Adam Wainwright was not great, his defense let him down in a few crucial moments, and the Cardinals dropped the first game of a four-game set against the Brewers Thursday night in St. Louis.
Paul Goldschmidt continued to tear the cover off the ball, reaching base three times – including a homer – to bring his season OPS over 1,000. Andre Pallante looked great out of the bullpen after a tough night against Toronto this week. But the Redbirds’ bats were silenced in the middle innings en route to their second consecutive loss.
Here’s how it went down:
Milwaukee jumped all over Wainwright in the first inning. After Kolten Wong flew out for the first out, Luis Urias jumped on an 0-1 sinker that did not sink and carried it into the left field seats for his fourth homer of the season. It gave Milwaukee an early 1-0 lead.
Waino punched out Christian Yelich for the second out, but Andrew McCutchen and Rowdy Tellez hit back-to-back singles to give Milwaukee runners on the corners with two outs (although Tellez’s single should have been a simple flyout to Yepez, truthfully). Tyrone Taylor then hit the first pitch he saw back up the middle for a single, scoring McCutchen, to make it 2-0 Brewers in the first.
Narvaez grounded out to Nolan Arenado at third base to end the inning after 23 pitches.
St. Louis wasted to time either, getting to Brewers’ starter Eric Lauer just like their counterparts did to Waino. Tommy Edman led off with a double into the left center gap, and Paul Goldschmidt walked to get on base behind him. Arenado flew out to the right field for the first out, with Edman advancing to third. Pujols worked the count 2-2 and then laced a Lauer slider down the third base line into the left field for a base hit, scoring Edman with Goldschmidt advancing to third.
Yepez hit a sac fly to center field to score Goldy for the second out, and also tying the game 2-2. Yadier Molina drew a four-pitch walk from Lauer to extend the inning a little longer, but Harrison Bader popped out to Narvaez in foul territory to end the inning and keep things knotted at two.
Lorenzo Cain flew out to Bader in center for the first out of the inning, but Jace Pederson got into scoring position by tagging the ninth pitch he saw from Wainwright into the right-center field gap for a double. Wong popped out to Sosa in left field (he called off Yepez to avoid another incident) for the second out.
Urias then hit a slow chopper to Sosa at second base, but Sosa’s throw to first was high and Goldschmidt was unable to bring the tag down in time to nab Urias. With two outs and runners on the corners, Yelich singled to the right field to score Pederson and give Milwaukee a 3-2 lead in the second inning.
McCutchen then struck out to end the inning for Milwaukee.
Sosa grounded out to second base for the first out, and Donovan struck out looking on an outside fastball. But two-out singles from Edman and Goldschmidt, followed by a walk to Arenado, gave Pujols a great opportunity with the bases loaded and St. Louis down by a run.
Pujols worked the count 2-2 before grounding out softly to shortstop, stranding the bases loaded. However, the Cardinals forced Lauer to throw 59 pitches over the first two innings.
Waino was able to work around a two-out double from Narvaez to put up a zero. Before that double, Tellez grounded out to Sosa at short and Taylor flew out to Bader in the center. After Narvaez ‘double into the right field corner, Cain hit a lazy fly ball to Bader to end the inning for Milwaukee.
St. Louis went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the third against Lauer. Yepez popped out to Wong at second, Molina flew out to center, and Bader hit a line drive directly at Pederson, which he caught for the final out of the inning.
Milwaukee tacked on another run in the fourth to pad their lead.
Pederson flew out to Yepez in left field for the first out. Wong had a clean base hit to the right field with one down. Urias then flew out to Bader for the second out of the inning, but a two-out Yelich walk advanced Wong into the scoring position for McCutchen.
McCutchen made Wainwright pay for the walk, singling to left field to drive in Wong and make it 4-2 Milwaukee. Tellez then hit a soft ground ball towards Wainwright on the mound, and the Cardinals’ righty was able to throw him out at first by a hair to avoid any further damage.
The Cardinals were retired in order again in the fourth. Sosa popped out to Tellez in foul territory, Donovan grounded out to Urias at short, and Edman flew out to Cain in center.
Taylor grounded out to Nolan at third base for the first out of the fifth inning. Narvaez then singled on a line drive to the center, his second hit of the game. Cain grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning, started by Arenado and finished with the stretch by Goldschmidt at first base.
