Milwaukee starter Jhoulys Chacin pitched into the sixth inning tonight but was ineffective in his second straight start. He wasn’t helped by his defense, and two of his six runs allowed were unearned. The Brewers committed three errors on the night, and all of them came with Chacin on the mound. Jonathan Villar had two of the errors and both led to the unearned runs. Chacin allowed seven hits and walked two in his 5 2⁄3 innings, allowing a homerun to Yadier Molina (sigh) and striking out five.
Oliver Drake got the last out of the sixth and struck out the side in the seventh; Jeremy Jeffress pitched around a two out single while getting his three outs on groundballs to short, and Dan Jennings had another scoreless inning despite a lead-off single and walk in the top of the ninth (a double play and strikeout ended the frame). So another good night for the pen, and another bad start from the rotation.
Carlos Martinez should have had a complete game shut-out tonight at Miller Park, but an error by Cards’ third baseman Yairo Munoz (a defensive replacement) in the bottom of the ninth spoiled a probable game ending double play. With Martinez’ pitch count over 110 and two on, the Cards relieved him with Sam Tuinailala. Villar took a 3-2 fastball just softly enough into left-center to elude center fielder Tommy Pham to load the bases with Brewers.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny then went with Bud Norris, and he got Manny Pina on a tap in front on the plate for a 1-2-3 double play. I wrote about the ninth inning because Martinez so dominated the rest of the game that a list of them would be redundant. After the first two batters of the second reached for the Brewers (Domingo Santana was hit by a pitch, Jonathan Villar singled), Martinez retired sixteen in a row with eight of them strikeouts. Martinez pitched so well that the Cardinals logged zero mound visits for the game until Munoz’ error prolonged the ninth.
Good thing Christian Yellich and Ryan Braun hit homers to end last night’s game, which avoided a St. Louis sweep.
So...the Chicago Cubs (2-3) now come to Milwaukee for a four game weekend set. Both teams will go with a lefty for the 7:10 start (is that to accommodate Cub fans?), as Brent Suter (1-0, 5.40) goes for the Brewers and the Cubs send out Jon Lester (0-0, 8.10).