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Bullpen Blows Extra-Inning Lead as Cards Lose First Game 2-1 on Walkoff Sac Fly in the 8th

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St Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

We’ve got another game coming up soon, so I won’t belabor the preview. Kim pitched best game of his Cardinal career so far after 12 days out with a kidney ailment. The Cardinals had the lead 1-0 going into the bottom of the 8th despite using poor strategy, but our bullpen couldn’t close the game out. That’s really the story of the game, as it was a pitcher’s duel up to that point.

Righty Josh Lindblom took the hill for the Brewers. Kolten Wong sharply grounded an outside 1-2 backdoor cutter to 3rd baseman Luis Urias opposite the shift for the first out. Tommy Edman struck out swinging at a 2-2 low cutter. Paul Goldschmidt lined an up-and-in 2-2 fastball over the 2nd baseman’s glove into right-center for a base hit. Brad Miller was ahead in the count 3-0, but ended up striking out chasing an outside 3-2 change to end the inning. Kwang Hyun Kim was activated from the injured list to make today’s start in Game 1 for the Cards. Avisail Garcia flied an outside 2-2 slider to right to lead off the bottom of the 1st. Christian Yelich lined a hanging 1-0 slider to the gap in left-center. Ravelo was able to cut it off, but Yelich easily stood up at 2nd base with a double. The Brewers would not be able to bring him in. Ryan Braun struck out looking at a low-and-in 91 mph four-seamer that looked like it was a couple of inches inside. Jedd Gyorko grounded a hanging 2-2 slider to short to end the inning.

Paul DeJong worked a 10-pitch plate appearance and ended up blooping a low-and-away 2-2 splitter to left for a base hit to start the top of the 2nd. Rangel Ravelo struck out looking at a low-and-in 2-2 four-seamer. The umpire gave the pitcher two pitches in that plate appearance that were balls on both sides of the plate. We can only hope that Kim gets that strike zone. Matt Carpenter chased an up-and-in 0-1 fastball and flied it to Braun in right field near the line. Yadier Molina grounded a low-and-away 2-2 cutter toward the 3rd base line for Urias, who fired to 2nd for the 5-4 force to end the inning. Keston Hiura struck out chasing a low-and-in 0-2 fastball to lead off the bottom of the 2nd. Orlando Arcia tapped a first-pitch low-and-away fastball to 3rd. Luis Urias grounded an outside slow curve deep in the hole to DeJong at short. Goldschmidt picked the throw out of the dirt to end the inning.

Harrison Bader lined a first-pitch hanging cutter to left for a base hit to lead off the top of the 3rd. Wong flied an inside 1-0 cutter to Garcia in right-center. Edman chased an 0-2 high-and-outside fastball and struck out. With Goldschmidt at the plate, Bader tried to steal 2nd base on the 2-2 pitch, but Omar Narvaez gunned him down to end the inning.

To lead off the bottom of the 3rd, Narvaez struck out looking at a 2-2 low-and-in fastball that painted the corner. Tyrone Taylor flied a first-pitch high curve to Edman towards the right field line. Garcia lined a low-and-away 2-1 fastball to the gap in right-center that rolled to the wall for a double. Yelich struck out chasing a 2-2 slider low-and-away and out of the zone to end the inning.

To lead off the top of the 4th, Goldschmidt popped a low-and-away 1-0 curve to the 2nd baseman Hiura on the outfield grass. Brad Miller struck out swinging at a low-and-in 2-2- cutter. DeJong softly lined a low-and-in 1-2 curve to Hiura into the shift to the left side of the 2nd base bag to end the inning. Ryan Braun chased a first-pitch high slider and lined it to Bader in right-center to lead off the bottom of the 4th. Gyorko worked a 3-2 walk after being behind in the count 1-2. Hiura popped an inside 1-1 fastball to shallow center. After Arcia walked on 5 pitches, Urias broke his bat and slowly rolled an 0-1 inside fastball down at the line for Carpenter at 3rd. The ball was positioned in such a way that allowed Carpenter to just field the ball and step on the 3rd base bag to end the inning.

Ravelo flied a first-pitch center-cut fastball to Garcia in left-center to lead off the top of the 5th. Carpenter struck out looking at a low 3-2 cutter. Molina chased an 0-2 low curve and flied it to left to end the inning. Narvaez struck out looking at an 0-2 low-and-away fastball that was painted right on the corner. Taylor grounded an outside 1-0 curve to short. Garcia grounded a 1-1 low curve to short to end the inning.

