After failing to take care of business against the Kansas City Royals in their most recent 3-game series, the Cards were forced to persevere in the face of bad news. Carlos Martinez was placed on the injured list today, and he probably done for the year, and this came on the heels of recent news that Dakota Hudson, another member of our rotation, is also lost for the year. Now the Cardinals are fighting for not only their health, but their playoff lives. If they play well against the Brewers, they make the playoffs and have a chance to avoid playing a doubleheader that will especially tax their pitching. If things don’t go well, they might have to play that doubleheader, or worse, miss the playoffs entirely. While Kim didn’t go as deep into the game as the Cards might have liked on the eve of a doubleheader tomorrow, he avoided leaving balls in the middle of the plate and kept the Brewers’ hitters off balance enough over his 99 pitches to hold them to 1 run and keep the Cards in the game. Dylan Carlson continued post-recall hot streak, and the Cards’ A-team bullpen members did their jobs.
KK took the hill for the Cards. Avisail Garcia tapped a low 3-2 slider back to the mound to lead off the game. Christian Yelich grounded a low-and-in 1-2 slider to Goldschmidt at 1st base for the 3-1 flip. Ryan Braun grounded an 0-1 outside splitter to short to end the inning. Righty Corbin Burnes took the mound for the Brewers and walked Kolten Wong on 5 pitches to lead off the bottom of the 1st. Tommy Edman struck out looking at a 2-2 outside sinker that looked like it was off the edge of the plate by a few inches. With the count 0-1 on Paul Goldschmidt, Burnes tried to pick Wong off of 1st base, but his throw was low, bounced and got away from 1st baseman Jedd Gyorko, and his error allowed Wong to advance to 2nd base. The 1-2 pitch to Goldschmidt was a cutter in the dirt low-and-outside that went to the backstop for a wild pitch to move Wong to 3rd base. But it turned out not to matter because Goldschmidt struck out swinging at a 3-2 low-and-away cutter, and Matt Carpenter struck out swinging at a 2-2 low change to end the inning.
Jedd Gyorko struck out swinging at a 2-2 low-and-away splitter to lead off the top of the 1st. Keston Hiura blooped a low-and-in 1-1 fastball to shallow right that dropped inside the line for a base hit. But he was erased when Tyrone Taylor grounded a 2-1 inside slider to Carpenter at 3rd for a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play. Yadier Molina grounded an inside 0-1 fastball deep in the hole at short for a base hit to lead off the bottom of the 2nd, as the shortstop Arcia couldn’t get the ball out of his glove to make a proper throw. Brad Miller grounded a low-and-away 1-1 change up the middle for a base hit to beat the shift and move Molina to 2nd base. Paul DeJong chased a 1-2 slider about a foot low-and-outside to strike out. Dexter Fowler slowly chopped a low-and-away 3-2 backdoor cutter to 2nd base, and all the Brewers could get was the out at 1st. The other runners advanced to 2nd and 3rd, but they were stranded there when Dylan Carlson flied a low-and-away 2-2 backdoor slider to left to end the inning.
Orlando Arcia sliced a low 2-2 slider down the right field line for a double to lead off the top of the 3rd. Luis Urias struck out chasing a low-and-in 2-2 fastball. Jacob Nottingham struck out swinging at a low-and-in 1-2 fastball. Garcia chased an outside 1-1 splitter and lined it to Goldschmidt at 1st to end the inning. Wong sharply grounded an up-and-in 1-2 fastball up the middle for a base hit. Edman grounded a low-and-in 1-0 cutter through the right side past the glove of the diving Hiura for a base hit to move Wong to 3rd base. Goldschmidt then hit a first-pitch low-and-away slider for a sinking liner to center and a base hit. Wong scored to give the Cards a 1-0 lead, and Edman moved to 2nd base. Carpenter drove a low-and-in 1-1 cutter deep to right field, but Taylor drifted back, spun around and made the catch on the track crashing against the wall. Edman wasn’t paying proper attention and failed to tag up and advance to 3rd base. Molina struck out chasing a 1-2 outside cutter. Brad Miller lined a low-and-in 3-2 cutter right to Gyorko at 1st to end the inning.
