Side note: Fox Sports Midwest occasionally shows this pre-commercial mini-montage that includes shots of the Cardinals pantomiming eating salsa, and it just makes me feel like this:
Like, you don’t stick your tongue completely out of your mouth and sort of lick the salsa as it comes toward you, Harrison Bader. You don’t stare blankly into the middle distance and just push it at a 180 degree angle toward the sky, Paul DeJong. Matt Carpenter doesn’t even open his mouth, just kind of shoves it at his gritted teeth. And what is this? NO.
First inning: This first half inning felt interminable. The first two batters (Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich) both reached. And although John Gant was able to get out of the inning unscathed and at ‘only’ 23 pitches, it was definitely a slog of an inning. The bottom half was unfortunately much quicker - hard contact by all three batters, but otherwise a quick 1-2-3 inning.
Second inning: Notable for letting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin work an 8 pitch AB. Bottom half of the inning, more balls sharply hit, nothing to show for it. A most annoying trend.
Third inning: Milwaukee gets on the board. Yelich walked again, followed by a Jesus Aguilar single. Travis Shaw then singled, bringing home Yelich...but Jose Martinez lasered the ball in from right field and caught Aguilar at 3rd base. Damage limited to 1 run, but once again, the Cardinals are trying to play catch-up, having led for only a half inning this entire series to this point.
Fourth inning: A very nice play by Kolten Wong prevented a hit by Erik Kratz. Mike Moustakas was caught in a fairly unnecessary (but at least effective) rundown. In the bottom half, A RUN! Carpenter and Marcell Ozuna took walks, and Paul DeJong hit a double. With the bases loaded and just one out, Jedd Gyorko hit a sac fly to bring home Carpenter. Yadier Molina then sent one down the third base line that almost got past Moustakas, but Moose was able to rein it in. Tie game.
Fifth inning: Pitching changes! Chasen Shreve replaces Gant. Dakota Hudson replaces Chasen Shreve. Unfortunately, this motley assortment of pitchers again gave up a run, again to Christian Yelich, who walked AGAIN. Cardinals continue the trend of never actually taking a lead. Ryan Braun would reach on an error by Yairo Munoz, but the one run would be all the Brewers would plate. 2-1 Brewers.
Sixth inning: Two Cardinals reach base (Martinez on a Ryan Braun fielding error and DeJong on a HBP), but a GIDP by Ozuna shuts things down. Are the Cardinals getting unlucky? I don’t know, let’s turn to the numbers:
The #STLcards are 1 for 11 tonight on batted balls hit 88 mph or harder. The league average on balls hit that hard is .441.— Tim Trokey (@tim_trokey) September 27, 2018
Seventh inning: Christian Yelich walks again, totaling 4 in the game. Just give him the MVP already.
Eighth inning: Carlos Martinez enters the game and strikes out the side (although Kratz did not make it particularly easy on him). Bottom half - Matt Carpenter works a 8 great 9 pitch AB. Adolia Garcia came in to pinch run. Jose Martinez singles to 3B - and then Moustakas throws the ball away, giving Garcia an opportunity to score....and he promptly falls down between third and home, notching the final out. Did I say anything about bad luck yet?
Ninth inning: Martinez comes back out, and despite putting two on via walks (his nemesis this year), no runners score. The only notable thing the Cardinals could muster in the ninth was Ozuna getting wronged by a ridiculous strike call. Not a great way to end at home.
Cardinals finish the season at Wrigley this weekend.