Los Cardenales de St. Louis fell to los Cerveceros de Milwaukee, 7-6 Sunday afternoon at Busch Stadium on Fiesta Cardenales Day at the ballpark. Matt Albers earned the victory, while Junior Fernandez picked up the loss. With the loss, los Cardenales dropped just their second series in eleven tries since August 9th, although this marks their second in a row.
Starting pitcher Michael Wacha yielded a one-out flare single to Yasmani Grandal in the first inning, but rendered it harmless with a follow-up double play ball with Mike Moustakas at the plate to end the top half of the inning. Dexter Fowler walked to lead off the bottom of the first against Cerveceros’ starter Chase Anderson, followed by a strikeout of Kolten Wong. Next, a line drive out by Paul Goldschmidt resulted in a throwing error trying to double off Fowler, sending the leadoff hitter to second with two outs. Marcell Ozuna’s popout ended the rally.
In the second inning with one out, Ozuna misplayed Eric Thames’ flyball to the fence into a double, placing Wacha in peril again. However, Wacha worked around it. Anderson kept pace for los Cerveceros with a pop-up from Dejong and strikeouts of Yadier Molina and Tommy Edman.
Wacha got in trouble yet again in the third inning, allowing a single to Chase Anderson and hitting Trent Grisham with a cutter to put runners on first and second with just one out. He then retired Grandal and Moustakas, preserving the 0-0 score. It remained that way... for four more pitches, which is when Harrison Bader smashed a fastball down in the zone from Anderson into the left-centerfield bleachers, approximately 454 feet, for a 1-0 lead:
Anderson retired the next three hitters in order, but there was no retrieving Bader’s dinger. With the lead at his back, Wacha finally delivered a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fourth.
Los Cardenales threatened again in the bottom of the fourth when Paul Goldschmidt nursed a leadoff walk and advanced to second on Ozuna’s flyout. Paul DeJong struck out (Anderson’s sixth), and Molina battled for twelve pitches before finally lining out to right, leaving the score at 1-0, Cardinals. Anderson’s day ended with 4 innings pitched, one hit, one run allowed (and earned), two walks, and six strikeouts. Brent Suter replaced him in just his fifth appearance of the season.
Cory Spangenberg led off the fifth with an infield single on a weak grounder to a bare-handing Tommy Edman at third base. He was erased one hitter later when he strayed too far off of first base and Dexter Fowler doubled him off at first on Hernan Perez’s flyball out. Pinch hitter Tyler Austin roped a two-out double just past Bader off the fence for a double after the double play, but a flyball to Fowler ended the inning. Suter set down Edman, Bader, and Wacha’s pinch-hitter Rangel Ravelo in order. Wacha’s day ended with five innings, five hits, no runs allowed, no walks, and one strikeout.
Genesis Cabrera retired the side in order in the top of the sixth, and Suter returned the favor in the bottom half. After Thames got a leadoff single against Cabrera in the seventh, skipper Mike Shildt summoned Ryan Helsley from the bullpen. Helsley retired Lorenzo Cain, but gave up a two-run wall scraping homerun to Spangenberg, putting the Brewers on top 2-1. Perez followed with a single, prompting Shildt to call on Giovanny Gallegos. Fortunately, Gallegos squelched the rally.
Ray Black relieved Suter and donated a leadoff walk to Ozuna. Then he donated a souvenir to Paul DeJong fans in the leftfield seats, as Professor Paul launched a two-run homerun just inside the foul pole for a 3-2 los Cardenales lead.
Black retired the next two hitters with flyball outs, including a gem by Cerveceros centerfielder Lorenzo Cain. Then Bader pushed the lead to 4-2 with his second homerun of the day, accelerating the rate of mi corazon:
It was Bader’s third homerun since Thursday, which is three more than Zack Wheeler has hit. Alex Claudio eventually worked out of the jam for the Brewers, sending the game to the 8th inning with a 4-2 Cardinals lead.
Andrew Miller replaced Gallegos. He faced Moustakas, who reached second on a flyball that bounced off of Bader when neither Bader or Fowler relented to the other on a routine out. Miller then retired Ryan Braun on a hard groundball to Edman and struck out Thames before Cain slapped a single to drive home Moustakas. Cain’s RBI slimmed the margin to 4-3, Los Cardenales. Miller retired pinch-hitter David Freitas on a line drive to Fowler, sending the game to the bottom of the eighth with a one run lead for Los Cardenales.
Claudio retired Wong and gave way to reliever Matt Albers, who perpetually looks like the star of a 90s Disney movie where a fat single dad wins over his kid when a magic wish makes him an MLB pitcher. He won over his fictional child today with a strikeout of Goldschmidt and a flyout against Ozuna.
John Gant came on in the ninth in place of Carlos Martinez, who was unavailable with the flu. Things got off to a rocky start for Gant as he allowed back-to-back walks leading off the inning to Ben Gamel and Travis Shaw. Grisham struck out looking for the first out of the inning, but Gant walked Grandal to load the bases. Shildt had seen enough, calling on Tyler Webb to face Moustakas with the platoon advantage. Webb and Moustakas dueled to a full count when Webb got a flyball to Bader for the second out. Bader’s throw held Gamel at third, preserving the 4-3 lead for the moment.
That’s when Shildt went back to the bullpen, calling on rookie Junior Fernandez to face Braun with two outs and the bases loaded. Fernandez worked a full count, but Braun juiced a flyball to centerfield for a grand slam, giving los Cerveceros a 7-4 lead. At that point, Thames was hit by pitch and Cain slapped a single to put runners at the corners still with two outs. Mercifully, Fernandez struck out Orlando Arcia to end the inning.
With a three-run lead, los Cerveceros called on Josh Hader to close out the game. He retired DeJong on a groundball, then walked Molina. Tommy Edman continued to confound doubters with a two-run homerun, bringing the Cardinals within 7-6:
Bader, he of the two homeruns earlier in the game, followed Edman, but struck out. Tyler O’Neill pinch-hit for Fernandez with the game on the line and also struckout, ending the game.
The Parish Brewing Pure Tropics Player of the Game is Bader. He finished 2-for-3 with two solo homeruns. Honorable mention goes to DeJong for his two-run blast and Wacha for his five scoreless innings.
Los Cardenales begin their final two week playoff push Monday night when the Washington Nationals come to town. First pitch is schedule for 6:45 pm CST, and Dakota Hudson (15-7, 3.38 ERA, 4.96 FIP) will square off with the Nats’ Stephen Strasburg (17-6, 3.49 ERA, 3.22 FIP).
- Scoring based on the author’s beverage, because my beverage choice somehow affects baseball games:
-Parish Pure Tropics: Tie, 0-0
-Three Floyds Robert the Bruce: 1-0, Cardinals
-Hardywood None of This Makes Sense: Tie, 3-3
-Hardywood Rasberry Short Kate: 4-0, Brewers
- The last time the Cardinals lost consecutive home games was during the Houston series, July 27th and 28th.
- Per Danny Mac, Bader’s two homeruns traveled a collective 909 feet.
- I wish I cared as much about anything as Ricky Horton seemed to care about crowd noise during this game.
- Shildt’s choice of the lefty Webb with the bases loaded and the lefty Moustakas hitting was the right choice. I don’t care what anyone says.