It was a rough day today. Not only did the pitching staff struggle, but two pitchers went out injured.
With Freddy Peralta back from the injured list, it didn’t go well in his first start back. Nolan Arenado hit a two-run home run to put the Cardinals up 2-0 in the top of the first, though Peralta was a strike away from getting out of the first. In the second, the Cardinals got their first four baserunners on base, capped by a single from Adam Wainwright for a 3-0 Cardinals lead. Tommy Edman grounded out right after that to score another run and make it 4-0. That ended Peralta’s day at 53 pitches.
Justin Topa took over in the third and it continued to go downhill. Nolan Arenado led off with a home run, then two more Cardinals singles set up a three-run home run for Harrison Bader. After getting Adam Wainwright to ground out, Topa had to come out of the game with an injury. Official word, per Adam McCalvy, is Topa came out with right elbow discomfort. After the game, Craig Counsell said the injury is an IL situaiton.
Aaron Ashby saved the bullpen from being completely wiped out with 4.1 innings in relief after Topa came out of the game. He allowed two runs in the seventh on a walk and a home run, but that was it. He allowed no baserunners beyond that. While the two runs will cloud the stat line a bit, it was a very strong appearance from Ashby tonight.
Daniel Norris got the eighth and sent the Cardinals down in order. he came back out for the ninth and got two outs, but also allowed a double and two walks, before he also had to come out of the game injured. Todd Rosiak notes that it looked like Norris was dealing with a blister. Hoby Milner came in to the game in relief, and unfortunately allowed a grand slam to Yadier Molina right away. Edumndo Sosa followed it with a solo home run of his own. In total, the Cardinals scored 15 runs off of the Brewers pitching staff tonight.
The Brewers did manage to score four runs tonight, with three of those coming on plays that did not go for hits. Rowdy Tellez drove one in on a fielder’s choice in the seventh that was mishandled by Tommy Edman, and Lorenzo Cain grounded out to drive in a second. The Brewers added on two more in the ninth with a ground rule double from Luis Urias and a groundout from Tellez.
Christian Yelich also had an early end to his day. In the fifth inning, Lorenzo Cain struck out. Christian Yelich didn’t agree with the call, and he said something from the top step of the dugout that got him thrown out of the game. Jackie Bradley Jr. finished the game for Yelich.
Luis Urias and Pablo Reyes were the standouts on offense. Urias went 3-for-4 and drove in a run, and Pablo Reyes went 2-for-2 after coming in as a pinch hitter for Ashby, then remained in the game in left field. Eduardo Escobar also went 1-for-3 in his return from the IL, and both catchers (Omar Narvaez and Luke Maile) also added a hit each.
One good piece of news is that the Reds lost to the Tigers tonight, so the Brewers magic number for the NL Central is down to 17. They’ll try to rebound tomorrow in game two of the series, with Adrian Houser facing Kwang Hyun Kim. First pitch is at 6:10 pm.