After losing two out of three to the Phillies over the weekend, the Cardinals welcomed division-leading Milwaukee to Busch Stadium Monday night for the start of a four-game set. This series means very little for both teams, as the Cardinals have essentially been out of playoff contention since May, while the Brewers hold a 6.5 game-lead in the division with two weeks remaining in the season.
This particular game is very important to Cardinal fans, however. After picking up his 199th win last time out, Adam Wainwright had an opportunity to grab number 200 on Monday night.
Here are the lineups for the Brewers and Cardinals:
- Sal Frelick, CF
- William Contreras, C
- Carlos Santana, 1B
- Mark Canha, LF
- Willy Adames, SS
- Rowdy Tellez, DH
- Josh Donaldson, 3B
- Brice Turang, 2B
- Tyrone Taylor, RF
Freddy Peralta - SP
And the Cardinals:
- Lars Nootbaar, CF
- Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
- Alec Burleson DH
- Nolan Arenado, 3B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Richie Palacios, LF
- Jordan Walker, RF
- Tommy Edman, 2B
- Masyn Winn, SS
Adam Wainwright - SP
As has been the case in many of Wainwright’s starts this season, he did not have a whole lot of wiggle room. The Cardinals scored him a run, but that’s it — one run. Fortunately, old Uncle Charlie dodged, ducked, and weaved his way through seven shutout innings, en route to win number 200. What makes it even more fun is the man who caught him tonight for number 200, Willson Contreras, was pulled from the catcher spot earlier this season due to his alleged issues calling games. The first person who spoke up in his defense when that happened? Well that was Adam Wainwright, of course.
After the game, Wainwright told Jim Hayes that he felt like the team “Was going to find a way” and that he was hoping to go back out for the eighth inning. He said that through all the struggles this season, his teammates have never wavered in their support.
It doesn’t matter how many whiffs he got, how many strikeouts he had, or how hard he was throwing. Uncle Charlie pitched a heck of a ballgame, and etched his name into the history books Monday night.
Wainwright got the leadoff man Frelick to fly out to shallow left, but walked Contreras with one out. After falling behind 0-2, Carlos Santana grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play, started by Edman at second.
Nootbaar grounded out to short and Paul Goldschmidt flew out to center field for outs one and two. Alec Burleson swung at a 1-2 curveball at the toes and was able to loop it into center for the first hit of the ballgame for either team. Arenado grounded out to third base to end the first inning.
Canha led off the second and hit a pop into foul territory behind third base. Arenado gave chase, eventually making a basket catch with his back turned to the infield — which Wainwright appreciated very much. Adames grounded out to second for the second out, and Wainright struck out Tellez looking with an 85 mph cutter at the bottom of the zone.
Willson Contreras struck out looking to start the bottom of the second. Palacios lined out to first base, but the Cardinals once again got a two-out baserunner on Peralta thanks to a Jordan Walker single to center field. With two outs, Tommy Edman hit a screaming liner into center field that looked destined to be a triple off thw wall, but Frelick made an unbelievable superman play, leaping into the air and catching the ball at full extension before crashing into the wall. It saved Milwaukee a run, and sent this game to the third inning still scoreless.
Wainwright struck out Donaldson looking with a fastball on the inside corner that may have been just a bit off the plate. Turang worked a one-out walk, and Taylor flew out to the warning track just in front of the left field wall for the second out. Frelick got just enough muscle behind a soft line drive that dropped into center field for a two-out single, but Contreras grounded out to Goldschmidt at first to end the top half of the inning and get Waino out of the two-out jam.
Winn hit a little swinging bunt back towards Peralta on the mound for the first out in the bottom of the third. Nootbaar struck out swinging at a slider that tumbled to the ground at the last second, and Goldschmidt also struck out on a slider from Peralta.
Carlos Santana and Canha each grounded out for outs one and two. With two outs, Adames hit a soft fly ball to left field that Palacios dove for and got his glove on, but just could not hold on when he hit the ground (I thought surviving the ground wasn’t a rule anymore — hmph). The ball popped out and rolled away from Palacios, and Adames turned it into a double. However, Tellez struck out for the second at-bat in a row, waving at an 87 mph fastball at the botom of the zone — he was behind and was probably looking for the big bender with two strikes.
