nd off robbing Aguilar of a double to RF, this Cardinals OF is fun to watch flash the leather recently. Shaw would hit a one-out single to RF, getting stranded after Braun flew out to Ozuna and Kratz grounded into a 6-4 fielder’s choice.
Trap House connected for the first Cardinals hit today, lining a two-out single into RF vs a shifted infield. Chacín then ended the inning getting Bader to ground out to Moustakas.
The Brewers cracked the scoreboard in the 3rd inning, getting things started with an Arcia single up-the-middle. The Brewers SS proceeded to swipe 2B after that, moving up to 3B on a Chacín groundout to Garcia. With Yelich up, the infield would play in and it would actually pay off, as he would rip a grounded to Garcia at 2B, who would look back Arcia at third on the play. Lo-Cain extended the inning with a walk, although Gant seemed to throw numerous strikes in the plate appearance, getting treated unfairly from Ramon De Jesus, the home plate umpire. Moustakas made the walk hurt, ripping an 0-2 changeup into RF for a two-run double after getting two changeups in-a-row to start the at bat, making it 2-0 Brewers.
Greg Garcia started the bottom of the 3rd with a single into RF, getting sacrificed over to 2B on the Gant bunt. Carp then grounded into the shift, 4-3, advancing Garcia over to 3B with two down. Yadi ended the inning on Chacín’s 8th pitch, grounding to Arcia to end the inning.
Johnny G would pick up his first strikeout of the afternoon to end the 4th inning, getting Arcia to go down via the vulcan-change after a Kratz single to CF. Chacín retired the Cards in order their half of the 4th, getting some help from his defense as Arcia took away a single in the hole from Swags for the second out. Chacín then ended the inning with his second punch out, getting DeJong to swing and miss at a low two-seam fastball.
Gant’s final inning would come in the 5th, as he would only record the first out, getting Chacín to ground out to Garcia. Yelich then walked and Cain would hit an infield single to end the day for Gant, lasting 4.1 innings. Shildt would roll the dice with Brett Cecil for the next two outs, getting things started vs Moustakas. Cecil won the battle getting him to roll over a pitch to Carp at 1B, both runners advancing a base on the play. With two down and 1B open, Cecil would intentionally walk Aguilar to face Shaw. Cecil ended the inning getting Shaw to pop out to Carp in foul territory, his second great outing since returning from the DL.
Tyson Ross would get the ball next, throwing 3 scoreless/hitless innings for the Cardinals bullpen. Ross would retire the Brewers in order on 13 pitches to begin his first inning of work, after Chacín worked a quick 12-pitch inning. The Cardinals almost struck for some runs on Chacín in the bottom of the 6th, getting things started with a bunt single from the Leadoff Guy himself, Matt Carpenter. Carp saw the shift and placed the bunt perfectly, almost getting thrown out on an amazing effort from Chacín. The Cardinals would try a hit-and-run with Yadi to no avail, bringing in O’Neill, who would ground into a 4-6 fielder’s choice. Swags continued the inning with a grounder back up the middle for a single, but Chacín would get the best of Pauly Deez for the second time today, making him chase a low two-seamer for the final out.
Eric Thames would pinch-hit for Chacín to begin the 7th inning, earning a free pass. The Brewers would try a hit-and-run themselves next, as Yelich would line into a 4-3 double play, as Garcia leaped up in the air to take away a hit. Ross ended the inning getting Lo-Cain to ground out back to him on the mound.
Jeremy Jeffress, rested to the fullest, would throw the 7th and 8th innings for the Brewers, retiring the side in order in the 7th on 16 pitches. Jeffress recorded his first of two strikeouts getting Bader to swing and miss at a knuckle-curve low in the zone.
Tyson Ross induced the third double play, second of his outing, for the first two outs of the 8th. Moustakas worked a leadoff walk to bring in Aguilar, who would reach at a slider, grounding into a 5-4-3 double-play. Shaw ended the inning flying out to O’Neill on the first offering, taking things to the bottom of the 8th where an unlikely player made things interesting.
With Jeffress still on the bump and Ross’s spot due-up, Patrick Wisdom would grab a bat and pinch-hit. Wisdom made the most of it too, smacking a two strike breaking pitch over the wall in LCF for his first career HR, inching the Cardinals back into the game making it 2-1. Matt Carpenter a pitch later looked to tie the game up at 2-2, flying out to Lo-Cain in deep CF for the first out. Carp gave it a ride to the warning track, making Busch Stadium almost explode with excitement. Jeffress put an end to the fireworks, getting Yadi to ground out and striking out O’Neill on a fastball for the final out.
Mike Mayers would get the 9th inning today in the 2-1 ballgame, walking the leadoff man, Ryan Braun to begin the inning. Kratz moved Braun over with a sac bunt, bringing in Arcia. Mayers ended the inning with back-to-back strikeouts, getting Arcia and Pérez to both go down whiffing at the slider.
Josh Hader, who had 8 days of rest, tossed the 9th inning, picking up his 10th save for the Brewers, salving the weekend sweep. Hader made quick work of Swags and DeJong, striking them out to bring in Trap House as the final hope. And my oh my was he a good final hope, flying out to the deepest part of RF. Broxton would range back to the warning track in front of the Cards pen and snatch away extra-bases to keep things alive for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals (68-57) head out on a west coast road trip now, making their first stop in Chavez Ravine to play the Dodgers (67-58) for three-games. What an interesting series to start the road trip with wildcard implications on the line.
Austin Gomber (3-0, 2.89) gets things started for the Cardinals in game-one as he takes on the lefty, Alex Wood (7-6, 3.51). First pitch from the nostalgic Dodger Stadium, 9:10 c/t. Gonna be some late nights ahead of us, so get your naps in, because I promise it’ll be worth it.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 125 is in the books