The Milwaukee Brewers needed a win on Saturday night against the St. Louis Cardinals in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. They sent the man who was expected to be their ‘ace’ at the beginning of the season — Brandon Woodruff — to the mound, and he delivered a tremendous outing with the spotlight shining brightly upon him.
Kolten Wong singled to start lead things off for the Cardinals in the first, but he never advanced. Yadier Molina singled on a ball that deflected off third baseman Eric Sogard’s glove in the second to start the second, but then Woodruff retired the next 19 batters in a row into the eighth inning. The streak ended with a walk to Matt Carpenter, but then Woody struck out Dexter Fowler with a 97 MPH fastball and got a lineout by Dylan Carlson to end the inning. In all, Woodruff hurled eight shutout frames with two hits and one walk allowed, striking out 10. He threw 108 pitches in his deepest outing of the season and lowered his ERA to 3.05 across 73.2 innings pitched.
Adam Wainwright started for the Cardinals, and he matched Woodruff with zeroes through the first three innings. Waino retired the first seven Milwaukee hitters that he faced before allowing a couple of hits in the third, but the Brewers broke through for runs in the fourth. Ryan Braun smashed Wainwright’s second pitch of the inning, an 88 MPH sinker, over the fence in right center for his eighth home run of the season to make it 1-0. The next hitter to the plate was Dan Vogelbach, and after getting two curveballs to start the AB, he got his barrel on an 89 MPH sinker to make it back-to-back jacks and give the Brewers a 2-0 advantage.
A two-out rally in the seventh gave Milwaukee an additional insurance run. Orlando Arcia doubled off Wainwright then came around to score on a single by Omar Narvaez that made it 3-0. A single by Avi Garcia ended Waino’s night, then Andrew Miller walked Christian Yelich to load the bases. Braun punched out to end the threat without any additional runs coming across, but the missed opportunity did not make much difference.
After Woodruff’s eight, Josh Hader retired the Cards 1-2-3 in the ninth to secure Milwaukee’s 29th victory and his 13th save. A win tonight keeps the Brewers in postseason contention, and they’ll need a win on the final day of the season to even their record at .500 and potentially get into the playoffs. Brett Anderson is scheduled to start for Milwaukee against Austin Gomber. First pitch is at 2:15 PM.