The Cardinals played game two of a four-game series against the Brewers on Tuesday, pitching Jake Woodford across from Brandon Woodruff. Both pitched extremely well, giving up just two hits apiece in their outings. Woodruff struck out ten over six frames and was tagged for just one run in the first that crossed on some good small ball from the Redbirds. Woodford struck out five over five shutout innings and didn’t allow a runner to reach scoring position (it took the Brewers until the eighth inning of this game to get a runner in scoring position in the series, excluding Monday’s solo homers). The Cardinals pushed an insurance run across in the eighth, which was huge since the Crew matched it with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame. Giovanny Gallegos converted his eleventh save in a tense ninth inning, working out of a bases-loaded jam after an intentional walk to secure a 2-1 win and a ten-game winning streak.
Tommy Edman led off the game for the Cardinals and drew a 9-pitch walk. Edman then stole on the 1-1 pitch to Paul Goldschmidt, who grounded out to second and advanced Edman to third. Tyler O’Neill flew a 2-2 curveball to center field, plenty deep enough to score Edman and give the Redbirds a 1-0 lead. Nolan Arenado got a sinker up and in on the hands and popped out to Willy Adames in foul territory for the final out.
Kolten Wong saw nine pitches and popped out to Arenado. Adames drew a six-pitch walk. Eduardo Escobar flew out to O’Neill, who made a great running catch deep in the left field corner. Avisail Garcia struck out chasing a slider that dove off the outside corner of the plate to end the inning.
Dylan Carlson opened the second, swinging under a 3-2 fastball at the top of the zone for a strikeout. Yadier Molina did the same, chasing a fastball elevated way above the zone. Edmundo Sosa swung at a slider below the zone and golfed it into center to retire the Cards.
Omar Narvaez struck out looking at a beauty of a back-door slider that caught the corner of the plate. Luis Urias followed with another strikeout going after a fastball at eye level. Jace Peterson flew a low changeup to left, putting Milwaukee down in order.
Harrison Bader struck out looking at a 1-2 changeup on the inside corner to begin the third. Woodford took an inside fastball to right-center for a single. Edman turned on another infield fastball, grounding through the infield for a single into right to put two on. Goldschmidt went down swinging behind a sinker at the knees. O’Neill then grounded into a force out to end the Cardinals’ threat in the third.
Tyrone Taylor went after a 2-2 slider above the zone and struck out swinging. Woodruff matched his counterpart with a single off a sinker on the outer half of the plate, but Wong popped out to second and Adames flew out to right to strand him on first.
Arenado skied a hanging first-pitch curveball to left for the first out. Carlson chopped a 3-2 changeup to Wong for out number two. Yadi worked a nine-pitch at-bat but swung under a high changeup to send the game to the bottom of the fourth.
Escobar got ahead 2-0 in the count before getting a changeup down the middle and flying out to left. Garcia jumped on a first-pitch slider, flying it to Carlson who made a great jumping catch in foul territory for the second out. Narvaez lined an 0-1 curveball to left, flying out as Woodford retired the Brewers on just six pitches.
The rookie against the wall! pic.twitter.com/FAefAxNMM7— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 22, 2021
Sosa struck out swinging over a 1-2 sinker for Woodruff’s sixth strikeout on the evening. Bader did the same, chasing a sinker off the outside corner. Woodford topped a changeup and rolled it to second, putting the Cards down in order again.
Urias took an outside slider back up the middle for a leadoff single. Peterson saw eight pitches but chased a slider above the zone for a swinging strikeout. Taylor got a sinker that sat in the middle of the zone but lined it to center for the second out. Woodruff then worked a nine-pitch at-bat before lining an outside sinker to Bader for the final out.
Woodruff struck out the side in the sixth, getting Edman looking at an outside fastball, Goldschmidt swinging at a fastball at the knees, and O’Neill looking at a changeup that was off the outside corner of the plate.
Alex Reyes relieved Woodford and walked Wong on four pitches, but then matched Woodruff by striking out every other hitter he faced. Adames struck out going after a slider in the other batter’s box, Escobar went down swinging over a changeup below the knees, and Garcia chased another outside slider to end the inning.
Brad Boxberger took the mound for the Crew in the seventh and retired Arenado with a lineout to center. Carlson struck out swinging at a slider that broke in on his hands and winced hard at the end of the swing. Yadi took a 1-1 changeup back up the middle for a two-out hit. Sosa then struck out looking at a fastball at the knees for the last out.
