The loss was a tough pill to swallow after Adrian Houser gave the Brewers their first solid start in what feels like forever. Unfortunately, no matter how old, broken down, and useless Yadier Molina is and will become, he’ll always be Barry Bonds at Miller Park.
Houser cruised through his first four innings of work. Although a runner might reach first via a hit or walk, the righty limited them there and kept the Brewers in a good place to tie the series.
Milwaukee’s offense had some success early against the (previously) struggling Miles Mikolas. In the second inning, Keston Hiura lead off with a single and stole second base. Lorenzo Cain was able to drive him in and take an early 1-0 lead. However, that’d be it for the run-scoring side of Milwaukee’s offense against the Cardinals’ Opening Day starter.
The Brewers held that tight lead until the fifth inning. After getting an easy groundout to start the inning, Houser served a fat pitch to Molina that would be served deep into left field to tie the game. That inning should have been all in all disastrous had it not been for one Matt Carpenter. Carpenter hit a ball off the top of the wall immediately after Molina, but only made it to first after he FORGOT TO TOUCH FIRST BASE and had to go back to tag and was stalled. Then, Harrison Bader lifted a single to centerfield, and Carpenter tried to advance to third base but was easily thrown out by LoCain. Houser made it out of the inning without further issue.
Both offenses would go quiet then until the seventh inning. Matt Albers took the mound and got an easy first out. Then he walked Paul DeJong to bring up, who else, but Yadier Molina. Of course, because Molina is using that old trusty bag of Cardinals devil magic, he smacked another homer, putting St. Louis up 3-1.
Quick side bar anecdote, but after that homer, Miller Park had a rain delay. Yeah, you read that right. The stadium with the roof, built for RAIN had a rain delay. A small “pop-up” shower rolled through and the team actually had to use the tarp it keeps down the left field foul line. I thought that was just decoration until today.
The Cards would get one more run in the seventh inning on a Kolten Wong double. Thankfully, significant acquisition Drew Pomeranz came in and limited the damage from getting worse.
Milwaukee would do it’s best to come back. Yasmani Grandal hit his 21st homer of the year with Hernan Perez aboard in the 8th inning. But Yadier Molina would lead off the ninth with a double and be driven in by Harrison Bader double two batters later. Wong also drove in Carpenter to give St. Louis a 6-3 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, the team really, really tried to at least tie it. With two outs, Cory Spangenberg and Orlando Arcia reached base, bringing the tying run to the plate in Hernan Perez. Perez lifted a Carlos Martinez pitch to deep right field, but Fowler hauled it in a couple feet before the wall, and that was it.
With this loss, the Crew drops 6.5 games behind St. Louis and 3 games behind Chicago for the Wild Card. The playoffs are still within reach, but man it seems like a hell of a hill to climb.
The final game of the series gets going at 1:10 p.m. tomorrow. Jack Flaherty (8-6, 3.32 ERA) will looks to lead a sweep against the Brewers and Jordan Lyles (8-8, 4.69 ERA).