The Brewers decided to lift Lindblom after 77 pitches and brought righty Devin Williams in to pitch the top of the 6th. Bader struck out swinging at a low 1-2 change. Wong slowly tapped a low-and-away 1-1 change through the hole to left for a base hit. Edman worked a 3-2 walk. Goldschmidt slowly grounded a low-and-in 1-1 change to Urias guarding the line at 3rd for the 5-4 force. That’s all the Brewers could get, as Hiura’s throw to 1st was late and bounced. Gyorko had to pick the ball out of the dirt to save a run. Wong moved to 3rd on the play. The 2-2 pitch to Brad Miller was a bounced changeup that didn’t get far away from the catcher, but Goldschmidt took the opportunity to move to 2nd base on the wild pitch. Perhaps looking for another pitch, Miller struck out looking at a hanging 3-2 change to end the inning.

Yelich chased a high hanging 1-2 slider to strike out leading off the bottom of the 6th. Braun lined a 3-2 up-and-in fastball to left. Gyorko lined a hanging 1-0 69 mph curve into the left field corner for a 2-out double. Jace Peterson ran for him. After the count went to 3-0 on Hiura, the Cards just intentionally walked him to get to Arcia. Arcia sharply grounded an outside slider up the middle. Wong raced over the bag to get the ball, and then made a nifty flip to DeJong, who cut in front of him. DeJong raced over and barely beat Hiura to the 2nd base bag to end the inning with a great defensive play.

Lefty Josh Hader came out to pitch the top of the 7th for the Brewers. He grazed DeJong on the top of his right foot with a low-and-in 0-2 slider to start the inning. Ravelo struck out looking at an 0-2 low-and-away fastball that was several inches outside. Lane Thomas pinch hit for Carpenter and struck out looking at a nasty low-and-in 2-2 slider that just caught the corner. Molina tapped a first-pitch low slider off of the end of his bat and back to the mound to end the inning. At 81 pitches, Kim came back out for the bottom of the 7th. Thomas stayed in the game in RF, with Edman moving from RF to 3B. Urias smoked a high-and-outside slider for a grounder towards the middle, but Wong was positioned right there and made the play. Narvaez flied a low-and-away 1-1 fastball to shallow left. Taylor grounded a first-pitch up-and-in fastball to short to end the inning, which KK escaped in only 6 pitches.

Righty Freddy Peralta came out to pitch the top of the 8th for the Brewers. Since Yadier Molina made the last out of the Cards’ last half-inning, he was set to be placed at 2nd base. But Tyler O’Neill pinch ran for him. Then, Bader was squaring around to bunt, which is bad strategy, and bunt-popped a 1-1 high-and-outside slider foul to the catcher. After Wong just missed a homer when he crushed a hanging curve foul on the pitch before, he struck out looking at a low 3-2 fastball. But Edman saved the day for the Cards, and lined an up-and-in 1-2 fastball up the middle for a base hit to score O’Neill and give the Cards a 1-0 lead.

Goldschmidt lined a center-cut 3-1 fastball deep to right-center, but Braun drifted back and caught it on the track to end the inning. Ryan Helsley came out for the bottom of the 8th to try to close it out for the Cards. Wieters came in to catch in the #6 spot, and O’Neill stayed in the game in the #8 spot to play LF, with Ravelo leaving the game. Tyrone Taylor was placed at 2nd base, since he made the last out for the Brewers. After Garcia walked on 5 pitches, Yelich struck out swinging at a low 2-2 curve. Braun drove a low first-pitch fastball to center. Bader didn’t get the best read on the ball, and it one-hopped the wall for a double to score Taylor, move Garcia to 3rd and tie the game 1-1. Garcia might have had a shot to score, but he didn’t get the best of jumps and the coach didn’t send him.

Shildt brought in Austin Gomber to pitch to the lefty Peterson, who worked a 3-2 walk to load the bases after being behind in the count 0-2. Hiura lined a 2-2 inside fastball to left. O’Neill didn’t even bother to throw it, and Garcia scored on the walkoff Sac Fly to end the game, with the Brewers prevailing 2-1.

We’ll see you in about 40 minutes for Game 2.

Kim (12 days rest) 7 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 1 IBB, 6 SO; Helsley (3 days rest, bottom 8, ahead 1-0) .1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER (actually allowed by Gomber), 1 BB, 1 SO; Gomber (3 days rest, bottom 8, 1 out, men on 2nd and 3rd, tied 1-1) .1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO, allowed 1 out of 2 inherited runners to score.