On Wednesday night, it was an adjusted lineup for the newly crowned NL Central champions. Brian Anderson got his first start in over a month, and Victor Caratini started behind the plate. Tyrone Taylor was moved to the three spot in the lineup and Rowdy Tellez got the start at first with the usual starter Carlos Santana getting the day off.
This adjusted lineup can have two benefits. One, it gives the usual starters some rest before a playoff push. Any nagging injuries or issues can be adequately addressed this final week of the season. It also gives some off-the-bench, role-type players more at-bats to potentially get their swing back before October. Some of these guys were starters on Opening Day, such as Brian Anderson. Getting him back to his early-season form could provide some depth from the bench during a postseason run.
The Brewers’ pitching depth rests on the shoulders of Wednesday’s starter Wade Miley. He’s been excellent as a back-of-the-rotation man this season and stepped up when their Big Three starters saw early struggles. On Wednesday, it was Miley who faced some early adversity against the Cardinals. Three straight singles allowed the bases to be loaded with no outs in the second. After getting a flyout from Richie Palacios, Masyn Winn drove in the first run of the game with a deep flyout to center, giving them an early 1-0 lead. Miley would escape the jam without further damage a batter later when Tommy Edman grounded into a force out to end the inning.
The Brewers threatened in the bottom of the second, getting two men on with one out, but Blake Perkins hit into an inning-ending double play. The following inning was the same story. This time with no outs, the Brewers had two men on but couldn’t get anything but two flyouts and a strikeout against Cardinals starter Zack Thompson. While the offense looked to get things going, the Brewers' defense kept them in it. A pair of nice plays at first from Tellez and a nifty backhand flip from Miley kept the score at 1-0.
Abner Uribe took over for Miley in the sixth. The hard-throwing right-hander couldn’t find the strike zone, walking Lars Nootbaar, and throwing two wild pitches to allow Luken Baker, who was on with a single, to score. Now down 2-0, the Brewers’ offense started to cut into the Cardinal lead in the bottom half of the inning. William Contreras and Tyrone Taylor each got on with a pair of doubles, and Taylor made it to third on a poor throw from Palacios. Two batters later, Tellez brought in Taylor on a mishandle from Luken Baker at first. Baker regained control and threw home, but catcher Ivan Herrera didn’t apply the tag and the game was tied at 2-2.
One of those players looking to get their swing back produced a big hit in the seventh. Anderson led off with a double to right field and then stole third. His aggressive base running allowed him to represent the go-ahead run when Taylor drove him in a few batters later. Anderson had a productive day at the plate in his return to the lineup, going 2-for-3.
Andrew Chafin caused a stir in the eighth inning. The left-hander loaded the bases with one out, but he was able to get out of the jam thanks to an inning-ending double play that was capped off by a great stretch at first by the relief pitcher. The double play was the third of the night for the Brewers defense. Devin Williams got the call for the first time in 10 days and secured his 36th save of the season in the 3-2 win.
The Brewers will go for the series victory Thursday afternoon at 3:10 p.m. Corbin Burnes will get the start against Dakota Hudson.