Author’s Note: As I thought about last night’s recap, I regretted some of my more strident, and at times frankly Trump-like, characterizations of personalities and events from the game. I know that you fine consumers of baseball information have a number of options from which to choose when seeking Cardinals information and analysis, and I’m sure that if you’re reading this, you’ve surely come to expect more from St. Louis Bullpen. I apologize to all affected by my temporary lack of judgment, and hope that you won’t hold the actions and expressions of one who counts himself among the most inferior of all baseball bloggers against the fine establishment that John J. Fleming and his able team of analysts and scribes have built from the ground up. I have edited the recap for content, but in the spirit of contrition, humility, and full disclosure, I have left my more intemperate comments in strikethrough, a monument to human folly (and hopefully, eventually, grace). -John Jones

The Brewers are the first, and weakest, of two potential obstacles to the Cardinals’ beautiful increasingly unlikely hypothetical run for the 2018 NL Central crown. Tonight, Jack Flaherty faces off against some no-name lefty reliever Dan Jennings for the dumb lackluster objectively fine Brewers, against whom I subjectively prefer to root on this night. Together, we shall overcome All is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. And sports? Sports are even worse.

The Game

Jack Flaherty made mincemeat out of the Brewers’ stupid top 3, with a little help from a GIDP by the presumptive NL MVP “Christian Yelich.” We got the right non-Stanton Marlins outfielder, folks.

The idiotic, stupid Brewers’ “opener,” (which is a position I’m pretty disillusioned with already) “Dan Jennings,” who I’m pretty sure played first base for the Cardinals at some point, failed to strike Matt Carpenter out. It was a 4-3 groundout, but I consider it a win, because the very dumb tactically superior, but aesthetically inferior Brewers wasted an entire pitcher at the very start of the game for a barely-successful gambit at getting the best player in the NL out. If you ask me, it’s a pretty big compliment that the Brewers would rather play with 39 players than face Matt Carpenter with a real pitcher.

Flaherty struck out a pair and garnered a popout for his third out in the bottom of the 2nd. Unfortunately he also gave up a middle-middle dinger to the biggest muppet in history a player that we all love to hate, Ryan Braun. 1-0 bad guys, but don’t worry. WE SHALL OVERCOME.

The bottom of the 2nd, and the top of the 3rd, were relatively uneventful. Harrison Bader failed miserably in his bid to get on base in the bottom of the 3rd, but Yairo Munoz picked him up with a single. A Flaherty strikeout scared the Busch faithful a bit, but the true believers were rewarded with a Carpenter double, driving in Munoz. TIED 1-1, AND DON’T WORRY, WE’RE GOING TO SWEEP EVERYTHING, FOLKS.

Flaherty struck out Aguilar and Shaw in the 4th, and enormous muppet Brewers stalwart heel Braun grounded out to end the top of the frame. The Cardinals couldn’t muster any runs in the bottom of the inning, so the 5th started with the tie still intact. Flaherty devastated Moustakas with a big ugly K to open the inning, and made the Brew Crew squander a 2-out Orlando Arcia single by inducing a popout from Freddy Peralta pinch-hitter Tyler Saladino. Flaherty struck a 2-out single in the bottom of the 5th, but Matt Carpenter said, “no dice!” and struck out.

Flaherty’s control, which had induced nary a care thus far this season, loaded the bases in the 6th inning with a pair of walks and an intervening struck batsman. Dakota Hudson replaced young Jack in the hour of his greatest need, and walked in a run on four pitches to the greatest muppet of them all Ryan Braun. The Brewers scored another run on a 7-5 double play off of Moose’s bat, because the second out was a tag play at third. Brewers lead 3-1, but don’t worry. Help is on the way.

The rain broke loose in the bottom of the 6th, and the Cardinals, much like honey badger, just didn’t care very much. Josh Hader pitched, as he has for most of the year, and the Cardinals stacked up a Jose Martinez dinger, a Paul DeJong walk, and a Marcell Ozuna dinger on his fool face pitching line. There were a few more hits and a few more outs, and all of a sudden the CARDINALS LEAD 4-3, AND HELP HATH COME BUT ALL IS MEANINGLESS, A CHASING AFTER THE WIND.

