MVP: Zach Duke (+.115)
LVP: Frnacisco Rodriguez (-.306)
I don't know what to say tonight. I really don't.
The Brewers had this game, and they had it early. They put together an early 6-0 lead. They chased the Cardinals starter out of the game after 3 innings. At their best part today, they had a 96.5% chance of win. Then, the collapse happened. The best way to show it to you is through a graph:
Some of this is just bad luck, and here's how I can say that. Within the last week, the Brewers lost games where they had a 4-run lead and a 6-run lead. I went back and looked at the Brewers best chances of winning the game in both of those games. In Tuesday's game, it was 86.2%. In today's game, it was 96.5%. Doing some quick math, that means the chances of losing Tuesday's game was 13.8% at the best point, and 3.5% at the best point today. Do you know what the chances of losing both of those games are? 0.4%. To put it another way, if the Brewers had 250 chances come up with two separate games with those chances to win, they would lose both games in only 1 of those 250 chances. (Yes, I know there are many ways you can criticize that math, but that's not the point right now.)
Here's the shorthand version of the recap. The Brewers were staked to an early 3-0 lead with RBIs from Aramis Ramirez and Khris Davis. They built that lead to 6-0 thanks to RBI from Scooter Gennett and Ryan Braun. That was all the offense could go in the game. Meanwhile, Yovani Gallardo started strong before collapsing in the later innings. He allowed a two-run home run to Matt Adams in the fourth, then home runs to Kolten Wong and Jhonny Peralta in the sixth. That chased Gallardo from the game, and Rob Wooten came in. He allowed all three batters he faced to reach base, and Zach Duke came in to try to save the inning. He couldn't, and the Cardinals tied the game on an RBI groundout.
Zach Duke kept the Cardinals into the seventh, and Brandon Kintzler retired the one batter he faced. Will Smith pitched a clean eighth, then Francisco Rodriguez came in. He allowed a home run to Matt Holliday to give the Cardinals the lead, and the Brewers could do nothing to make a comeback in the ninth.
The Brewers still have a 1 game lead in the division, but that's not much consolation right now. Adam Wainwright starts tomorrow, and he's 11-4 with a 1.79 ERA. The Brewers send out Jimmy Nelson, who's making his third major league start. The game will be on Fox Sports 1 at 3:10 pm. If the Brewers don't want to lose sole possession of first place, they have to show up tomorrow, and in a big way.