11:13p The Cardinals won a game similar to this one last week in Milwaukee. They got lucky on a bloop RBI single by Lance Berkman to end an extremely dramatic extra inning game that was a crushing loss for the Brewers. Tonight wasn’t as dramatic, but gave the Cards a taste of their own medicine.
The Brewers took down the Cardinals tonight, 5-3, in a 10 inning game. Both the Brewers and Cardinals had a lot of chances that they didn’t take advantage of early on. That included a fifth inning in which the Brewers had the bases loaded and no outs against Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson, but allowed him to get out of it with no damage done in just four pitches.
The Brewers got to Jackson in the third inning, when Corey Hart hit a two-run homer off him. From there, Brewers starter Shaun Marcum pretty much cruised through the first four innings, until that pivotal fifth inning happened.
Marcum led off the fifth with a single. Jackson then walked Hart to put runners on first and second. After that, Nyjer Morgan tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but wound up reaching first because of a wide throw by Cardinals catcher Gerald Laird, who struggled behind the plate all night due to Yadier Molina’s suspension. Anyway, this loaded the bases with no outs.
Then, the Brewers did what they seem to do so well on the road. They got Jackson out of the inning on four pitches.
Some of it was just bad luck. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder got themselves out on back-to-back pitches with line drives directly at infielders. Then, with Casey McGehee batting, Laird let a pitch get away from him, so Marcum, who was at third, started to come home. Sadly, Laird recovered quickly, and Marcum had already gone too far down the line, getting him caught in a rundown. Marcum was trying to fake out Laird and third baseman David Freese by rapidly moving back and forth, but, while doing that, rolled over his ankle and collapsed. Freese tagged him out, and that was that- inning over.
Marcum came back out for the fifth and sixth innings, but had to labor through both, and allowed the Cards to tie the game. In the fifth inning, Corey Patterson got the Cardinals on the board with an RBI single. In the sixth, Jonathan Lucroy gave the Brewers an insurance run with an RBI single, but that wouldn’t matter, since Laird and Freese both hit RBI singles in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 3-3.
Then, until the 10th inning, it was a battle of the bullpens. Takashi Saito and Francisco Rodriguez combined for two scoreless innings, then LaTroy Hawkins got Albert Pujols to fly out in the ninth inning to get out of a jam and send the game to extras.
The Cardinals put in reliever Octavio Dotel to pitch the 10th. Dotel had been lights out for the Cards since being acquired from the Blue Jays before the Trade Deadline. That is, until today.
Morgan led off the 10th with a single. Braun followed up with a strikeout to finish his disappointing night, but then Fielder beat the shift with a single, which advanced Morgan to third. McGehee then got the game-winning RBI with a double that scored Morgan. Yuniesky Betancourt added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to set the stage for John Axford in the bottom of the inning. Axford would come in and record is 33rd save of the year to seal the Brewers 5-3 win.
Breaking: Narveson gets stitches, to be out for awhile
Alright, I just heard this on Brewers Live as I was writing this article, and wanted to get it out as soon as I could. Brewers No. 5 starter Chris Narveson apparently sliced his pitching hand (his left hand) open and had to get eight stitches. Ron Roenicke said that Narveson would definitely be out for awhile, and that he would speak to GM Doug Melvin about what to do for a fifth starter until Narvy can return.
Narveson wasn’t having an extremely spectacular year- he’s 8-6 with a 4.49 ERA- but, in my opinion, was putting up decent numbers, especially for a No. 5 starter. The Brewers have a few options for a replacement, and I’ll put out a few of my ideas in a post later. Anyway, I’ll continue with this one now.
Up next for the Crew…
The Brewers play the second game of this three-game set in St. Louis tomorrow night. Randy Wolf (8-8, 3.61 ERA) will go for the Brewers and will try to rebound from his last start, which was also against the Cardinals. He gave up five runs in six innings at Miller Park, but still got the win. He had one start earlier this year against the Cards at Busch Stadium, where he got shelled for six runs. Wolf is 6-7 with a 4.01 ERA against the Cardinals in his career.
The Cardinals will counter with Jake Westbrook (9-5, 4.83 ERA), whose record is somewhat deceptive to the way he’s pitched this year. In most of his starts, he’s been great through the first five innings, but can’t get out of the sixth inning. This happened in Westbrook’s only start against the Brewers this year, which was at Miller Park. Westbrook is 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA against the Brewers in his career.