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Cards lead start to finish, top Brewers 5-2

More same old, same old

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

WP: Jack Flaherty (7-6); LP: Freddy Peralta (5-4); Save: Bud Norris (24); Homeruns: Mil - none; StL - Jedd Gyorko (10)

too much cardinal red in this Box Score

The Milwaukee Brewers (68-56) played out a familiar August script in their 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals (67-56): a slow start by the Brewers starting pitcher (this time Freddy Peralta), a long period of somnambulism from the Brewers’ offense, and another poor showing from the bull pen.

To be fair, the sleepiness of the offense wasn’t a surprise...Cards’ starter Jack Flaherty has dominated Milwaukee all year. This time he went six shutout innings, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out seven. Milwaukee had two on with two out in the first and Travis Shaw struck out; and in the third Christian Yelich doubled into right center to lead off the inning; took third; watched Mike Moustakas draw the first of three walks for first and third with one down; and was stranded when Jesus Aguilar bounced into a 6-4-3 double play. Flaherty faced ten more, allowing no hits and a walk with five k’s. I was surprised he came out; he hadn’t been pinch hit for and was due up third in the bottom of the seventh.

The move worked well, though, as Dakota Hudson had a three batter seventh, thanks to another groundball DP, this one hit by Hernan Perez. That Hernan was in the game at all goes back to Peralta’s first inning.

Matt Carpenter is the Card’s lead-off hitter, which explains why he has just 68 RBI along with his league leading 33 homers. It looked like he might have his 34th leading off the game on a drive into deep right center, but it came up short and could have been caught by either Lorenzo Cain or Eric Thames. Unfortunately, they both went for the ball and ran into each other at full speed. Thames somehow managed to hang on for the catch, but he hurt his knee. Both players stayed in the game, but Thames left in the bottom of the third; hence Hernan.

Here’s a view of the play, courtesy of Tom Haudricourt:

Peralta then walked Yadi Molina, gave up a double to Jose Martinez, and a two RBI single to Marcell Ozuna. Freddy retired the next two to end the inning. In the second Peralta walked the first two he faced, but a sac bunt attempt by Flaherty resulted in a force at third for the first out, and then two flyballs to Cain to finish that frame.

Freddy really settled in then, and he ended up retiring 15 of the final 16 he faced. The one he didn’t retire was Jedd Gyorko, who hit the first pitch of the lower half of the fourth well out to leftfield, putting the Cards up 3-0. Peralta’s final line was six innings, three hits, three walks (sound familiar?), but the three earnies allowed. He struck out five.

While both pitchers had three walks, the three from Flaherty seemed more strategic than poor control. He walked Aguilar in the first with a runner at second and two down. He walked Mike Moustakas in the third with a runner on third with one out, setting up a double play - which he got on a 3-2 slider to Aguilar that Zeus rolled over and rapped to short. His final walk was also Moose, in the sixth - a one out walk with Aguilar on deck; maybe that’s why he came out.

Jordan Hicks had the eighth for St. Louis, and while he threw almost every fastball at or above 100 mph, he gave up two runs on two hits and two walks. With one down, Yelich had his second hit, a sharp liner to center. Cain and Moose worked walks, and Aguilar lined an 0-2 hanging slider into left to drive in two with just one down. Hicks retired Shaw and Jonathan Schoop to end the inning.

With the Crew down 3-0 Craig Counsell had brought in Jordan Lyles in the bottom of the seventh. Lyles gave up a one-out double and intentionally walked Carpenter with two down before getting Molina to ground to short to finish the inning. With the Milwaukee rally in the top of the eighth, CC oddly left Lyles in for the bottom half of the inning. Almost anyone else, Craig? The Cards scored twice on a single, a hit batsman, a walk, and a two RBI double from Kolten Wong. After a strikeout on a curve in the dirt, Taylor Williams got the last out, and in the ninth Bud Norris notched his 24th save despite a two out single from Keon Broxton (the Brewers’ third right fielder of the night).

Now the Brewers are just a half game up on the Cards, and will try and keep them in third place tomorrow night. Wade Miley (2-1, 2.33) goes for Milwaukee, and will face Miles Mikolas (12-3, 2.85). The Cubs topped the Pirates 1-0 for the second night in a row, and lead the Crew by 4.5 games. Tomorrow night’s game will be on FS1.

Game Notes:

  • Ozuna’s first inning RBI single was up the middle, and couldn’t be reached by Travis Shaw. It’s likely that if Orlando Arcia had been at short and Schoop at second, Schoop would have knocked the ball down and prevented the second run...maybe.
  • Peralta balked with a man on and nobody out in the second; he seemed to slip on the rubber and tweak something. He threw a few pitches and stayed in the game, but it will be interesting to see if he’s OK going forward.
  • Freddy has been down in his volume lately; he sits from 88-91 for the most part.
  • Shaw did make a nice play on a hard shot up the middle by Ozuna in the sixth, making a sliding back handed stop and throwing him out easily.