Jordan Hicks had some of what you’d call control problems in the top of the 7th. He gave up a leadoff full-count single to Manny Pina, got a groundout from some rube a member of the Brewers, then gave up back-to-back 3-1 walks to Curtis Granderson and Lorenzo Cain to juice the bases with one out. Christian Yelich *allegedly* drove somebody in with a 6-4 forceout, and Hicks finally struck out a guy (Aguilar) to end the inning. But at the conclusion of the half-frame, it was a TIE GAME, 4-4, JUST LIKE A TIE FIGHTER, WHICH WHEN THOSE ARE INVOLVED YOU KNOW THE GOOD GUYS ARE GOING TO WIN SOMEHOW OR ANOTHER. UNLESS THAT MOVIE IS ROGUE ONE, OR ARGUABLY THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

The Cardinals sort of threatened in the bottom of the 7th after a dumb rain delay, but nothing came of it. Budwich Norrison showed up with his special blistery fingers to pitch the top of the 8th, and he’s showing his age/weariness. He struck out some silly kid a very good baseball player for whom I choose not to root named Travis Shaw on a full count, then gave up a “triple” to PH Eric Thames with a little help from the utter defensive inept poor, poor Jose Martinez. Budwich intentionally walked Moustakas to set up the double play, then threw the ball at him so that Thames could score. Eric Kratz singled to center to put runners on the corners.

Things got weird at this point. Orlando Arcia hit into a fielder’s choice, 6-2-5 with an excellent heads up play at the plate by Paul DeJong. After the tag play was made on Moustakas, Gyorko and Jose Martinez connected to make an excellent heads-up play at first for the third out. But some dumb sum’bitch man with an obvious visual impairment who happened to be wearing a home plate umpire’s garb said, “no, I called time out for no apparent reason, and you didn’t know it, but just trust me, Arcia is totally safe even though he was out!” So Norris convinced Granderson to line out to left, due to the utterly farcical nature of the preceding play. Still though, Brewers had broken the tie in the midst of it all, and it was now 5-4 bad guys.

In the second pair of quarters of the second-to-last inning bottom of the 8th, Joakim Soria toed the rubber for the dumb bad visiting Brewers. Jedd Gyorko was stricken out, Yadier Molina grounded out on a single pitch, and @aybaybader Harrison Bader struck out like an utter noob despite giving what I am sure was a laudable effort. All this while a law school friend and I plumbed the philosophical underpinnings of biblical childrearing. Truly a wonderful world we live in.

The top of the 9th saw Mike Mayers take the mound for the hometown favorites. After the dumb unfortunately misguided HP ump thwarted an obvious strikeout of Lorenzo Cain, Cain singled, or something. Then consensus MVP Yelich hit a double into the LF corner, scoring stupid strong baseballer Cain. If you’re wondering, why yes, I am in the middle of cold-turkey quitting smoking (again). Weird that you knew that. Aguilar made the first out of the inning by grounding out, and DeJong looked Yelich back to 2nd before making the putout. Ol’ lefty Tyler Webb replaced ol’ righty Mike Mayers to face ol’ lefty Travis Shaw. Shaw quickly ran to 0-2, then saw 1-2, then 2-2 (close!), then fouled one off, then saw 3-2, then listened to a lot of booing from the Busch faithful, then fouled another one off, then flied out to @aybaybader Bader. Would you quit with the Twitter handles? It’s not funny. Yelich tagged up and advanced to 3rd on the play, and Hernan Perez stepped in to face new pitcher Dom Leone with a pair of outs. Leone made Perez look pretty dumb as helpless as you could expect a large professional baseball player to look with a large club in his hands, and we go to the bottom of the 9th, with the Brewers leading 6-4.

Yairo faced off against Corey Knebel to open the festivities, and the dumb unfortunate myopia sufferer HP ump gave Knebel a pitch clearly off the plate for a looking-type strike. Yairo fouled off the next offering, and whiffed at a big ugly chin-high fastball over the center of the plate. 1 out.

Kolten Wong looked at another first-pitch ball for a looking strike. Knebel’s second pitch was better than the first, but rightly called a ball. The third offering to Wong was another strike, and Wong struck out on his fourth pitch. 2 outs.

Matt Carpenter stepped into the box. The Cardinals desperately need a baserunner. After running the count to 2-2, Carpenter was hit by a pitch on his wrist, and found himself trotting to 1st base. The Brew Crew made their sour grapes challenge in good faith, and the boys in New York said, yup, stay at first, Carp. Tying run at the plate in the person of Cafecito (Jose Martinez).

Martinez watched a “big breaking ball drop[] in for strike 1.” Something happened and it was 0-2. Martinez fouled something off and people started clapping for the cupid shuffle. Another foul, and we’re hearing some traditional ballpark organ music. Knebel delivered an extremely high offering, and Carpenter took 2nd base with impunity. Martinez fouled off another pitch and some fans whistled a bunch. Another. Knebel durn near hit Martinez in the face with one. Then there was a big ugly what a neutral and detached observer might have thought was a terribly mislocated pitch, about 3 inches outside, and the HP ump called it strike 3.

Oh well, sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose, and sometimes the goddamn bleeping bleeping umpire won’t stop calling balls strikes, and you lose as a result of that particular market distortion.



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