Another turn through the rotation, another strong start from Brandon Woodruff.
Woodruff battled against St. Louis’ Jose Quintana with an opportunity to gain a game on the Phillies in the Wild Card standings, as Philadelphia lost to the Cubs for the second straight night at Wrigley.
Both Quintana and Woodruff pitched well from the get-go. The two combined for five strikeouts in the first inning, as Woodruff struck out three and allowed just a single from Paul Goldschmidt.
Woodruff continued dealing throughout his start, striking out two in the second, three in the third, and two more in the sixth for 10 strikeouts. Woodruff finished six scoreless innings, allowing just five hits and one walk while striking out the 10, marking his fourth straight double-digit strikeout performance. Per Adam McCalvy, that is a Brewers franchise record.
Brandon Woodruff is the first pitcher in Brewers history to reach double-digit strikeouts in four consecutive starts.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) September 29, 2022
Dominance defined.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 29, 2022
Big Woo is the first Brewers pitcher to strike out 10 or more in 4 straight games.@B_Woody24 | #ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/zSSwlMrkEs
After mustering only one baserunner through the first two innings, the Brewers gave Woodruff some offensive support in the third. Tyrone Taylor hit a double off the wall, narrowly missing a home run, but he later scored on a two-out single by Hunter Renfroe.
Quintana was pulled after five innings for St. Louis, allowing just the one run on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
The Brewers added to the lead in the sixth, mounting a two-out rally against Chris Stratton and Steven Matz via a Luis Urias single, a Rowdy Tellez walk, and a Keston Hiura double to make it 2-0 through six.
Matt Bush came on in relief for Woodruff and immediately spoiled the shutout bid, giving up a homer to Andrew Knizner to make it 2-1. Bush then allowed a double to Ben DeLuzio before walking Brendan Donovan. A groundout by Dylan Carlson advanced the runners to second and third with one out.
Bush’s short outing was his third straight appearance allowing a run, after allowing two runs over two appearances against the Reds this past weekend, including the go-ahead run in Sunday’s loss.
Craig Counsell opted to turn to Devin Williams with the Cardinals threatening to tie or take the lead. After falling behind 2-0 to Lars Nootbaar, the Brewers intentionally walked him to load the bases. Williams then induced a ground ball to Willy Adames at short, who flipped it with the glove for a barehanded turn by Kolten Wong to complete an inning-ending double play.
Devin sets it up, the infield knocks it down!#ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/haXuKm8grn— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 29, 2022
Williams remained in for the top of the eighth but got into more trouble, putting runners at the corners with one out on a hit by pitch and single. He managed to strike out Knizner and, after the Brewers let Alec Burleson steal second base, Williams got DeLuzio to strike out for the final out of the inning.
Williams totaled 1 2⁄3 innings, striking out three while walking one and giving up one hit.
The Brewers looked to add to their 2-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth, as Wong walked, Urias doubled, and Tellez walked to load the bases with no outs against JoJo Romero. Giovanny Gallegos replaced Romero and Christian Yelich pinch hit for Keston Hiura with a chance to provide some insurance.
After falling behind 0-2, Yelich showed his plate discipline and took four straight balls for a run-scoring walk to make it 3-1. Victor Caratini added from there, hitting a two-run double into left-center to make it 5-1. Gallegos managed to get out of the inning without any further damage, striking out Taylor, Garrett Mitchell, and Adames in order.
Brad Boxberger came on to finish the game in the ninth, striking out Donovan, and inducing flyouts from Carlson and Nootbaar to give the Brewers a 5-1 victory.
With the win and a 4-2 loss by the Phillies to the Cubs, the Brewers now trail Philadelphia by just a 1⁄2 game in the NL Wild Card standings, although they need to finish ahead of the Phillies to make the playoffs due to the season series tiebreaker.
Milwaukee still has four games against the Marlins and three games against the Diamondbacks, while Philadelphia has one more game against the Cubs, four against the Nationals, and three against the Astros.
The Brewers will start their four-game set with Miami tomorrow at 6:40 p.m. at American Family Field. Eric Lauer is set to take on Braxton Garrett for the Marlins.