Winning Pitcher: Shelby Miller (1-2)
Losing Pitcher: Marco Estrada (1-1)
Marco Estrada was able to pitch a clean 1-2-3 first inning, highlighted by an excellent catch in foul territory by Khris Davis. He ran into trouble in the second though. After hitting Yadier Molina, Jhonny Peralta hit a double. With Molina at third base, a Mark Ellis ground out giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Estrada would end the inning by striking out the next batter.
In the third inning Estrada allowed a walk which would come around to score on a double by Allen Craig. Estrada was able to catch Craig off the base for the third out. It looked very close and for a moment it seemed like the Cardinals were going to ask for a replay. Fortunately they didn't, as I thought it would have been reversed.
The fourth inning was another mess. Estrada gave up a base hit to Matt Adams. Molina hit a bloop single which allowed Adams to advance to third. The Brewers caught a break when Aramis Ramirez charged a grounder from Jhonny Peralta and was able to get the runner at third out in a run down. The runners would advance to second and third though. Mark Ellis would drive in the Cardinals third run on a sac fly. The next play was somewhat similar. Peter Bourjous grounded to Jean Segura. With no chance to get the out at first he threw to third which allowed them to get Ellis in a round down for the third out.
This started out as another frustrating game for the Brewers offense. In the first inning Carlos Gomez drew a walk. Yes you read that right. He was immediately erased when Ryan Braun grounded into a double play. Then in the second inning Jonathan Lucroy drew a walk and was promptly erased by himself. He attempted to steal second...against Yadier Molina. Frustrating. Khris Davis also drew a walk that inning, but he never moved off first base.
In the fourth inning with two outs Aramis Ramirez said NO MORE with his second home run of the season. The Brewers would cut the Cardinals lead to 3-1. After the two run downs to end the Cardinals half of the fourth inning this really felt like a turning point. It felt that way...
Marco Estrada struck out the first batter in the fifth and got Matt Carpenter to pop-out in foul territory. He then struck out Allen Craig to end the inning. The sixth inning went just about as smoothly starting with a ground out by Matt Holliday. Scooter Gennett made a nice catch in shallow right field for the second out. The third out came on a grounder to Segura who actually bobbled pretty badly, but with Molina running it didn't matter.
Tyler Thornburg took the mound in the seventh inning. I was a big fan of this move. Thornburg throws in the mid-90's while Estrada throws in the high-80's to low-90's. I think it keeps the batters off balance. In this case it worked as Thornburg retired the side with a strike out, ground out, and fly out.
In the eighth inning Ron Roenicke pulled Thornburg so Zach Duke could face Daniel Descalso. The Cardinals countered with Shane Robinson. He grounded out. Duke then struck out Carpenter. For some reason Roenicke decided to leave Duke in to face Allen Craig. It happened to work as Duke got the ground out. Good results, bad process in my opinion. Thornburg is too good to be relegated to single innings and Duke just isn't very good.
Jim Henderson entered in the 9th and gave up a lead off home run to Matt Holliday on the first pitch. Matt Adams followed with a single. He was erased when Molina hit into a fielder's choice. Jhonny Peralta would then hit his second home run of the series bringing the Cardinals lead to 6-1.
Those runs were unnecessary as the Brewers' offense was unable to put anything together after Ramirez's solo shot in the fourth inning. It's frustrating anytime the Cardinals beat them, but their season record is 10-4 which is still pretty good. They're back at it tomorrow afternoon at 12:05 pm CT when Wily Peralta faces Joe Kelly. The game will not be televised.