Wainwright’s final line: 5 IP, 10 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K’s (100 pitches)
After Goldschmidt and Arenado both grounded out to Wong at second base (for the first and second outs of the inning), Pujols worked a walk to stop the streak of eight straight Cardinals who had been retired by Lauer. Yepez was unable to move Albert, however, as he popped out to Tellez in foul territory.
Lauer’s final line: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 1 K (96 pitches)
Andre Pallante took over in the sixth inning – his 16th appearance of the season – and was able to work a clean frame. Pederson grounded out to third, Wong struck out swinging, and Urias grounded out to third.
Trevor Kelley took over in the sixth for Milwaukee – his second appearance of the season – and walked the first batter he saw in Molina. But Bader popped out to Tellez in foul territory, Nolan Gorman (pinch-hitting for Sosa) struck out, and Donovan grounded out to second base to end the inning and leave Yadi at first base.
Yelich singled to left field – his second hit of the game – leading off the seventh against Pallante. McCutchen flew out to Donovan in the right field for the first out of the seventh, Tellez flew out to Yepez for the second out, and Taylor grounded out to Edman at short to end the inning.
Milwaukee brought in right-hander Trevor Gott to the seventh, making his 18th appearance of the season. Tommy Edman hit a line drive directly at Urias for the first out of the inning. Paul Goldschmidt then wacked a high fastball (I mean, really high) a mile high, and it just snuck over the left field wall for a solo homer, cutting Milwaukee’s lead to 4-3. It left the bat at just 99.7 mph, and traveled 363 feet.
Arenado tried to make it back-to-back, but his fly ball to left field safely settled into the glove of Yelich about 15 feet in front of the warning track for the second out of the inning. Gott then hit Pujols with a 96 mph fastball on a 1-2 count, putting the tying run on base (although it would probably take a triple to score him).
Yepez popped out to Tellez in foul territory to end the inning, leaving Albert at first.
Pallante came back out for a third inning, the second time this season he’s been extended for more than two innings. Tellez grounded out to Gorman at second base for the first out. Cain stung a double to the right-center field gap with one out. Pederson grounded out to Goldschmidt at first, moving Cain to third with two outs. But Wong wasn’t able to do anything with it, grounding out to Gorman at second for the final out of the Brewers’ eighth.
A solid bounce-back outing for Pallante after the debacle against Toronto the other night.
Molina led off the eighth inning against Brad Boxberger and popped out to Pederson in foul territory on the first pitch. Bader then reached on an infield single to third base – Pederson dove out for it, but was unable to recover and make a strong throw after taking the time to dive.
But Gorman struck out swinging and Donovan flew out to Taylor in the right field, ending the inning and successfully bridging the gap to Josh Hader in the ninth.
Giovanny Gallegos was tasked with holding the deficit at one in the ninth, and he did that. He struck out Urias and Yelich to start the inning, and McCutchen flew out to Bader for the final out.
To force extra innings or win, the Cardinals needed to score a run off Hader, who has not given up an earned run since last July and was riding a 34-inning scoreless streak.
Edman started the ninth with his third hit of the game – a line drive single to center field. This was just the third hit Hader had allowed this season. Goldschmidt then struck out looking at a 99 mph fastball. After falling behind 0-2, Arenado worked the count full and walked, which also advanced Edman to second base for Pujols.
With the tying and go-ahead runs on base and only one out, Hader ran the count to 2-2 against Pujols and finally got him to pop out to Tellez in foul territory on the seventh pitch of the at-bat. Yepez then popped out to Pedeson at third base for the final out of the ballgame.
FINAL: Brewers 4, Cardinals 3
St. Louis (24-20) will try to even the series tomorrow night at Busch. Dakota Hudson (3-2, 3.60 ERA) is on the bump for the Cardinals after having what may have been his worst start of the season last week against the Mets. Opposing him for the Brewers (29-16) will be 2021 All-Star Brandon Woodruff (5-2, 4.76 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:15 pm
Around the Central
Reds 20, Cubs 5 – Joey Votto was the only Reds starter to not record a hit in an absolute massacre at GABP.
Pickle # 78 – 4/9
WARdle has been renamed “MLB Pickle” so I will continue to share my pickle with you all when I do the recap.