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Missed opportunities haunt Cardinals in 3-2 loss to Milwaukee

St.Louis left 12 runners on base and went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Out to continue their winning ways, the Cardinals faced off with the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday night hoping to secure their sixth consecutive win and maybe, just maybe, escape having the sole title of “team with the worst record in the National League.” With a Cardinals win and a Colorado Rockies loss, St. Louis would be tied with Colorado at 18-25. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have shaved four games off their deficit in the Central, sitting 6.5 games back of Milwaukee before Tueday’s NL Central tilt.

Here are the starting lineups:


  1. Owen Miller, LF
  2. William Contreras, C
  3. Willy Adames, SS
  4. Mike Brosseau, 1B
  5. Darin Ruf, DH
  6. Brian Anderson, 3B
  7. Tyrone Taylor, RF
  8. Brice Turang, 2B
  9. Joey Wiemer, CF

Wade Miley - SP


  1. Lars Nootbaar CF
  2. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  3. Willson Contreras, DH
  4. Nolan Arenado, 3B
  5. Paul DeJong, SS
  6. Nolan Gorman, 2B
  7. Tommy Edman, RF
  8. Brendan Donovan, LF
  9. Andrew Knizner, C

Jordan Montgomery - SP

Unfortunately, escaping the NL basement was not meant to be today. The Cardinals had every opportunity to win this game, starting with Milwaukee starter Wade Miley exiting the game in the second inning with an injury. This forced Milwaukee’s bullpen to cover seven innings one day after they allowed 18 runs as a team.

St. Louis also stranded runners in scoring position in five of nine innings, and were squeezed quite a bit by home plate umpire Mark Wegner during a critical at bat in the eighth inning.

The streak is over, but the vibes remain high. Excited to watch Matthew Liberatore tomorrow night.

Here’s how it went down:

1st Inning

To their credit, Milwaukee tied their run total from last night within just four minutes this evening. Owen Miller led the game off with a bloop double dropped down the left field line. Little Contreras struck out, but Montgomery’s full count sinker to Adames drifted over the middle of the plate, and the Brewers’ shortstop stung it into the right-center field gap for an RBI double to get Milwaukee on the board. Montgomery struck out Brosseau and Darin Ruf to escape with no further damage done.

Each of the first three Cardinals put the ball in play against Miley, but it was soft contact and nothing came of it. Nootbaar grounded out, Goldschmidt flew out to shallow right field, and Contreras grounded out.

2nd Inning

Motgomery put up a zero in the second and was able to work around a two-out base knock from Brice Turang. Anderson grounded out and Taylor struck out swinging for the first two outs, followed by Turang’s softly hit infield single that died in the Bermuda Triangle between first base, second base, and the mound. However, Montgomery battled back and struck out Wiemer to end a seven-pitch at at, as well as the inning. If you’re keeping track, that made five strikeouts for Montgomery through two innings.

Nolan Arenado led off the bottom of the second and extended his homer streak to five games with a 394-foot solo homer down into the left field corner. It’s the second time in his career he’s homered in five consecutive games, with the other being a five-game stretch in September of 2015.

Paul DeJong drew a walk, and Gorman — making a rare start against a left-handed pitcher — grounded into a force out at second base. Tommy Edman’s 370-foot fly ball was caught just in front of the warning track in right field for the second out.

After the Edman flyout, Craig Counsell, the Brewers’ training staff, and the entire infield came to the mound to talk with Miley. After a brief discussion, Miley was removed from the game. Dominican right-hander Elvis Peguero took over with two outs in the second inning. He faced Brendan Donovan first, who flew out to center field.

Miley’s final line: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K’s (22 pitches)

3rd Inning

A quick and easy third inning for Montgomery on six pitches. Miller flew out to Nootbaar in center field, baby Contreras struck out on three pitches, and Adames grounded out to short.

