Adam Wainwright goes seven, fanning seven against the Brewers.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Cardinals Adam Wainwright, celebrating his 35 birthday, had his best stand for the month August against the Milwaukee Brewers last night. This was his first appearance at Miller Park since, April 25, 2015. He sustained an Achilles injury during that game, surgery necessary, which took him out for the season, save 3 IP (amazingly) at the end of September and first of October. The last he faced the Brewers was at Busch Stadium this season, pitching seven scoreless for the Cardinals 3-0 shutout on July 2 for his seventh season win.
Last night's Game Two, he and the Cardinals offense faced a very much improved Brewers Wily Peralta. Wainwright had held the Brewers to a .197 BA in the past and last night was no different. W Peralta had given up a .332 BA to the Cardinals in past games; but, not to be during his stand last night. What ensued was a stand-off on the mound.
As much as Cardinals have demoted different players to their Memphis Triple-A to work on "mechanics". W Peralta, also, was demoted by the Brewers mid-June this season to their Colorado Springs Triple-A. He left Milwaukee holding a 6.68 ERA. He was recalled at the beginning of August. During the month, he holds a 3.00 ERA in his five game starts. Cardinals faced a very much improved Brewers starter.
Wainwright and W Peralta went toe-to-toe in their match-up. Both going seven innings with very little variance between them. Wainwright allowed one earned run on three hits, issued no walks and had seven strikeouts. He took down the side five of his seven innings. W Peralta got stung with one home run for his one earned run allowed on three hits, issued one walk; but, fanned 10. He had three innings, 3-up/3-down, in his seven frames. When they both closed their stand, the game was in a 1-1 tie. For each, this was their best start for August.
Earned runs allowed were in the sixth for both starters. Top of the inning, Cardinals Jedd Gyorko slugged out a solo shot over right center for his 24th home run this season to see his career high.
That was the 19 consecutive game the Cardinals have had a home run matching the franchise record of 2006. Bottom of the inning, Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado crunched out a RBI double for his 15 this season.
Both bullpens, including Cardinals closer Seung Hwan Oh in the ninth, to hold the tie and go extra innings.
Even though Oh created a jam for himself, he got the final out needed. The situation for manager Mike Matheny may have initially been to have Oh return in the tenth. With Brewers closer in the top of the first extra inning, Corey Knebel, loading the bases; I believe, that is when Matheny decided upon a different direction. Cardinals fans know that Oh, even as strong as he is on the mound, is not a hitter. And, if any Cardinals fan has illusions of him being a starter? This one factor will keep him out of the rotation, in my opinion.
Cardinals Randal Grichuk had been held to 1-5 in Game One, in the eighth he slugged out a two-run homer to tie the game. Last night, he came to the plate in the tenth, 0-3 at-bat. With two runners on, he connects for a RBI single putting the Cardinals on top, 2-1.
Knebel, one out on the board, loaded the bases with a walk, Greg Garcia pinched hit for Oh. He got his next two outs to close his inning. With Kevin Siegrist taking care of the eighth inning, Matheny was down to a very select few to call to the mound. He went with Matt Bowman, who had given up three runs in the seventh the night before. Last night, he issued three walks, one intentional to Jonathan Villar. He had two outs on the board; but, Matheny made the call to the pen and Zach Duke replaced Bowman. On Duke's 0-2 pitch, he got PH Manny Pina out swinging to the relief of Yadier Molina.
Duke earned his second save this season, to hand Oh his fourth win and Knebel his second loss. Wainwright still has yet to realize his tenth win this season with the no-decision in last night's game. Wily Peralta received his second no-decision for his last two game starts. However, they both did their job and did it very well.
GAME THREE AND FINAL GAME, 7:10 CST
The Cardinals have sights on a sweep over the Brewers. Tonight will be Cardinals rookie Luke Weaver (1-1/3.60 ERA) facing Brewers veteran Matt Garza (4-6/4.89 ERA). Weaver's last outing, against the Oakland Athletics, he went 6 IP/1 HR/1 ER/2-BB/7 SO for his first major league win. Garza has allowed the Cardinals the luxury of a .347 BA in the past with a .487 SLG. From the left, Garza has allowed a .313 BA. Coming from the right, a .272 BA. In Weaver's three game sampling, from the left he's been hit for a .320; and, from the right, a .265 BA. In Garza's last start facing the Cardinals, July 1, at Busch Stadium, he allowed four earned runs with seven runs scored, three walks issued and had six strikeouts in 5.2 IP. In his last start against the Pittsburgh Pirates, August 26, he did not have any earned runs; however, with two throwing errors by 3B Villar, five runs scored - three of those on a three-hole shot. He issued three walks and had nine strikeouts in the game.
Weaver has shown increasing confidence, control and command through his first three starts. He replaced (called up August 12) starter Michael Wacha, who is now on the 15-Day DL due to a recurrence of a scapular stress injury (inflammation of the shoulder). The injury which took him out of the 2014 season. Weaver's first game against the Chicago Cubs, he was held to 4 IP. His second he pushed a bit further to 5 IP giving up 3 ER for his first major league loss. However, he rebounded very well in his last start. He shows composure and maturity on the mound. Plus, he can hit. He's 3-5 AB with one run thus far in the Bigs. In my opinion, this kid has 'got between the ears'.