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Brewers 5, Cardinals, 4: Defense? Where we're going, we don't need defense

Defensive miscues on both sides turned the Brewers and Cardinals series opener into a comedy of errors.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Win: Matt Garza (1-1)
Loss: Adam Wainwright (1-1)

Save: Francisco Rodriguez (1)

HR: None

Fangraphs Win Expectancy Chart

The Brewers record may still not be great, but boy howdy does it always feel good to see the team beat the Cardinals.

Matt Garza seemed like he was constantly in danger today as he allowed six hits and five walks over 5.2 innings pitched, good for a WHIP of 1.94. But four strikeouts and some good timing allowed him to escape having allowed just two runs, only one of which was earned.

The Brewers also took an early lead -- a rarity this year -- as an Adam Lind ground out was enough to score Carlos Gomez in the first inning. Milwaukee got a second run in the next inning as Khris Davis singled to lead off, then came around to score on a Scooter Gennett groundout later in the inning.

The Cardinals came back with a run apiece in the third and fourth innings to tie the game, but a third RBI groundout for the Brewers (this one in the sixth) put the Brewers back on top. Milwaukee got two more in the seventh to take a big 5-2 lead. Scooter Gennett singled and moved to second on a sacrifice, then came around with a Carlos Gomez double. Gomez himself then scored as Jonathan Lucroy singled on a grounder to the right side.

Despite taking a nice lead late, the Brewers still barely escaped with a win. Awful defense and a perplexing managerial decision almost sunk the team, particularly late in the game. Jean Segura had three balls fly away from him on the day -- two went over Adam Lind's head and the third pulled him off the bag.

That third one came in the bottom of the seventh inning with Matt Holliday leading off. It looked as though Adam Lind had gotten back to the bag for an out, but Holliday was ruled safe by the first base umpire. Despite it being in the final third of the game and despite it giving the Cardinals a runner with no outs, Ron Roenicke stupidly (not gonna mince words there) refused to challenge the play.

Matt Adams followed with a single, putting two runners on base. Both advanced on a wild pitch from Jeremy Jeffress. Then Jhonny Peralta doubled ("doubled") on a liner that probably should have been declared an error by Ryan Braun. The ball came in towards Braun's shoelaces and he attempted to make the catch. He missed. The ball went by. And two runs scored to cut the lead to one. A flyout, groundout, intentional walk and ground out later and Jeffress thankfully escaped without any more damage being caused.

Thankfully, Jonathan Broxton and Francisco Rodriguez had little trouble in the eighth and ninth as the latter picked up his first save of the season.

The Brewers won! But even when they win its not pretty.