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Cardinals 5, Brewers 1

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W: Joel Piniero (7-9)
L: Carlos Villanueva (2-5)

HR: Ryan Ludwick (13)

MVP: Manny Parra (+.476)
LVP: Carlos Villanueva (-.449)

Win Expectancy Graph

Well, that turned ugly in a hurry.

Manny Parra returned from AAA today and was the Manny Parra we'd all hoped he'd be all along. He allowed just three hits and walked just one batter while throwing seven shutout innings, striking out seven. Through seven innings it look like he'd be the hero of the day, and the Brewers had staked him to a 1-0 lead.

Unfortunately, Carlos Villanueva and the Brewer bullpen had something to say about it. Villanueva faced two batters and allowed both to reach, with the tying run scoring on a Brendan Ryan RBI triple. Mitch Stetter entered after that and walked the only batter he faced before Todd Coffey, who threw two innings yesterday, was called in for emergency service and the wheels came off. After Albert Pujols drove in a run to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead, Ryan Ludwick hit a three run home run to give the Cardinals the insurance they never needed.

The Brewer bats were nearly helpless all day against Joel Piniero, who allowed just three hits while pitching a complete game for his seventh victory, and faced just one batter over the minimum. Prince Fielder went 2-for-3, but the remaining Brewers went 1-for-25 and didn't draw a single walk.