WP: Seung Hwan Oh; LP: Corey Knebel (0-2); SAVE: Zack Duke (2) HR: Jedd Gyorko (24)
The Brewers lost their second straight one run decision to the Cardinals, this time 2-1 in ten innings, and sixth straight game over-all, in a hard fought battle at Miller Park tonight.
Dominating starting pitching has been markedly absent from the Brewers recently, but Wily Peralta continued his resurrection from the depths of a very poor season with a masterful performance against the Cardinals tonight. Unfortunately, Adam Wainwright (noted Brewer dominater himself) was every bit as tough, despite the fact that he has been barely competitive against anybody else.
Peralta worked seven innings, and the only damage was a homer from the red-hot Jedd Gyorko on a hanging sixth inning slider. That was a shame because in general Peralta had his best slider in over two years. In those seven innings Wily allowed just three hits, the one run, walked one, and struck out a season high ten. That’s 10, for those that prefer numerics. Wily looked like one of the best pitchers in baseball tonight.
Wainwright also dominated, although it was more in the mode of a surgeon than Peralta’s power game. He carved up the Brewers with a diet of cutters, 12-6 curves, a few straight fastballs, and a few change-ups. Want to know what he did? Look at Wily, except he didn’t walk anyone and fanned “only” six. Back to back doubles in the bottom of the sixth from Keon Broxton and Marin Maldonado plated a no-out run, but the Brewers couldn’t push that oh so important second run across, with Ryan Braun losing a nine pitch battle vs. Wainwright with a weak grounder to short to end the inning. Braunie has not hit Wainwright well in his career.
Carlos Torres worked a scoreless eighth for the Crew, with a one out single erased by the rather rare 4-5-3 double play off the bat of pinch-hitter Brandon Moss. Tyler Thornburg was spotless in the top of the ninth, striking out Matt Carpenter (his third of the game - only the second time for that all season), Gyorko, and Stephen Piscotty.
With two down in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Braun singled off of the chest of Cardinal closer Seung Hwan Oh, and Hernan Perez dumped a single into shallow left center, with Braun taking third. Perez took second on “defensive indifference” (a term which could be regularly applied to Jonathan Villar, and is a ridiculous scoring rule. Do home runs not count when a game is out of reach?). But Chris Carter continued his regular failure with runners in scoring position, striking out swinging on a 3-2 pitch.
Corey Knebel had his second straight tough outing in the top of the tenth, giving up hits to the first three to face him (a single from Jhonny Peralta, a double by Yadi Molina, and an RBI single to right from Randal Grichak) that produced the winning run.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis walked to lead off the bottom of the tenth against rookie Matt Bowman, closing because Oh worked the ninth. Bowman then walked Keon Broxton, and Martin Maldonado sacrificed the runners to second and third. Domingo Santana struck out on a 3-2 pitch that was low out of the zone, and Villar was intentionally walked.
St. Louis then went with ex-Brewer Zach Duke against Scooter Gennett, and the Brewers countered with Manny Pina pinch-hitting for Scoot. Pina fanned, and the Cards added another game to their Wild Card lead over the Pirates. The Brewers have stuck out 31 times in two games against the Cards over the last two nights.
Tomorrow night the Cards (70-61) send rookie Luke Weaver (1-1, 3.60) against not-rookie Matt Garza (4-6, 4.89) and the rest of the Brewers (56-76, a full 20 games under .500...