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Brewers @ Cardinals 8.3 Recap - Lackey solid in debut; seventh inning rally enough for Cards win

Lackey solid; seventh inning comeback good enough to give the new Cardinal a win.

New Cardinal hurler John Lackey
New Cardinal hurler John Lackey
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Brewers @ St. Louis Cardinals

Matt Garza (7-7, 3.74 ERA, 3.58 FIP, 1.17 WHIP, 100 Ks) vs. John Lackey (11-7, 3.60 ERA, 3.57 FIP, 1.23 WHIP, 116 Ks)
1:15 p.m. CT
Busch Stadium- St. Louis, Missouri

Today's Lineups

Brewers 2014 stats Last 5 years vs. starter
Gomez, C, CF .294 15 54 22 - - - -
Lucroy, J, C .305 12 53 4 3 .000 0 0
Braun, R, RF .289 14 65 9 4 .250 0 0
Ramirez, A, 3B .286 13 51 3 - - - -
Weeks, R, 2B .253 3 17 3 4 .250 0 0
Davis, K, LF .251 17 54 3 - - - -
Reynolds, M, 1B .210 18 38 5 11 .182 0 0
Herrera, E, SS .284 0 2 2 - - - -
Garza, M, P .071 0 0 0 - - - -

Cardinals 2014 stats Last 5 years vs. starter
Carpenter, M, 3B .286 6 42 3 4 .250 0 0
Wong, K, 2B .247 7 28 16 - - - -
Holliday, M, LF .269 11 57 2 18 .333 0 0
Adams, M, 1B .311 12 47 3 3 .667 0 0
Peralta, J, SS .252 15 45 2 14 .429 0 3
Pierzynski, A, C .255 4 32 0 11 .273 2 3
Taveras, O, RF .217 2 10 0 - - - -
Bourjos, P, CF .222 3 15 8 - - - -
Lackey, J, P - - - - - - - -

Some News-

Against the opponent (before this game)-

all-time record (150- 114)

2013 (14-5)

2014 (6-5)

Today's game was the 264th regular season bout between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers.

The last time these teams played on August 3 was in 2012.  Recently departed friend Joe Kelly led the Cards to a 9-3 victory over Randy Wolf and his Brewers.

Things we were looking for-

Obviously, the big news today is that this game is John Lackey's Cardinals' debut.  In Craig's series preview, he said this about the newest Cardinal:

John Lackey makes his debut on Sunday. Lackey has been solid this season for the Red Sox with a 3.60 ERA and a 3.56 FIP in just over 137 innings. He is familiar with A.J. Pierzynski so expect him behind the plate. Starting Lackey against the Brewers prevents an awkward matchup against his former Red Sox teammates. John Lackey throws a four seam fastball roughly half of the time, averaging around 93 miles per hour. His second pitch is a slider, but also works in a two-seam fastball and curve. The Cardinals' new acquisitions will be thrown right into a tight a pennant race with the first-place Brewers.

Things that happened-

Top Halves-

John Lackey began his Cardinal career with an impressive strikeout of Carlos Gomez, using fastballs ranging from 93-95, according to gameday.  He got his second out by way of a popup behind the plate from Jonathan Lucroy.  Ryan Braun doubled into the right field corner.  Aramis Ramirez turned a fastball up in the zone back into left, scoring Braun.  Brewers lead 1-0.  Lackey struck out Ricky Weeks to end the inning.

In the second, Mark Reynolds welcomed Lackey to the division by blasting a homer into the left field seats.  Brewers lead 2-0.

A nicely-executed and well-timed double play helped Lackey out of the third, after giving up hits to Lucroy and Braun.

Lackey started to settle in in the fourth, starting to mix in his slider and curve with more regularity.

In the fifth, Hererra knocked a bunt too hard towards Lackey.  It should have been an easy play, but Lackey let it go right under his legs as he went down on it (Lackey's first NL error!).  Luckily, he induced pop-ups from Garza and Gomez, and a lineout from Lucroy to bail himself out.

In the seventh, Hererra singled with two outs.  Roenicke elected to send Lyle Overbay to the plate to pinch hit for Garza after only 71 pitches.  Overbay singled.  Matheny visited John, but was evidently convinced that Lackey should continue.  The wager paid off, and Lackey was able to retire Gomez to end the inning.

Lackey's final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 109 pitches thrown.

Pat Neshek, #37 came in to pitch the eighth.  He allowed a hit to Ramirez, but kept runs off the board.

Trevor Rosenthal came in to do his closer thing.  He allowed a jam-shot single to Khris Dhavis, then struck out Mark Reynolds.  Herrera worked a walk.  Scooter Gennett pinch hit for the pitcher and worked a good at bat, but struck out on a beautiful change up for the second out.  Trevor hit triple digits (according to gameday) three times on his way to striking out Carlos Gomez to end the game.  It was great that Gomez struck out to begin and end the game.

Bottom Halves-

Garza (and Mark Reynolds) made easy work of the top three in the Cardinal order.

In the second, Matt Adams took a 93 m.p.h. fastball up at the shoulders to take first base.  The HBP was erased on the very next pitch, though, with Jhonny Peralta grounding into a double play.

Garza made easy work of the third and fourth inning contingent of Cardinal batters.

Adams broke through on the hit column for the Cardinals in the fifth, doubling to right field, but that was the only blip (along with the HBP) on Garza's record through the sixth.  Garza's final line: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 71 pitches thrown.

Zach Duke took over the pitching duties in the seventh.  Holliday greeted him to the game with a dinger into the seats just to the left of the batters eye.  Brewers lead 2-1.  Adams followed up with a line drive single to center.  That knocked Mr. Duke out of the game.  The new pitcher, Jeremy Jeffress didn't fare much better.  Peralta singled.  Pierzynski singled home Adams to tie the game at 2-2.  Oscar came in and worked a great AB, showing some great plate discipline by taking some close pitches for balls.  He capped the AB off by lining the go-ahead RBI single up the middle.  Bourjos tried a  safety squeeze bunt, but hit it a bit too hard.  It moved Oscar to second, but AJ was forced to stay at third.   Daniel Descalso pinch hit for Lackey, and struck out to end the inning.  Cardinals lead 3-2.

Will Smith allowed a couple hard liners in the eighth.  Luckily for him, they landed safely in the glove of his center fielder.  He retired Wong, Holliday, and Adams.

Final Notes-

  • It was unclear why Garza was taken out after rolling along through six.  He must have been dealing with some issue or another.  He was dominant in his six innings.
  • Happy Birthday Fredbird!  lilscoot would have enjoyed being on hand to celebrate with Mariner Moose, Mr. Redleg, Sluggerrr and all the local mascots.
  • Lackey lacked some command and pitched up in the zone early.  That led to some good contact and the two runs.  In the fourth or so, I felt like he started mixing pitches better, introducing off speed offerings to keep Brewers hitters more off balance.  Overall, I would call it an encouraging start to his Cardinal career.
  • Brooks Baseball broke down Lackey's pitch usage thusly: 34 four-seam fastballs, 40 two-seam fastballs, 15 curveballs, and 20 cutters (sliders).  Here's more on Brooks Baseball about his outing.
  • Fangraphs chart. Adams, Pierzynski, and Rosenthal contributed most to the win by fangrahphs' WPA measure.
  • Gamenotes: CardsBrewers

Looking ahead-

Tune in Tuesday as the Red Sox head to St. Louis.  Lance Lynn will be opposed by Rubby DeLaRosa.  Gametime is 7:15 CT.