Brewers can’t recover after Westbrook’s grand slam

I hate to say it, but the Brewers’ hot streak may have officially come to an end tonight.

The Brewers lost to the Cardinals today, 8-3, in what was probably one of the Brewers’ worst games since the All-Star break. It was mostly the pitching that failed the Brewers today- Randy Wolf had an extremely disappointing start. He went just five innings while giving up six runs on seven hits. He struck out three and didn’t walk anybody, but he did hit two batters, and both of those hit batters proved costly.

The Cardinals scored eight runs, but four of them came in a very bitter way. Wolf hit David Freese and Lance Berkman to start the fourth inning, then allowed a single to Yadier Molina (no idea how Freese didn’t score on it, but that wouldn’t matter). Then, after a missed double play chance in which the Brewers only recorded one out, Jake Westbrook, the opposing pitcher, hit a grand slam.

Yes, the opposing pitcher hit a grand slam. But, Westbrook was actually pretty lucky, in my opinion. First off, the ball was a line drive and barely stayed fair. I actually thought it was going to be foul off the bat. Secondly, it appeared as if Westbrook barely even swung at Wolf’s pitch, which looked like a cutter on the inside corner. But, Westbrook must have gotten good wood on it to send it that far and keep it fair.

But today just wasn’t Wolf’s day. On top of Westbrook’s slam, he gave up two solo homers in the first inning to Rafael Furcal (big surprise) and Albert Pujols (another big surprise). But, Wolf’s career numbers coming into today weren’t great- he was 7-7 with a 3.80 ERA. This is why I kind of wish Chris Narveson would have been starting today, just because of the success he’s had against the Cards in his career. Instead, Narveson came in for one scoreless inningn of relief.

Anyway, there isn’t much else to say about this game, so I’m going to move onto a topic that starts to come into effect tomorow: expanded rosters. Tomorrow is September 1st, meaning that the normal 25-man rosters expand to 40-man rosters. So far, the rumors I’m hearing are that the first September call-ups will be catcher Martin Maldanado and outfielder Logan Schafer. And starting pitcher Mike Fiers shouldn’t be far behind- he tossed a three-hit shutout today for the Nashville Sounds (AAA affiliate of the Brewers) and is 7-0 with a 1.25 ERA in Triple-A. Also, one more move- center fielder Carlos Gomez will be returning from the DL tomorrow, so he should jump right back into the center field platoon with Nyjer Morgan.

By the way, Taylor Green made his long-awaited Major League debut today in the fifth inning as a pinch-hitter for Wolf. He ripped a Westbrook changeup into right field for his first career hit in his first career at-bat. And I can just tell that this kid has a bright future with the Brewers.

The Brewers will try to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Cardinals tomorrow in an afternoon game. The Brewers will send Yovani Gallardo (15-8, 3.37 ERA) to the mound, and he’ll be in search of his 16th win. However, it’ll be against an opponent that he’s mightily struggled against in his career. Gallardo is 1-5 with a 4.91 ERA in his career against the Cards.

The Cardinals will counter with rookie Brandon Dickson (0-0, 0.00 ERA). He pitched in a few relief appearances earlier this season, but this will be his first Major League start. Green may get the start at third tomorrow, though, because he has experience against Dickson from the Minor Leagues.

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