WP: Jhoulys Chacin (15-8); LP: Chasen Shreve (3-4); Save: Jeremy Jeffress (13); Homeruns: none
Playoffs Box Score!!!!
I really didn’t think it would feel this good, with so much left to do. But it does; my wife’s out of town so it’s just me and the dog, and she’s getting nervous ‘cause I can’t stop smiling.
The Milwaukee Brewers (92-67) topped the St. Louis Cardinals (87-72) 2-1 at Busch Stadium tonight, and in the process clinched a postseason spot. At this point, they’ve only clinched a Wild Card spot, but the NL Central is still very much in play.
The Colorado Rockies are again running roughshod over the Phillies, which will push the Cards 1.5 games behind the Rox for the last wild card spot. One more Brewer win will clinch the top Wild Card spot and a home game for the Crew. The Dodgers trail 3-2 in the third, and came into tonight with a half game lead on Colorado.
Oh! The game? You wanna know what happened? You DIDN’T WATCH?? Wow.
Well, not much, really. The Cardinals collected only two hits all night; one of them drove in their only run, and the other led to one of the luckiest plays in a crucial situation that you’ll ever see. With the Brewers up 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Josh Hader retired the first two batters he faced, but Matt Carpenter drew a full count walk to put a runner on with two out. It looked like Josh should have had a called strike three a few pitches earlier, but home plate umpire Ted Barrett had a very tight zone all night. I still groaned...loudly.
Adolis Garcia pinch ran, and Jeremy Jeffress came in to face Jose Martinez. Martinez topped JJ’s first pitch down the third base line, and Mike Moustakas probably should have eaten the ball. Instead, he threw it, and the ball went off the stands down the first base line. Garcia can fly, and he rounded third as Hernan Perez picked up the ball. His throw to the plate was perfect, and Erik Kratz spun around to try and make the tag...and nobody was there. Kratz said he looked behind him to see if he had already scored, then spun to see if he should throw to third; Garcia was walking up to him to be tagged out.
Garcia lost his balance as he came around third and after stumbling a few steps he face planted. If he had jumped up and tried to get back to third he might have made it; Kratz had no idea he had fallen. But the shock of the moment must have numbed his mind; he just trotted up to the plate for the final out of the inning.
(If there seems to be along pause, it’s because I was watching the Cubs just cough up a 6-4 lead in the ninth; a two out, two strike double by Starling Marte just tied it up.)
Jeffress stayed on for the ninth and had an easy inning with a looper to second and two strikeouts, and it was over. Partying ensued.
Here’s an oddity for you: the Cards decided that Christian Yelich wasn’t going to beat them. So they walked him FIVE TIMES. Did it work? Goodness know. Guess who scored the two runs for the Crew tonight? Yup. Yeli. Five walks. Jeesh.
Travis Shaw drove Yelich in both times, once on a third inning single, and once with two down in the fifth. That hit by Shaw was the last one the Brewers would collect; they only had five themselves.
Jhoulys Chacin had his best start in a month, and worked five innings with one hit allowed. That one hit came with one out and Matt Carpenter (who had walked) on first; Paul DeJong pulled a sharp liner towards third that skipped off of Moustakas’ glove for a double; Carp to third. A sac fly from Jedd Gyorko after a walk to Marcell Ozuna tied the game at one. So Gyorko finally drove one in with the sacks full, and his reward was to be removed in a double switch the next inning. Yadier Molina pulled a hard grounder into the hole with the lead run on second, but Moose dove and grabbed it, throwing the plodding Yadi out easily.
The other crucial inning for the Brewers was the bottom of the sixth. Xavier Cedeno came in to face Carpenter and struck him out. Corbin Burnes relieved him, and M Burneartinez hit a liner to left that Ryan Braun flat-out dropped for a two base error. Burnes’ third pitch grazed DeJong, bringing up Ozuna with two on and the Brewers up 2-1. Ozuna lined to Shaw at second, and Martinez’ first move was towards third. That was enough for Travis to flip the ball to Orlando Arcia for an inning-ending double play. Burnes came back out for the seventh and got two out before giving way to Hader, who struck out Kolton Wong to end that inning.
The Brewers have tomorrow off, which is a good thing...they looked to be partying after the game a bit. Check out Jaymes’ series preview for pitching match-ups and other information.
(The Cubs walk off the Pirates in the tenth, so they remain a half game up on the Brewers. One more chance for the Cubbies to drop into a tie tomorrow before the Cards come to town to break their hearts.)
- Go celebrate!