Lars Nootbaar replaced Carlson in right on a double switch as Genesis Cabrera took the mound for the Cardinals. Lorenzo Cain pinch hit for Narvaez and struck out swinging behind a fastball on the outer half of the plate. Urias followed suit, swinging through a fastball down the pipe. Manny Pina pinch hit for Peterson and skied a fastball up in the zone to center to send the game to the eighth.
Cain and Pina remained in the game as the center fielder and catcher, respectively, while Jake Cousins came out of the bullpen for Milwaukee. Bader struck out looking at a sinker just off the outside corner. Nootbaar walked on five pitches and stole second, after which Edman singled him home for an insurance run and a 2-0 lead. Edman then stole second for his 27th stolen base on the season but was stranded there after a flyout by Goldschmidt and a groundout by O’Neill.
Luis Garcia came in to face the pinch hitter Christian Yelich and got him to line out on a first-pitch sinker. Daniel Vogelbach then pinch hit for Cousins and walked on six pitches. Wong hit an outside sinker off the wall in right-center for a double, putting runners on second and third with one out. Jackie Bradley, Jr. then pinch run for Vogelbach on third and scored on a sac fly from Adames as the Brewers closed the gap to 2-1. Escobar ended the frame, striking out swinging over a sinker low in the zone.
Yelich stayed in the game at left field and Brent Suter relieved Cousins. Arenado popped a high fastball to first. Jose Rondon pinch hit for Garcia and turned on an inside fastball for a double to left. Yadi flew out to deep center, moving Rondon to third, but Sosa grounded out to leave him there.
Giovanny Gallegos came in for the save attempt and, as it often seems to be with this team, it was an adventure. Garcia opened the inning with a single on a first-pitch slider that was a good ways off the plate. Cain tapped a slider back to Gallegos, who pounced on it and threw to second to get the lead runner. The Cards tried to turn two on the play but Cain beat the throw by basically a full step, which took a replay review to get right on the field. Urias walked to put two on with one away. Pina flew out to center, allowing Cain to tag up to third as the tying run. The Cards, in a risky move, intentionally walked Yelich to load the bases and move the winning run to second to face Pablo Reyes, who came into Tuesday slashing .260/.337/.364. The move paid off as Reyes chased a 2-2 slider in the dirt, securing the 2-1 victory for the Cardinals as well as the team’s first ten-game winning streak since 2001.
The Redbirds move to 81-69 on the season, ensuring yet another season of .500 or better baseball. The Reds lost 6-2 to the Pirates Tuesday evening, putting them 4 GB of the Cards for the second Wild Card. The Padres at the time of writing are tied with the Giants at 5-5 in the seventh inning and will remain 4 GB as well if they manage a win. The Phillies kept pace with a 3-2 win over Baltimore in extras and remain 4.5 games back. The Cardinals continue the four-game series with the Brewers on Wednesday, with Miles Mikolas starting against Brett Anderson at 6:40 PM CT.
Unfortunately, there still isn’t a solid update on Dylan Carlson’s status after being removed in a double switch in the seventh due to what looked like an injury on his final swing in the top of the inning. The Cardinals didn’t seem to have reliable information to give during the post-game interview with Mike Shildt, who said it was just a double switch and to just “leave it at that” according to Derrick Goold.
#Cardinals will be checking on Dylan Carlson this evening after his wince, removal. Asked if Carlson was alright, Shildt says, "It was a double switch. Leave it at that." Compliments floating-head Zoom reporter for being observant, says he received update yet on Carlson.— Derrick S. Goold (@dgoold) September 22, 2021
Final Pitching Lines
Woodford (W, 3-3): 5 IP / 2 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 5 K / 0 HR
Reyes (H, 3): 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / 0 HR
Cabrera (H, 27): 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0 HR
Garcia (H, 11): 1 IP / 1 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 1 BB / 1 K / 0 HR
Gallegos (S, 11): 1 IP / 1 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 2 BB (1 IBB) / 1 K / 0 HR
Woodruff (L, 9-10): 6 IP / 2 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 1 BB / 10 K / 0 HR
Boxberger: 1 IP / 1 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0 HR
Cousins: 1 IP / 1 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 1 BB / 1 K / 0 HR
Suter: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 0 HR