Yelich grounded a low-and-in 2-2 slider to 2nd to lead off the top of the 4th. Braun lined a 3-1 center-cut fastball to left for a base hit. Gyorko squibbed an up-and-in 0-1 fastball towards Wong at 2nd. Wong let it drop and got the force at 2nd because Braun decided not to run. The return throw to 1st was late and Gyorko reached on the fielder’s choice. Hiura lined a low 0-2 fastball up the middle for a base hit to center to move Gyorko to 2nd. Taylor grounded a low-and-away 2-2 slider through the hole to left and under the glove of the diving DeJong for a base hit to score Gyorko from 2nd base to tie the game 1-1.
Hiura moved to 2nd on the play. Arcia softly popped an inside 2-2 fastball to short to end the inning. DeJong drove a first-pitch low-and-away cutter deep to left-center, but Yelich made a nice running catch at the track. After Fowler worked a 3-2 walk, the Brewers’ manager and medical staff came out to check on Burnes, but he stayed in the game. Carlson skied an inside 2-1 88 mph cutter to right and just over the wall for a 2-run HR to give the Cards a 3-1 lead.
Wong grounded a first-pitch low curveball to 2nd. After the 1-0 pitch to Edman, Burnes started to walk out towards center field and shook his head. The staff went out and got Burnes immediately and Craig Counsell brought in righty submariner Eric Yardley to pitch. Edman struck out swinging at an outside 1-2 slider to end the inning.
Urias grounded a 1-2 inside fastball to 3rd, and Carpenter threw him out by a step to lead off the top of the 5th. Nottingham flied a 2-2 low-and-in splitter to shallow center. After Garcia walked on 4 pitches, Kim’s 2-2 pitch to Yelich was a slider in the dirt that got away from Molina for a wild pitch to move Garcia to 2nd. Yelich then worked a 3-2 walk. Braun flied an inside 3-2 slider to Fowler in shallow right to strand the runners and end the inning. Goldschmidt worked a 3-2 walk to lead off the bottom of the 5th. Carpenter then walked on 5 pitches. Molina chased an 0-1 low-and-in sinker and popped out to 2nd base. Brad Miller grounded a low-and-away 2-1 sinker to 2nd for the 4-6 force. Miller beat out the return throw to 1st and Goldschmidt moved to 3rd base. With runners at the corners, DeJong popped an inside 1-0 fastball to 2nd to strand a pair and end the inning.
Kim’s night was done at 99 pitches, and Shildt brought in Giovanny Gallegos to pitch the top of the 6th. Gyorko flied a low-and-away 2-2 fastball to center just in front of the track. Hiura struck out chasing a 3-2 slider in the dirt low-and-away. Taylor did the same on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning. Righty Corey Knebel came out to pitch the bottom of the 6th. After Fowler worked a 3-2 walk to lead off the inning, Carlson drove a center-cut 3-2 fastball to the gap in left-center that bounced on the track and off the wall for a double to score Fowler all the way from 1st base to extend the Cards’ lead to 4-1.
After unsuccessfully trying to sacrifice Carlson to 3rd, Wong, popped a high-and-inside fastball to the shortstop Arcia on the outfield grass. Edman grounded a low-and-in 0-2 curve to 2nd that allowed Carlson to advance to 3rd base. Righty Justin Topa came out to pitch to Goldschmidt, who struck out looking at an outside 99 mph fastball to end the inning.
Genesis Cabrera came out to pitch the top of the 7th for the Cards. Arcia lined a first-pitch outside fastball right to Fowler in right to lead off the inning. Urias chopped a high-and-outside 2-2 fastball over the mound and towards the middle. Wong tried to race over and barehand it, but couldn’t and Urias had an infield single. Nottingham struck out swinging at a low-and-in 1-2 change, with Molina hung onto the foul tip. Garcia grounded a low-and-away 1-0 change to short and DeJong threw him out by a step to end the inning. Carpenter struck out swinging at a low-and-in 2-2 slider to lead off the bottom of the 7th. Molina lined a center-cut 2-2 fastball to right-center for a base hit. This was Molina’s 2,000th career hit, and only the 12th catcher in history to have that many. He’s also 6th most on the All-Time Cardinal list.
