Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Dexter Fowler and Stephen Piscotty both left the game early with injuries: Piscotty with a likely hamstring issue after pulling up limping on the bases, and Fowler with a shoulder strain caused by a diving catch attempt. With two outfielders out of the game, one might expect to potentially see Matt Adams sent out to patrol left field again. But surprise! Aledmys Diaz was brought out to play left. On one hand, this means that the Adams-to-LF experiment is finally dead and buried. On the other hand, this is a somewhat puzzling choice - why not put Adams at 1B, Jose Martinez in LF, and Matt Carpenter in RF? Not ideal, but at least it puts players where they have some major league experience, as opposed to experimenting with Diaz, who has never played in the outfield in the majors, minors, Cuban, or Mexican leagues.
First inning: A baserunner apiece for the Cards and the Brewers, but otherwise uneventful.
Second inning: Adam Wainwright gives up three consecutive singles, including to the opposing pitcher, Chase Anderson, but is bailed out when Piscotty nails Keon Broxton at home trying to score from second. In the bottom half, a Yadier Molina single and a Diaz double preceded a single by Kolten Wong that scored Molina (because I know you didn’t think Yadi was scoring from first on a double). Diaz and Wong would come around to score on a triple by Fowler.
Third inning: The Brewers evened up the score with Wainwright giving up 3 doubles, a single, and two walks (one intentional). A long inning for Wainwright, with lots of pitches (even accounting for fact that intentional walks don’t actually have ‘pitches’ anymore). In the bottom half of the inning, Edmonds and McLaughlin begin talking about Jhonny Peralta’s impending rehab start, where he will be playing 3B and SS. As if on cue, Jedd Gyorko hits a single to remind everyone that we’re getting decent production there right now; it’s cool. A Molina RBI single put St Louis back on top.
Fourth inning: Gameday explodes attempting to send notifications on all the defensive switches. We now depend on Chris Maloney to positionally adjust a complete novice in the outfield.
Fifth inning: Keon Broxton atones for getting gunned down earlier by hitting a solo homerun. Tie game again.
Sixth inning: Brett Cecil comes in for Wainwright. He gets two outs but also puts two on. Matt Bowman would come in to get the final out after giving up a walk to load the bases. Due to the short bench, Bowman would be forced to bat for himself in the bottom of the inning. He’d get a sacrifice bunt down successfully, but the Cardinals were unable to capitalize.
Seventh inning: Broxton singles (making him 4 for 4 on the night) but is erased on a double play. Bowman throws his first truly bad pitch of the night, and Jesus Aguilar obliterates it for a solo homerun, putting the Brewers on top to stay. Kolten Wong records the final out on a nice line drive grab. Cardinals strand 2 more in the bottom of the inning after Diaz advanced all the way to third on a bunt hit with a throwing error and Grichuk works a walk.
Eighth inning: Kevin Siegrist is singled out of the workhorse of a bullpen and deemed adequate. Diaz finally gets a chance to show off his outfield prowess...and records the routine out.
Ninth inning: Sam Tuivailala sits the Brewers down in order. Carpenter started the bottom half off with a four pitch walk, but Neftali Feliz shut the next three down in order to close it down. Cardinals strand eleven; Brewers win 5-4.
Cardinals head to Atlanta to take on the Braves tomorrow.