Knizner led off the bottom of the third inning with a groundout up the middle, with Turang ranging over to make the play. Nootbaar and Goldschmidt drew back-to-back walks with one out. Contreras grounded out sharply to short, with Adames only play being at first base. Nootbaar and Goldschmidt each moved up a base, but with two outs Arenado grounded out, stranding both.

4th Inning

Montgomery pitched a relatively clean, low stress fourth inning. Brosseau grounded out to third and Ruf flew out to right field for two outs, but then Montgomery hit Anderson in the foot with an 0-2 curveball to put the go-ahead run on base. He didn’t move anywhere though, as Taylor flew out to center field on the very first pitch he saw from Monty.

32 year old left-hander Hoby Milner became the third Milwaukee pitcher of the game in the fourth inning. DeJong and Gorman both struck out for outs one and two, followed by a two-out double off the right field wall for Tommy Edman. Brendan Donovan proceeded to break the tie with a two-out, opposite field single, scoring Edman and putting St. Louis up 2-1 in the fourth. Knizner grounded out to third right after, sending this game to the fifth.

5th Inning

Turang led off the fifth and tried to reach on another no-man’s land infield single, but Goldschmidt fielded the ball hit to his right and tossed over to a covering Montgomery for the first out of the inning. Joey Wiemer followed with a tank job solo homer to dead center field — his fourth of the season. Wiemer’s 417-foot homer tied the game 2-2.

The Brewers then got back-to-back singles from Miller and little Contreras, with Contreras’ also being of the infield variety, a swinging bunt hit up the third base line. The inning continued to get away from Montgomery as he walked Adames to load the bases with one out, but the Cardinals’ lefty was able to strike out Brosseau and get Ruf to fly out to shallow right field to escape the jam.

Milner struck out Nootbaar to start the bottom of the fifth, and Counsell went to the bullpen for Goldschmidt. He called in right-hander Joel Payamps to make his 18th appearance of the season, starting with the reigning MVP. He struck out Goldschmidt looking with a fastball on the outside corner to dodge that bullet, but walked Contreras on four pitches. Contreras then stole second base (on his brother!!) to get into scoring position, but Arenado struck out to end the fifth.

6th Inning

Brian Anderson led off sixth inning, and Montgomery started him off with a curveball that broke right into the center of the zone. As you’d expect, it ended up in the seats — Anderson’s sixth homer of the year. His 406-foot solo homer put Milwaukee back up, 3-2.

Montgomery stayed in the game and got Taylor to ground out, but a one-out single by Turang was the final nail in the coffin. Oli Marmol went to the bullpen and brought in Jordan Hicks with St. Louis trailing 3-2.

The first batter he saw was Wiemer, who’d homered in his last at bat. In a 1-0 count, Turang took off for second, and Knizner’s throw down to second was as perfect as could be, landing right in Gorman’s glove where the tag was. After Turang was nailed at second, Wiemer struck out flailing at a 3-2 slider for the third out.

Payamps returned for the sixth inning, and hit DeJong in the arm with a 1-1 fastball. However, as PDJ jogged down to first base, the first base umpire sent him back, saying that he offered at the pitch and it was a strike. Instead of a hit by pitch, DeJong eventually struck out.

Gorman followed with a one-out single to center, and Tommy Edman’s would-be double play ball up the middle turned into an infield single because Payamps couldn’t help but throw his glove at it. With two runners on and one out, Donovan squared up a 3-2 fastball and sent it deep to center, but Wiemer made the play near the warning track for the out. Gorman tagged to third on the play, and Edman stole seconds moments later (with no throw) to put the tying and go-ahead runners in scoring position with two outs. But for the third time in the last four innings, the Cardinals stranded runners in scoring position without scoring, as Knizner struck out quickly on three pitches.

7th Inning

Hicks returned for the seventh and retired all three batters he saw. Miller grounded out to second base, with Gorman ranging across the diamond and then throwing across his body for the out. Contreras grounded out to third base for out number two, and Adames looked silly striking out hacking at a full count slider from Hicks that busted in on the hands. Hicks walked off the mound and shouted something at Adames, and Adames appeared to say something along the lines of “settle down” with the accompanying arm gesture.