Brad Miller struck out swinging at a 1-2 low-and-in slider. DeJong sliced a first-pitch outside fastball just inside the right field line for a double towards the corner to move Molina to 3rd. Fowler struck out swinging at an outside 2-2 slider to strand another pair and end the inning.
The Cards made several defensive changes for the top of the 8th. Harrison Bader came in to play CF in the #8 spot. Tyler O’Neill came out to play LF in the #4 spot, with Carlson moving to RF, Edman moving from LF to 3B and Fowler and Carpenter leaving the game. After Cabrera got Yelich to pop a 2-0 inside fastball to DeJong on the outfield grass in shallow left-center, Shildt brought in Alex Reyes to pitch. Braun struck out swinging at an up-and-in 99 mph fastball. After Gyorko worked a 3-2 walk, Hiura popped a 1-1 hanging slider to Goldschmidt in foul territory to end the inning. Righty Ray Black came out to pitch the bottom of the 8th for the Brewers. Carlson struck out looking at a 2-2 up-and-in fastball at the edge of the zone. Wong popped a 1-1 hanging slider to Arcia at short on the outfield grass. Edman sharply grounded a low 1-1 fastball through the right side for a base hit. Goldschmidt grounded an up-and-in first-pitch fastball to short for the 6-4 force to end the inning.
Lefty Jace Peterson pinch hit for Taylor and grounded a 3-2 low-and-away fastball up the middle for a base hit to lead off the top of the 9th. Arcia struck out swinging at an up-and-in 1-2 fastball. Lefty Daniel Vogelbach pinch hit for Urias and lined a low-and-away 1-2 change up the middle for a base hit to move Peterson to 2nd. Lefty Eric Sogard pinch hit for Nottingham and Shildt countered with Andrew Miller. Sogard sliced an up-and-in fastball inside the left field line for a base hit. Peterson scored to cut the Cards’ lead to 4-2.
O’Neill made a good play in the corner to keep the other runner from advancing any further and hold Sogard to a single. Garcia struck out looking at a 1-2 fastball right on the inside corner. Yelich struck out swinging at an inside 3-2 slider to end the game. Miller picked up his 4th save this season.
Kim (4 days rest) 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO; Gallegos (2 days rest, top 6, ahead 3-1) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO; Cabrera (1 day rest, top 7, ahead 4-1) 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO; Reyes (5 days rest, top 8, 1 out, bases empty, ahead 4-1) 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER (actually allowed by A. Miller), 1 BB, 2 SO; A. Miller (3 days rest, top 9, 1 out, men on 1st and 2nd, ahead 4-1) .2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, allowed 1 out of 2 inherited runners to score.
ODDS AND ENDS
It would have been nice if the Cards had swept the Royals because the Cubs lost 3 games in a 4-game series with the Pirates, including tonight for their 3rd loss in a row. In tonight’s game, the Pirates won 7-0 and their pitching staff held the Cubs to 2 hits, both given up by starter Chad Kuhl, who went 7 innings. Cubs’ starter Alec Mills of recent no-hit fame only lasted 3.2 IP and allowed 3 homers. The Cubs close out the season with 3 games against the White Sox on the road, and still do not have the division title wrapped up. The Cards are still in contention for it, but would have to play the doubleheader to get it if the Cubs lose enough games. Although the White Sox have clinched a playoff spot, they still have home field advantage in the Wild Card Series to play for…The Reds had the night off and close out the year with a 3-game series against the Twins in Minnesota starting tomorrow…There is only 1 playoff spot still up for grabs in the American League, and that’s the 2nd place spot in the American League West. The Houston Astros have the edge on that spot, with their magic number being 1 over the Los Angeles Angels…There are still 4 playoff spots up for grabs in the National League