WP - Daniel Ponce de Leon (1-3)
LP - Josh Lindblom (2-4)
HR - MIL: Orlando Arcia (5); STL: Tommy Edman (5)
The Brewers had every reason to feel good about their playoff chances after the first game of today’s doubleheader.
They manufactured some runs, shut out the Cardinals, and won 3-0 to move back within a game of .500. Another game like that, and we could start to see a path forward for the Brewers to make the playoffs for a third year in a row for the first time in franchise history.
Instead, they got embarrassed in the night cap, losing 9-1 and getting dominated in just about every way you can in a baseball game.
Josh Lindblom, who had allowed all of one run in his last two starts, struggled mightily. Matt Carpenter got the Cardinals on the board early with an RBI single at the top of the first inning (with the Brewers playing as the “home” team) before Lindblom completely fell apart in the second inning, with a passed ball charged to Jacob Nottingham, a 2-out walk to the sub-.200-hitting Matt Wieters, wild pitch that allowed a run to score, and a 2-out triple to Kolten Wong.
Lindblom made it through the rest of that inning down just 3-0, but was pulled after just one out in the 3rd inning. The wheels completely fell off in the 5th inning, when Drew Rasmussen and Eric Lauer combined to give up 6 total runs. Lauer came in after Rasmussen allowed a 2-run home run to Tommy Edman and an infield hit to Matt Carpenter. Lauer then proceeded to walk the bases loaded before giving up a 2-run double to Dylan Carlson and a 2-run single by Matt Wieters with two outs to basically seal the game.
Offensively, things were even worse, as the Brewers nearly got no-hit again (although it wouldn’t have counted as an official no-hitter in a 7-inning game), and you almost forgot they didn’t have a hit for most of the game because it felt like a dozen other Brewers games this year.
Orlando Arcia finally broke up the fake no-hitter by Daniel Ponce de Leon with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the 6th. The Brewers would get 2 more runners on in the bottom of the 7th, but Arcia flew out to end the game.
The loss means the Brewers can finish no better than .500 this year, and they’ll need to win out to do it and have any prayer at a playoff spot. The Reds clinch at least one of the two wildcards if they hang on to win in Minnesota tonight, and the Giants won the first game of their doubleheader in San Francisco and currently lead early in the second game.
There’s still a sliver of hope for the Brewers, even if the Giants win the second game tonight. If both the Brewers and Giants end up with 30 wins, the Brewers would have the tiebreaker based on intra-division record. Even if the Brewers win out to close the year and pass the Cardinals, they could potentially still lose out on a postseason spot depending on the results of the Cardinals’ if-needed doubleheader in Detroit on Monday.
The easiest way to think of it: if the Brewers lose again, they’re done.
Brandon Woodruff will start tomorrow night with the season on the line, facing off against Adam Wainwright. The game will be televised nationally on FOX.