With the Cardinals and Brewers both now eliminated from postseason contention, Jack Flaherty made today’s start in place of Carlos Martinez. The Brewers countered with several of their regulars, including Eric Sogard and Eric Thames who worked a pair of walks around a Jonathan Villar single to start the game. After Lilliquist made a trip to calm the young righty, Flaherty induced a sac fly from Jesus Aguilar, struck out Hernan Perez, but ultimately surrendered a 3-run home run to Brett Phillips. Flaherty used his 28th pitch to get Keon Broxton to ground out to 2B. 4-0 Brewers.
In need of some runs, the Cardinals countered with the fringes of their 40-man roster to face 28-year-old rookie Aaron Wilkerson. Breyvic Valera grounded out to 1B, Alex Mejia flew out to CF, and Randal Grichuk struck out swinging. Wilkerson threw 17 pitches.
Flaherty had a much better 2nd inning. Magneuris Sierra chased down a Jett Bandy line drive down the LF line for the first out, Wilkerson grounded out to SS for the second, and Sogard tapped out to Carson Kelly. Flaherty was now at 39 pitches.
The Cardinals couldn’t mount anything against the Brewers’ undrafted righty in the 2nd. Luke Voit grounded out sharply to 3B, Harrison Bader tapped out to the Brewers’ catcher, Jett Bandy, and Aledmys Diaz grounded out sharply to SS, and came up grabbing his hamstring to boot. Wilkerson was at 27 pitches.
Third time was the charm for Flaherty. He struck out Villar, got Thames to fly out to CF and, after Aguilar lined a single to CF, got Perez to ground out to SS. Jack was at 52 pitches.
Wilkerson completed his perfect first turn through the Cardinals’ lineup. He got Kelly to ground out to 3B, Sierra to ground out to 1B, and Flaherty to also ground out to 3B. The inning took 9 pitches, making his total just 36 pitches.
Phillips led off the 4th with a clean single through the right side. After Broxton struck out, Bandy dunked another single into short CF, and Wilkerson struck out, Sogard flined out to CF to end the inning. Flaherty was at 70 pitches.
Wilkerson kept on mowing down the Cardinals. He got Valera to fly out to CF, Mejia to ground out to 3B, and Grichuk to strike out a second time. He was at 44 pitches.
Flaherty was determined to keep his team in the game. He got Villar to ground out to 1B, Thames to fly out to CF, and Aguilar struck out chasing a slider below the strike zone. Flaherty was at 81 pitches, and his afternoon was over.
Wilkerson was in control. He coaxed another ground out, this time off the bat of Voit, before striking out Bader and Garcia. He was at 59 pitches.
Brett Cecil relieved Flaherty. He got Perez to ground out to 3B, Phillips to fly out to LF, and Broxton to strike out swining.
Wilkerson got Kelly to pop out to 2B on the first pitch and struck out Sierra, but pinch-hitter Jose Martinez finally broke through and stroked the Cardinals’ first hit, a single to RF. Valera lined Wilkerson’s 68th pitch out to LF to end the frame.
John Brebbia relieved Cecil. He got Bandy to line out to SS, and Wilkerson & Sogard to fly out to LF.
The Cardinals finally cracked the scoreboard in the 7th. After Wilkerson got Mejia and his wonderful mustache to ground out to 3B, Grichuk uncorked his 22nd HR to deep LF. Voit and Bader then flew out to RF to end the frame. Wilkerson was at 86 pitches, and his afternoon was through. 4-1 Brewers.
Sandy Alcantara relieved Brebbia. He got Villar to fly out to CF on a get-me-over 96mph 2-seamer, then surrendered a ground-rule double sliced down the LF line by Thames, and a 2-run home run to CF by Aguilar. Alcantara recovered to get Perez to ground out to 3B, and strike out Phillips. 6-1 Brewers.
Carlos Torres relieved Wilkerson. Greg Garcia worked a lead off walk, and Kelly followed with a single back up the middle. Sierra grounded into what would have been a 6-4-3 double play under normal circumstances, but Villar came off the bag at 2nd, and Sierra was too quick to be retired at first. With the bases juiced, of course, pinch-hitter Paul DeJong struck out swinging, Valera popped out into foul territory, and Mejia grounded out on a come-backer.
Sam Tuivailala relieved Alcantara. He struck out Broxton, got Bandy to fly out to
deep short CF, and struck out Quintin Berry.
Taylor Williams entered to close it out. Alberto Rosario pinch hit and struck out swinging at a slider in the dirt before Voit drew a walk. After Voit took 2nd on defensive indifference, Bader struck out swinging and Garcia grounded out to 2nd. Brewers win 6-1.
Jack Flaherty: 5.0IP, 4ER, 5H, 1HR, 5K, 2BB, 43GSc
Aaron Wilkerson: 7.0IP, 1ER, 2H, 1HR, 5K, 0BB, 74GSc
- The Cardinals have not been no-hit at home since 1906.
- Not a whole lot on which to comment - the Memphis Redbirds regularly put out better lineups than the Cardinals did today.
- The Cardinals went 5-14 vs CHC, 8-11 vs MIL, 10-9 vs CIN, & 11-8 vs PIT in 2017. To me, that’s your season.