Bottom Line: With two teams coming in on hot streaks, Phillies’ rookie David Buchanan cooled down the Cardinals’ offense in a 4-1 victory tonight at Busch Stadium. Ryan Howard recorded three RBIs, which included a two-run homer in the sixth, to lead the offensive charge against Shelby Miller. Matt Carpenter’s RBI single in the 8th proved to be the lone run for the Cards, who only had four hits in the game. The Phillies have now won 8 of 10, while the Cardinals have now lost consecutive games since winning 8 of their last 9 games.
Shelby Miller: After allowing just one run in his past two starts, Miller (7-6, 3.56 ERA) conceded four runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings of work. Miller gave up his team-leading 11th home run of the season, and he had problems with his control as he walked three batters. He left the game with a possible injury, which will not be known until tomorrow.
Struggling Offense: The Cards’ offense missed a golden opportunity against a vulnerable pitcher. David Buchanan came in with an astronomical 5.97 ERA, but he looked like a Cy Young candidate tonight, as the Cards could only muster four hits and a run in 7 2/3 innings against him. Certainly a lot of credit has to go to Buchanan for his performance, but the Cardinals’ bats simply did not show up tonight. With the defeat, the Cards have scored just two runs in the last two games.
Cardinal Killer: After hitting an RBI single in the 4th inning, Ryan Howard put his opposite-field power on display with a two-run blast to left field in the 6th, his 14th of the season. Howard has just been a menace for the Cardinals throughout his career, as he now has 57 RBIs in 51 games against his hometown team.
What’s Next: The Cards and Phillies are back at it tomorrow at 7:15 CST for the second game of this four-game weekend series. With the Cards slipping to 39-34 and 4.5 games behind the Brewers, Jaime Garcia (3-0, 3.72 ERA) will look to deliver a win when he takes the mound against A.J. Burnett (4-6, 4.17 ERA).