Milwaukee brought in sidewinding right-hander Peter Strzelecki in the bottom of the seventh, the fifth Milwaukee pitcher of the evening. Nootbaar connected on a 2-2 changeup and sent it 370 feet to straight away center, but Wiemer made the catch a few steps shy of the warning track. Goldschmidt flew out to Taylor in right field for out number two, and Contreras drew a walk to give Arenado a shot at tying the game or putting St. Louis ahead.

However, Arenado popped out to Brosseau in foul territory, stranding Contreras on first.

8th Inning

Andre Pallante was the third Cardinals pitcher in this game, taking the mound in the top of the eighth. After striking out pinch-hitter Rowdy Tellez, Pallante got groundouts from another pinch-hitter Jessee Winker, as well as Anderson, to end the inning. A quick and painless, 13-pitch inning for Pallante.

DeJong led off the bottom half of the inning and barreled up an 0-1 slider from Strzelecki, but his high fly ball died on the warning track, with Miller making the catch. Gorman worked a seven-pitch walk with one out, and Edman swung at the first pitch he saw, rapping a base hit (his third of the day) to right field. That base hit allowed Gorman to move to third base, putting Brendan Donovan in a crucial spot where he could tie the game or put the Cardinals ahead.

Craig Counsell made the move to bring in closer Devin Williams to face Donovan, and Edman stole second on his second pitch. Donovan suddenly had both the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position with only one out. With the assistance of home plate umpire Mark Wegner, Williams was able to strike out Donovan on four pitches without him ever taking the bat off his shoulders, and then induce an inning-ending groundout from Burleson, who pinch-hit for Knizner.

As for the Donovan at bat, both strike one and strike two were up and out of the zone. Strike two was especially maddening (pitch three, below), as it put Donovan — a very patient hitter — down 1-2 against one of the elite closers in the game, rather than a much more favorable 2-1 count. The Cardinals needed to score more than two runs off Miley and the Milwaukee bullpen so that this situation never even occured, but it’s just another tough break for St. Louis.

9th Inning

Drew VerHagen pitched a scoreless ninth inning. Taylor lined out to Arenado, Turang singled to left field, Wiemer struck out, and Miller grounded out.

Devin Williams returned to close the game out in the ninth, and that he did. Nootbaar led off the inning and put a drive into Williams’ 3-2 changeup, driving it deep into right field. Taylor backed up to the wall and made the catch, with his right hand almost resting on the wall as he caught it. Goldschmidt struck out swinging for out number two. Down to their final out, Contreras stung a 112 mph line drive directly at Wiemer in center field, but the Brewers’ rookie outfielder misread it and the ball whizzed by him, rolling all the way to the wall in dead center field for a two-out double.

Milwaukee intentionally walked Nolan Arenado with two outs, preferring to face Paul DeJong even if it meant putting the potential winning run on base. That decision was likely a smart one, as DeJong grounded out to third to end the game, snapping St. Louis’ winning streak.

FINAL: Milwaukee 3, St. Louis 2

Up Next

With their winning streak now snapped, the Cardinals (17-26) will go for their third consecutive series win tomorrow night at Busch. Matthew Liberatore will make his season debut tomorrow night, after pitching to a 3.13 ERA at Memphis over 46 innings. He struck out 56 and walked 17 over those 46 innings, amassing a record of 4-1 thus far. Corbin Burnes (4-2, 3.35 ERA) will throw for Milwaukee (24-18). He’s allowed three earned runs over his last 18 innings pitched.

First pitch is once again set for 6:45 p.m.

Around the Central

Tigers 4, Pirates 0

Astros 7, Cubs 3

Reds 3, Rockies 1

Today’s Pickle

MLB Pickle #433 - 5/9