The Cardinals are on a hot streak, going 9-1 in their last 10 games.
The only loss during this stretch was a 5-4 loss to the Nationals on Thursday night. They’ve scored at least four runs in every game since the August 7 contest at Miami.
The Brewers, meanwhile, are 3-7 in their last 10 and trending downward. In particular, their bullpen has been struggling this month. There’s still a lot of baseball left, but this Cardinals team is now one game out of a wild card spot when all hope had seemed lost in mid July. Credit Mike Shildt for being a smart manager and the front office just might know what they’re doing after all.
The team announced that Tyler O’Neill will replace José Martínez in the lineup. Martínez was scratched due to right-hip tightness.
This is how it began – Yelich grounded out. Cain was hit by the pitch. Moustakas struck out swinging. Aguilar struck out looking. I wonder if Mikolas was trying to send a message by hitting Cain? The pitch was up and in. No hits, no runs.
It was 3 up, 3 down. But we had some drama early on. Craig Counsell totally lost his cool and got ejected. Miley’s pitch was down and didn’t hit O’Neill but the umpire issued a warning. Counsell was upset about that call.
Travis Shaw put the Brewers on the scoreboard with a solo blast to right. Milwaukee had another base runner but the score remained 1-0.
Ozuna launched a bomb to left to tie the game at 1. That was a pretty swing. He absolutely crushed it.
Mikolas only needed 7 pitches to record three outs.
In the third, the Cardinals got timely hits from different players and took advantage of some Brewers defensive miscues. It started when Wong ripped a single to right. “His confidence is just overflowing,” exclaimed the FS1 commentator. Mikolas laid down a bunt but Miley threw to second for the force out. Carpenter was then safe on a fielder’s choice. Yadi reached first on a dropped third strike and Carpenter moved into scoring position.
Tyler O’Neill’s pop up fell in shallow right and a run scored. Next, Ozuna walked. Then DeJong, with two outs and the bases loaded, came through on a 2 run single up the middle. That looked like a routine play for the second baseman but the shift was on. Those 3 runs made it 4-1 Redbirds after three.
Mikolas settled in nicely and allowed no base runners.
Miley reached on an infield single to short but that was all Milwaukee could muster. Our score remained 4-1.
Cain doubled to right. Aguilar later singled and advanced to second on O’Neill’s throw in between third and home. With one out and runners at second and third, the Brewers had a real chance to trim the lead. But Mikolas struck out Shaw and Thames to end it.
Knebel entered the contest and struck out Ozuna. DeJong was safe on a bobbled ball by Aguilar. They said it was an error on the throw. DeJong stole second! His first stolen base of the season. Following a Gyorko walk, Bader tripled in the gap and that scored two more. 6-1 Birds.
Mike Mayers tossed a scoreless seventh.
Yelich hit a solo homer. Bader made a diving catch in center and the fans gave him a standing ovation. Well deserved.
Shreve doesn’t allow any more runs. 6-2.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals added to their lead. DeJong’s double scored Ozuna. 7-2.
Poncedeleon pitches a scoreless ninth and that’s a winner!
Cardinals 7, Brewers 2
- Craig Counsell was ejected in the bottom of the first. Miley threw inside on O’Neill and both dugouts were warned, which prompted the manager’s outrage
- While the Brewers struck first on a solo homer, the Cardinals quickly responded with Ozuna’s 450 ft. bomb to Big Mac Land
- Mikolas was very solid through five, and pitched out of a jam in the sixth, his final line read 6 IP, giving up 5 hits, 1 ER, walking zero striking out seven.
- The Cardinals have been aggressive but not stupid on the base paths
- From the Cardinals’ twitter: “Yadi has started 26 straight games, extending his @MLB record for consecutive starts by a catcher age 35 or older.”
- Wong was taken out of the game in the fourth, after being hit on the elbow during a pickoff attempt
- Harrison Bader has been extremely fun to watch in center field. Every time I turn my head he’s making another incredible sliding catch or saving a run
- Cards currently own a playoff spot
Sammy Stava on Twitter:
With the win tonight, the #STLCards improved to 35-25 against the NL Central, currently owning a winning record vs every team in the division.