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Cardinals 3, Brewers 2: Garza dominates, bullpen doesn't

The Brewers blew a lead and the early removal of Matt Garza left some unanswered questions.

Dilip Vishwanat

W: Lackey, 1-0

L: Jeffress, 0-1

S: Rosenthal, 34

HR: Reynolds (19), Holliday (12)


Fangraphs WPA Box

Matt Garza was untouchable in 6 innings today, but the 7th inning setup crew couldn't buy an out after Garza was inexplicably removed for a pinch-hitter sitting on 71 pitches in the top of the 7th inning and the Brewers could not come back to tie it in the 8th or 9th.

Garza breezed through 6 innings, needing only 38 pitches to get through the first 4 hitless innings. In the 5th, Matt Adams hit a groundball double under the glove of Mark Reynolds, but Garza stranded him at 3rd base. He struck out 4, walked none, and hit one batter in 6 scoreless innings.

Meanwhile, the Brewers managed a run in each of the first two innings against new Cardinal (but Cardinal at heart all along) John Lackey. Ryan Braun doubled with 2 outs in the first and was driven in by Aramis Ramirez. Mark Reynolds hit a home run (on his 31st birthday) in the 2nd. Despite 6 more hits in the game after, the Brewers failed to score again.

Zach Duke took over in the bottom of the 7th and gave up his first home run to a righthanded batter this year to Matt Holliday. He was removed after a single by Matt Adams in favor of Jeremy Jeffress. Jeffress didn't seem to have his top-notch velocity, but kept firing fastball after fastball and gave up 3 consecutive singles. The inning ended with a sacrifice bunt and a strike out of pinch hitter Daniel Descalso, but the Cardinals were up 3-2.

The Brewers got nothing against Pat Neshek in the 8th. In the 9th, Khris Davis singled to right and after Mark Reynolds struck out, Elain Herrera worked a walk out of Trevor Rosenthal. Scooter Gennett (who did not start due to his quad injury) struck out in a pinch at bat and then Carlos Gomez struck out on a check swing to end the game.

We're awaiting word from Ron Roenicke on why Garza was removed.