The Cardinals played the second of their three-game set against Milwaukee on Wednesday as Miles Mikolas took the bump across from Adrian Houser. Other than a little bad luck in the first and a mistake on a 2-0 fastball to Daniel Vogelbach that went for a two-run shot, Mikolas had a decent, though inefficient, outing, giving up seven hits and a walk for three runs but striking out seven. The Brewers also tallied an extra run on a solo shot from Manny Pina off of Andrew Miller, but the St. Louis bullpen otherwise held the Brewers’ lineup in check.
The Cardinals rested Tyler O’Neill, Nolan Arenado, Yadier Molina, and Tommy Edman, and Houser took full advantage of the Cardinals’ weaker lineup, tossing five shutout innings while giving up three hits and two walks.
The Brewers seem to be limiting pitches from their starters to about 70 per start as they approach the playoffs. Houser got the hook at 67 pitches one day after Brandon Woodruff was pulled from his start after 63 pitches. Regardless, the Cardinals lineup couldn’t manage to mount an offensive Wednesday as the Brewers shut them out en route to a 4-0 defeat for the Redbirds, ending their winning streak at seventeen games.
Brewers - Jace Peterson led off the game for the Brewers and skied a 3-2 fastball into left field for a flyout. Willy Adames slapped a fastball into right for a single. Christian Yelich followed with another single on a grounder against the shift. Mikolas crossed up Andrew Knizner with a 1-1 fastball to Eduardo Escobar and the ball went to the backstop to advance both runners. Escobar then grounded out to first, scoring Adames to put the Brewers up 1-0. Daniel Vogelbach struck out swinging at a 1-2 fastball low and away, stranding Yelich at third.
Cardinals - With Tommy Edman getting the night off, Lars Nootbaar led off and blooped an 0-2 curveball into right for a hit. Paul Goldschmidt walked on a 3-1 sinker that missed low. Dylan Carlson grounded into a force out at second, leaving runners on first and third with one out. Matt Carpenter walked on four pitches to load the bases, but Harrison Bader bounced into a 6-4-3 double play to end the rally.
Brewers - Lorenzo Cain lined a fastball to Carlson in right for the first out. Jackie Bradley, Jr. took an outside sinker the other way for a single to left. Manny Pina then lined out to center on a first-pitch sinker and Houser struck out to retire the Brewers.
Cardinals - Paul DeJong rolled a sinker to Adames for a groundout and Jose Rondon did the same. Knizner then flew another sinker to Cain, making for a quiet inning from the Cards’ offense.
Brewers - Peterson struck out swinging at a slider that broke in on him and brushed the inside corner. Adames grounded out to Carpenter at third. Yelich drew a seven-pitch walk to bring up Escobar, who struck out staring at a sinker at the top of the zone.
Cardinals - Mikolas lined a fastball right at Adames for out number one. Nootbaar then chopped a changeup to second and Goldschmidt grounded out to short as the Cards struggled to get any offense going against Houser.
Brewers - Vogelbach led off the fourth with a single the other way down the third baseline. Cain jumped on a first-pitch changeup in the center of the zone and lined it to Bader for the out. Bradley, Jr. then grounded a curveball to Goldschmidt, who stepped on first for the second out before faking out Vogelbach with a pump fake to second. Vogelbach, trying to return to first on what he thought would be a throw to second, got tagged out by Goldschmidt for an unassisted double play to end the top of the frame.
Cardinals - Carlson laced a 3-2 sinker down the first baseline for a leadoff double. Carpenter flew a changeup to deep center, moving Carlson to third. Bader hit a curveball back at Houser for a groundout and Carlson was unable to score on the play. DeJong then grounded out to Adames, leaving Carlson at third.
Brewers - Pina opened the fifth with a strikeout, chasing a ball in the dirt. Houser went down looking on three pitches. Peterson then tapped a fastball back to Mikolas, who threw to first for a clean inning.
