Game 18 Recap and Odds and Ends--Cards avoid the sweep with a 6-3 victory over the Brewers--Wacha provided a quality start and everyone in the lineup hit

The Cards needed this performance from Wacha, with our last few starters getting knocked out of the game early. His 6 inning performance with 1 BB and 7 SO gave some relief to our bullpen going into a day off. He spotted his fastball well and his changeup was much better today. Ozuna continued his home run streak, our backup catcher had 2 RBI singles, DeJong had a 4-hit day and Wong added another 3 of his own.

Ozuna continued his hot streak for the Cards, starting the Cards off in the 2nd by lining an outside fastball for a solo HR to the deepest part of Miller Park at the edge of the center field wall in left-center to give the Cards a 1-0 lead. After Martinez struck out, Fowler softly poked a single to right-center, and Wong blooped a base hit into no-man’s land that fell down in left-center. Wieters sharply grounded a fastball for a base hit through the right side to score Fowler, move Wong to 3rd and give the Cards a 2-0 lead. Wacha laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Wieters to 2nd, but Wong stayed put at 3rd. Carpenter lined a shot right at Yelich in right to strand the runners. The Brewers got their first hit with 2 outs in the 2nd when Shaw lined a double down the 1st base line after swinging away on 3-0. But Wacha struck Aguilar out on a fastball outside the zone to strand the runner.

The Cards picked up 2 more insurance runs in the 3rd. Goldschmidt led off with a lined base hit to the gap in left-center that rolled far enough to allow him to stand up with a double. DeJong lined a base hit up the middle to bring him in for a 3-0 Cards lead. Ozuna walked to put runners at 1st and 2nd. J. Martinez grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to advance DeJong to 3rd. After Fowler walked to put runners at the corners, Wong lined a fastball to right-center for a base hit to score DeJong, move Fowler to 3rd and extend the Cards’ lead to 4-0. With Wong running, Wieters smoked a pitch right at Aguilar at 1st to end the inning.

With 1 out in the 4th, Carpenter crushed a fastball deep into the right-center field seats for a solo HR to extend the Cards’ lead to 5-0. Goldschmidt got jammed on a 3-2 pitch, but legged out an infield single to short on an "excuse me" swing. Corbin Burnes was done for the Brewers after 9 hits allowed and 74 pitches. Righty Aaron Wilkerson came on in relief and DeJong smoked a pitch right around his eyes to left for a single that moved Goldschmidt to 3rd. He hit it pretty far down the left field line, but was still somehow held to a single. Ozuna grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to strand the runner. After Wacha struck out Yelich and Grandal in the 4th, Moustakas looped a ball to left that Ozuna jogged for, but dropped just inside the left field line. It got by Ozuna and went off the side wall, which allowed Moustakas to stand up with a double. It also took the ballboy a bit to get out of the way. That was only the 2nd hit allowed by Wacha this afternoon, but the runner was stranded on Braun’s grounder to short.

The Brewers got on the board in the 5th with 2 out. Arcia grounded a ball that just snuck past DeJong in the hole for a base hit. The pitcher Wilkerson then hit a 1-1 inside fastball over just over the wall in left-center field for a 2-run HR to cut the Cards’ lead to 5-2. That was Wilkerson’s first career major league hit, and the first time he ever reached base. Fast forward to the bottom of the 7th. Wacha came out to start the inning, having thrown 91 pitches, and hung a changeup to Shaw, who lined it to right-center for a base hit. John Gant came on in relief, but Shildt did not make a double switch with the pitcher’s spot coming up 4th in the order in the top of the 8th. Aguilar grounded into a 6-4-3 double play for 2 outs and closed the book on Wacha. Arcia struck out and Gant got the necessary 3 outs in 8 pitches.

With 1 out in the 8th, Wong lined a base hit to right-center. He was hustling all the way, noticing the gap between the outfielders and made it to second for a double, just beating the tag. Wieters lined a base hit to right-center to score Wong and extend the Cards lead to 6-2. After Gyorko was announced as a pinch hitter for Gant, Wilkerson was done after 4 IP, and Jeremy Jeffress came in to pitch, making his 2019 debut after being activated from the IL yesterday. Wieters was running on the 3-2 pitch and the inning ended with a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play.

Shildt brought Miller in to pitch the 8th and brought in Lane Thomas to play CF, moving Fowler to RF and taking Jose Martinez out of the game. Hernan Perez pinch hit for Jeffress and launched a slider for a double into the left field corner for a double. Righty Manny Pina pinch hit for the lefty Gamel and struck out. Yelich smoked an outside slider right over Miller’s head for a base hit to center to score Perez and cut the Cards’ lead to 6-3. Grandal lined a hard shot right to Wong at 2nd for the second out. Miller threw Moustakas a 1-2 slider low and away that Wieters failed to stop. The passed ball moved Yelich to 2nd, but Moustakas popped foul to 3rd to end the threat. Righty Jake Petricka pitched the top of the 9th for the Brewers and allowed Paul DeJong’s 4th hit of the day, but otherwise retired the side.

Hicks came in to try for the save and was wild at first, walking Braun on 4 pitches. But Shaw pounded a sinker into the ground for a 4-6-3 double play on a nice spinning throw by Wong. Aguilar struck out on a slider, and Hicks picked up his 4th straight save in as many tries.

Odds and Ends: Since his demotion to AAA Memphis, Alex Reyes has thrown in 3 games, faced 18 batters for 4.2 IP, and allowed 0 H and 0 ER, but has allowed 6 BB against 4 SO. Despite his control not coming around yet and despite the fact that the Cards had said stretching him out to be a starter was not on the team's radar screen, he is indeed being moved to the rotation...Cole Hamels takes the mound tonight for the Cubs against Sandy Alcantara and the Marlins in Miami, as the Cubs look to sweep the 3-game series. They have a day off tomorrow, then come back to Chicago for a 3-game series against the Diamondbacks...The Pirates are hoping to sweep a 2-game series against Detroit on the road behind Trevor Williams tonight to win 5 out of their last 7 games. The Bucs also have a day off tomorrow then head home for a 3-game series against the Giants. The Reds are trying to avoid a 3-game sweep at the hands of the Dodgers right now, but are behind 3-0 in the 7th. Sonny Gray started off strong for the Reds, not allowing a hit until the 4th inning, but allowed a 3-run HR to A.J. Pollock in the bottom of the 6th. After today, the Reds travel to San Diego to face the Padres (who are tied for first in the NL West) in a 4-game series....Although the Springfield Cards scored 7 runs alongside 11 hits, they couldn't overcome the 9 hits and 5 HRs allowed by starter Casey Meisner in 5 IP. Reliever Roel Ramirez allowed a 3-run HR in 3 IP of relief...Peoria starter Alvaro Seijas had his second strong performance in a row with 6 IP, 1 BB and 9 SO. But it was spoiled in a loss when Jacob Schlesener came in and walked 4 straight batters and Noel De Jesus allowed a Sac Fly and a 3-run HR for a 5-run 7th inning. Nolan Gorman had an RBI single and both Ivan Herrera and Lars Nootbaar homered. Nootbaar added a triple. Just fair warning, I'm going to say Lars Nootbaar as much as possible in these notes for the rest of the season.