Cardinals Earn Huge Split Behind an Excellent Luke Weaver Start, 8-2
Matt Carpenter and Greg Garcia would get things started quickly vs Chacín today, drawing a leadoff walk, followed by a double down the LF line.
Chacín got a huge strikeout on Cafecíto with a little help from Mike Winters. Swags Ozuna would hit a sac-fly to RF, just missing extra bases, scoring Carp to make it 1-0 Cardinals.
Luke Weaver took the mound, looking to shake off his recent struggles that have continued the young righty. The Crew would smack four hits, scoring two runs to take the lead on Weaver, making him throw 32 pitches to end the inning.
After striking out Thames to begin his day, Yelich would muscle an oppo taco, solo HR. Ryan Braun then doubled to RF to put another runner in scoring position quick. Weaver got Shaw to strikeout looking at a good fastball, bringing up Pérez. Pérez would bloop an RBI single over Cafecíto’s head, into RF, scoring Braun to make it 2-1 Brewers.
Villar extended the inning to Kratz after hitting a grounder through the right side of the infield for a double, moving Pérez up to third. Weaver escaped further damage getting Kratz to lineout sharply to Dex in RF.
The Cardinals would look to get things cooking in the 2nd inning as well, stranding two runners. Dex and Bader started the inning, both reaching base, Dex walking and Harry with a single to LF. Chacín then retired the next three in order, striking out Weaver and Carp to end the threat.
Luke Weaver was absolutely dominate the next 5 innings, holding the Brewers hitless for 4 straight innings.
Dexter Fowler would assist Weaver with some 5-Star defense to start the bottom of the 2nd, ranging far to his right in the gap, taking away more than likely a triple from Orlando Arcia. Weaver would walk his counterpart next, before settling in and retiring 9 in-a-row.
Weaver ended his 2nd inning of work with a nasty curveball to Yelich.
Weaver would add two more strikeouts to his line in the bottom of the 3rd, ending his inning with back-to-back strikeouts of Shaw (who left after strike two in the AB, being replaced by Brad Miller) and Pérez. Weaver got Pérez on a great changeup, a pitch he couldn’t find early on this afternoon.
4th & 5th Inning:
The Cardinals offense would total 7 runs on 7 hits in the 4th and 5th innings.
Dexter Fowler (2-4) led off the 4th with his first of two doubles, his first multi-extra base hit game since September of last season, hitting it down the LF line. Bader then drew a walk to put two runner on for Wong. Chacín got Wong to fly out to Braun and Fowler would test his arm, tagging up successfully, sliding in safely to third. Chacín earned a huge second out, striking out Weaver on a slider, his fifth of the game.
Carp, leadoff guy, when all looks doomed, comes through with a clutch 2-run single to CF, scoring Dex and Harry, making it 3-2 Cardinals. Greg Garcia would draw a walk, extending the inning to Cafecíto. Cafecíto would unload on a two-seam fastball, crushing it to deep LCF for a 3 run HR, also destroying someone’s nachos on the play. The HR gave the Cardinals a much needed 6-2 lead.
Weaver began his 4th inning with back-to-back strikeouts of Villar and Kratz, his fourth in-a-row. Arcia ended the inning, fisting a ball back to Weaver on the mound.
Dexter Fowler would lead off his second inning in-a-row with a double the opposite way, smacking it past a diving Yelich in CF. The Brah, Harry Bader, would drive in Dex with an RBI single to LF. Kolten Wong would single to RF, moving Bader to 3B for Weaver, who would sacrifice him in with a bunt back to Chacín, making it 8-2 Cardinals.
Weaver would work a 15 pitch 5th inning, starting it with a strikeout of Sogard on a changeup.
Thames would break up the nine-consecutive set down with a walk. Weaver would leave him at first, getting Yelich and Braun to fly out to end the inning.
Bullpen Lights Out:
The Cardinals offense was done for the day following the 5th, getting one more hit, coming from Swags in the 6th.
The bullpen would take over from here, and they picked up where they left off last night.
With two runners on base (Villar and Kratz) and his pitch count at 104, Matheny would turn the game over to Mike Mayers. Mayers came in and snagged a huge strikeout on pinch-hitter, Jesús Aguilar, sitting him down on a 99 mph heater.
Greg Holland would turn in his third consecutive scoreless outing, slowly becoming what the Cardinals had envisioned when signing him for $14 million on Opening Day.
Holland would give up a one out single to Thames before striking out Yelich on three pitches. The slider he threw to Yelich to punch him out, disgusting. Braun would end the inning with a ground ball to Wong.
Brett Cecil and John Brebbia would toss perfect 8th and 9th innings. Cecil would only need 9 pitches in the 8th, striking out Villar on a tight knuckle curve to end the inning.
Brebbia came in the 9th pumping gas for strikes, wasting no time, obviously ready for a happy flight. Brebbia would pick up back-to-back strikeouts on blazing fastballs, getting Kratz looking and Piña swinging. Eric “Nerd Power” Sogard was the final out, flying out to Dex for an 8-2 Cardinals victory and split with the first place Brewers.
The Cardinals (40-36) start a six-game homestand Monday night, welcoming in the red-hot, first place, Cleveland Indians (43-33).
John Gant (1-2, 4.39) will get the ball rolling in game one, taking on the rockstar flowing locks of Mike Clevinger (6-2, 3.00).
First pitch from the beautiful Busch Stadium is 7:15 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!