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9.26.15 Brewers @ Cardinals Recap: Redbirds win 5-1

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After a disappointing loss last night, and disappointing news about Carlos Martinez this afternoon, the Cardinals really needed a win tonight.

Does that look like an inverted W to you?  No?  Okay, whew.
Does that look like an inverted W to you? No? Okay, whew.
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Holliday, celebrate

Holliday, celebrate

So we have Matt Holliday

Take some time to celebrate

Two doubles here tonight

And it felt, oh it felt so right

Everybody spread the word

There's good news now for Cardinals nation

All across the league

They are scared to face him

It's time for some brightness

Forget the shoulder tightness, oh yeah

Matt's been put back together

It takes away some pressure

We've got Matt Holliday!

It sucks beyond effing belief that we have lost Carlos Martinez for the year.  This team is nothing if not just constantly facing all of the odds.  But they do beat them.

"Oh, you lost your best pitcher to an Achilles injury?  Here, have an inexplicably healthy and dominant Jamie Garcia."

"Oh, you lost your best hitter to a quad strain?  Here, have a Randal Grichuk slugging over .500."

"Oh, you lost your Randal Grichuk?  Here, have a Stephen Piscotty, also slugging .500."

This has been the weirdest season, but also one of the funnest in recent memory.  The MV3 teams were probably my favorite of my lifetime, but damn if this team is not a very, very close second.  And so, yes, it sucks ass that we lost El Gallo, because he's been our best pitcher and I absolutely love him, but I'm just not even worried.  The way this team has overcome adversity this season?  Come at me, bro.

The Game

The Pirates had already beaten the Cubs at the start of play today, to bring them only 2.5 games back of the lead in the Central Division.  But the Cardinals came out tonight all like, "Psshhhhhh.  They wish."  In the first inning, Piscotty reached based on an infield hit with one out.  Matt Holliday followed with a patented Hollidouble to left center field to score him.  1-0 Cards.  Jason Heyward, hitting cleanup tonight, got on base with a walk.  A Jhonny Peralta base hit scored Holliday.  2-0 Cardinals.  Brandon Moss reached base on another walk, and Kolten Wong got a base hit up the middle to score Heyward and Peralta.  4-0 Cardinals.

Did you guys just breathe a HUGE sigh of relief after that inning, like I did?  After the Wong hit, I just knew we were going to win the game.  I didn't expect that we would only score one more run, but whatever.  I knew we would win.  I felt no anxiety at all during this game, which was a really nice break!

The Cardinals scored again in the bottom of the second inning on consecutive doubles by Stephen Piscotty and Matt Holliday.  It was the best.  5-0 Cardinals.

Then, in the top of the innings, Jaime Garcia performed just like the beautiful, dominant, perfectly groomed man that he is.  He mowed down the Brewers, picking them off one by one, like mosquitoes off his skin on a muggy summer night.  Though he did not "shut them down" - at least as Joe Schwarz defines it - he really was fantastic.  Garcia's only real trouble this evening occurred in the top of the 6th inning when he allowed a double to Michael Reed - his first major league hit, Congrats Michael Reed! - followed by a base hit from Jonathan Lucroy.  5-1 Cardinals.  That was the only blip on Jaime's card tonight.  Final line: 8 IP, 7 H, 8 SO, 1 R, ZERO M.F. WALKS.  Steve Cishek pitched a perfect ninth inning to preserve the lead.

Notes

1. With this win tonight, the Cardinals maintain a three-game lead over the Pirates, with seven games remaining.  Our magic number is Albert Pujols.

2. Matt Carpenter left the game before the start of the 6th inning. He was replaced by Mark Reynolds.  The official word, at least at the time of this recap, is that he had hip tightness and the Cardinals removed him as a precautionary measure.  I hate to be THAT GIRL, but "tightness" and "precautionary" are the same words we heard when El Gallo left the game last night.  Still, I feel confident that Matt Carpenter is actually going to be just fine, because any more injuries this season would just be silly at this point.  If we are in the Truman Show, the audience is going to start being like, "okay, this is obviously staged."

3. Jason Heyward played center field tonight.  He was good.  Nothing in particular happened, but I point this out only because I would really like to see a Holliday-Heyward-Piscotty outfield in the playoffs.  Jon Jay is for sure broken, and I'm just not totally sold on Pham.  If Grichuk is healthy, then I guess that adds a wrinkle.  But right now, Holliday-Heyward-Piscotty is our best possible outfield.  So let's go with it and kick some butt.

4.  The Cardinals look to win the series tomorrow.  Also - it is really important that we enter the series against the Pirates with at least a three-game lead, for obvious reasons.  John Lackey is facing something called Tyler Cravy tomorrow at 1:15 CT.