There was no comeback magic in the Cardinals tonight as they fell to the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 3-2. Brewers’ starting pitcher Randy Wolf was very challenging tonight, going 6 2/3 innings pitched and allowing two earned runs while notching his third win of the season. Rookie Joe Kelly put on a strong showing as well, giving up two earned runs over 6 innings pitched, but the Cardinals defense (including an arrant pickoff attempt by Kelly) and inability to hit with runners in scoring position (2-for-10 tonight) prevented the Cards from winning their second straight. They fall to 47-43 on the season and now sit 4.5 games off the Cincinnati Reds, who defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 4-0 on Tuesday night.
This game had a little bit of everything in it. After being hit in the knee in the first inning, Matt Holliday left the game with what the Cardinals labeled as “left thigh contusion”. Lance Berkman was ejected in the top of the seventh inning after arguing balls and strikes, and the Brewers’ Rickie Weeks hit an absolute bomb of a home run in the bottom of the inning to give his team the go-ahead and eventual winning run. But yet again, tonight was another game where the Cardinals couldn’t convert on opportunities given to them. In the top of the ninth inning, down by one run, they had runners on first and third and could not manage to send the tying run home. While I’m not the least bit surprised that Francisco Rodriguez was able to finish the game off, as allowing base runners and getting out of jams has been a theme for him throughout his entire career, to see Matt Carpenter ground out, Skip Schumaker strike out, and Daniel Descalso pop out to end the game was truly disheartening. That’s not to mention all the runners they left on base all throughout the night, as they were unable to score in the second, fourth, and seventh innings, all instances in which the leadoff batter reached base.
You also have to feel for Joe Kelly, who quite frankly has been pitching as if he has been in the Majors for years ever since being promoted in June. In all seven of his starts with the Cardinals, he has not given up more than three runs. Not that I’m looking forward to not having Jaime Garcia’s arm in the rotation over the coming weeks, but I’m definitely excited to see what else this guy has to bring and what kind of success he can have as the second half of this season unfolds.
What’s Next: Adam Wainwright (7-8, 4.62) and the Cardinals will try to take the rubber game of this series tomorrow afternoon against Tyler Thornburg (0-0, 7.36) and the Milwaukee Brewers in a 1:10pm game. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Midwest.