Burleson led off the bottom of the fourth and hit a ground ball to first that Santana grabbed easily. But the ball got stuck in the webbing of his glove on the exchange, and he had to throw the entire glove to Peralta at first for the out.
Arenado struck out swinging at a slider for the second out. Contreras also got a slider from Peralta on 0-1, but he didn’t miss it. He turned on it and hit a screaming 115 mph line drive towards the left field foul pole that just barely snuck over the wall into the left field seats. It never looked like the ball was more than 10 feet in the air, and it made the score 1-0 Cardinals in support of Wainwright. After the homer, Palacios grounded out to first to end the inning.
Donaldson swung at the first pitch he saw from Wainwright and grounded out to Arenado at third. Turang flew out to left field for out number two, and Taylor grounded out to short for number three. Wainwright worked through hs first five innings on 68 pitches.
Walker hit a ground ball down the third base line that Donaldson ranged to his right to get, before making a little jump throw across his body all the way across the diamond, nailing Walker at first for the out.
Edman poked a one-out single on the ground into right field, Winn worked the count 2-2 against Peralta and then took ball three outside, except home plate umpire Nick Mahrley called it strike three instead — a bad and incorrect call, but Wainwright also benefitted from a few of those. Nootbar struck out as well to end the fifth.
Frelick grounded out for the first out of the sixth. Wainwright left a curveball too far up in the zone and the younger Contreras served it into right field for a one-out single. With one out, Santana hit a ground ball up the middle, where Winn was waiting. He stepped on second and threw to first for the inning-ending 6-3 double play — the second time in the game that Santana had done so.
Goldschmidt grounded out to third, Burleson grounded out to second, and Arenado grouded out to third.
Wainwright came back out for the seventh inning at 79 pitches. He got ahead of Canha 0-2 before the former Oakland A and New York Met pushed a single right back up the middle and into center field. Adames grounded out to short for the first out, with Canha advancing to second. Tellez flew out to shallow right field for the second out. Canha stole third base with two outs, but Donaldson flew out to center field to end the top of the seventh.
Wainwright walked off the mound to a standing ovation at 93 pitches.
Right-hander Abner Uribe took over in the seventh after six quality innings from Freddy Peralta. Big Contreras was the first batter he faced, and he grounded out. Palacios struck out looking at a 99mph that apparently clipped the very upper edge of the strike zone, and Walker struck out swinging at a 100 mph sinker at the bottom of the zone.
Left-hander John King took over in the eighth inning in one of the highest-leverage spots of the entire season, with win number 200 on the line for Waino. Andruw Monasterio pinch-hit for Turang and started the inning off with a base hit to left field. Taylor hit next and hit it sharply to short, where Winn started a 6-4-3 double play.
With two outs, Frelick did a very similar thing that he did in his last at-bat, poking a soft line drive into shallow center field. This time, Winn ran back into center field and dove all the way out to try and make the catch just beyond the infield dirt. The ball was initially in his glove, but when he hit the ground the ball popped out and rolled away for a base hit. Rather than have King face William Contreras, Oli Marmol went to the bullpen and got Ryan Helsley, asking him to get four outs and secure the win for Wainwright.
Helsley struck out little Contreras with a slider at the knees, keeping the 1-0 intact.
Bryce Wilson entered the game for Milwaukee in the bottom of the eighth for Milwaukee, making his 48th appearance of the season.
Edman grounded out to third, followed by a one-out single to right field for Winn. He advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Nootbaar flew out to shallow left field and Winn was unable to advance from there. With two outs, Goldschmidt flew out to right, setting up a HUGE ninth inning for Ryan Helsley.
Helsley fell behind 3-0 to Santana, but battled back to strike him out with an 88 mph slider right down the middle. Canha grounded out to short for the second out, and Adames popped out to Edman in shallow right field to end it. 200 for Waino!
FINAL: Cardinals 1, Brewers 0
Game two of this series between the Cardinals (67-83) and Brewers (84-66) is set to begin at 6:45 tomorrow night. Drew Rom (1-2, 5.96 ERA) will throw for St. Louis and will be opposed by a Milwaukee starter that had not been named as of first pitch tonight.
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