Cardinals - Rondon smoked a curveball through the left side for a base hit. Knizner rolled a sinker to third for a fielder’s choice at second. Mikolas dropped a bunt on a 1-0 fastball, moving Knizner over with a sacrifice. Knizner would be stranded at second, however, as Nootbaar swung through an 0-2 fastball for the last out.
Brewers - Adames struck out swinging at a 2-2 curveball in the dirt. Yelich jumped on a 2-0 sinker and put it into left against the shift for a single. Escobar flew a first-pitch slider to left for the second out. Vogelbach got ahead 2-0 in the count and was all over a fastball, putting it into the St. Louis bullpen to stretch the Brewers’ lead to 3-0.
Cain followed with another single, ending Wednesday’s outing for Mikolas. Andrew Miller came into the game in relief and retired Bradley, Jr. with a strikeout to send the game to the bottom of the sixth.
Cardinals - Brett Suter replaced Houser on the mound for Milwaukee and got Goldschmidt swinging at a changeup way outside. Carlson grounded out to third. Carpenter walked to extend the inning to Bader, who grounded out to first to end the frame.
Brewers - Pina got a fastball down the pipe from Andrew Miller and launched it into Big Mac Land, pushing Milwaukee’s lead to 4-0.
Tyrone Taylor pinch hit for Suter and drew a five-pitch walk. Peterson grounded a slider to Goldschmidt who knocked the ball down but could only get the out at first. Adames went down swinging at a slider at the knees and Yelich was frozen by a 1-2 fastball low and away for the final two outs.
Cardinals - Brad Boxberger got the call to pitch the seventh for the Crew and got DeJong with a fly out to deep center field. Rondon went down looking at a changeup just above the knees. Knizner struck out on three pitches, chasing an elevated fastball for the final out.
Brewers - Jack Flaherty got some work out of the ‘pen in the eighth and opened the inning by striking out Escobar on three pitches. Vogelbach blooped a slider to shallow center, where Rondon made a sliding catch with his back to the infield for the second out.
Cain golfed a changeup down the left field line for a two-out double. Bradley, Jr. walked on four pitches to put two on, but Pina flew out to right to end the Brewers’ rally.
Cardinals - Aaron Ashby came in to pitch for Milwaukee as Luis Urias came in to play third in a double switch. Tyler O’Neill pinch hit for Flaherty and flew out to center. Nootbaar struck out swinging over the top of a 3-2 slider at the knees. Goldschmidt drew a walk on a 3-1 changeup that missed low, but Carlson struck out looking at an inside slider to send the game to the ninth.
Brewers - Genesis Cabrera replaced Flaherty on the mound and got Urias with a flyout to center. Peterson went down on three pitches, looking at a fastball at the knees. Adames swung at a first-pitch changeup and grounded it to second for the last out.
Cardinals - Carpenter struck out looking at a sinker on the outside corner of the plate. Bader struck out swinging through a high fastball. DeJong struck out swinging at a 2-2 slider, snapping the Cards’ seventeen-game winning streak with a 4-0 loss.
The Redbirds drop to 88-70 on the season with the loss. Standings don’t matter anymore for the Cards or the Brewers and the Cardinals seem to be taking advantage of the opportunity to get some rest for their regulars while giving some tune-up appearances out of the bullpen. The final game of the series against Milwaukee is scheduled for Thursday at 12:15 PM CT, with J.A. Happ slated to pitch against Brett Anderson.
Nolan Arenado said Wednesday that he definitely wants to return to the Cardinals in 2022. Derrick Goold has a great article on stltoday.com that goes into more detail about Arenado’s decision, and I recommend reading it:
Final Pitching Lines
Mikolas (L, 2-3): 5.2 IP / 7 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 1 BB / 7 K / 1 HR
Miller, A: 1.1 IP / 1 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / 1 HR
Flaherty: 1 IP / 1 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 1 K / 0 HR
Cabrera: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 1 K / 0 HR
Houser (W, 10-6): 5 IP / 3 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 2 BB / 1 K / 0 HR
Suter (H, 9): 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 1 K / 0 HR
Boxberger: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0 HR
Ashby: 2 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 5 K / 0 HR