Rookie Luke Weaver goes six innings with ten strikeouts in his debut facing the Brewers at Miller Park
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The St. Louis Cardinals, holding a 31-12 record against the Milwaukee Brewers, were looking to sweep as they held a 2-0 lead in their three game series. Cardinals rookie Luke Weaver facing Brewers Matt Garza. This would be Weaver's fourth major league start and first at Miller Park.
The Brewers faced the Cardinals rookie for the first time. Weaver's first inning he took down the side with his first two of his ten strikeouts for his game. His second inning, he repeated his first building his confidence. As much as the Cardinals veteran pitchers have done, he came into his next inning composed, ready to issue his command and control again. He, too, was stung with multi-runs. In his third, he added another strikeout, a fly out for two outs on the board. He Issued his first walk to Garza. Lead-off Jonathan Villar, who struck out looking in the first, connects for a double to double-up the runners on the bags. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, on a change-up, gets his pitch for a three-run homer to give Milwaukee an early 3-0 lead. Weaver closed his third with a ground out, one hitter too late.
Weaver went on to take down the side in his next two innings. In the sixth, he started with his ninth strikeout; but, followed by loading the bases. He retired the next two batters with a ground out and strikeout looking by Keon Broxton for his tenth, stranding the three.
With closing in on 100 PC, (94/59 ST) he was retired after the sixth. The home run allowed for three earned runs was not what he wanted to see on his watch. And, as many pitchers, he was not happy about that one pitch. In baseball, there are no "mulligans". Even though, another very solid performance for the 23 year old rookie.
He was matched up against Brewers Matt Garza, who the Cardinals past history was a .332 BA. I'm sure Weaver was in hopes that the Cardinals offense would go above and beyond the three runs on the board to see his second win in the majors. Garza, much like Wily Peralta in Game Two, was much improved against St. Louis. He held the Cardinals in check with only one earned run allowed. In his third, one out on the board, Yadier Molina, 2-0 pitch, sent a bullet out over the left wall for a solo homer to cut the Brewers lead to two.
That was Molina's second home run (5 HR) in August for his 10 RBI (41 RBI). He's had seven doubles (30-2B) and added four runs (42) for his August .337 BA. He holds a .289 BA this season. However, even early in the game, his homer was not enough to fire up the Cardinals offense against Garza. He went 7 IP/1 HR/1 ER only allowing three hits. Issued two walks and had eight strikeouts.
The bullpens for both teams 'did their jobs'. Cardinals Miguel Socolovich and Jonathan Broxton held the Brewers to no further damage. Brewers Carlos Torres and Tyler Thornburg followed suit behind Garza. Thornburg earned his sixth save locking in the 3-1 win for Garza's fifth win. Weaver was handed his second major league loss.
Molina's homer was the Cardinals 20 consecutive game with a home run, a franchise record. But, they have yet to see ten games above .500 on the road even while holding the best road record (40-25) in the MLB. With the Brewers win, they held the Cardinals from a sweep for their three game series.
TODAY A TRAVEL DAY FOR THE CARDINALS TO GREAT AMERICAN BALL PARK
The Cardinals have today off traveling to Cincinnati for a three game series over the weekend against the Reds. Cardinals rookie Alex Reyes (1-0/0.64 ERA) will make the start facing Reds AnthonyDeSclafani (8-2/2.96 ERA). This will be Reyes second appearance facing the Reds. He made his debut at Busch Stadium, August 9, in a relief role against Cincinnati. In his debut as starter, replacing Mike Leake who is on the 15-Day DL diagnosed with shingles, he was retired after 4.2 IP/1 ER in the Cardinals loss to the Oakland Athletics on August 27. Now, he will face the Reds in a different role.
DeSclafani comes to the mound after throwing a complete, four hit shutout for the Reds 13-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. His first career complete game in his two years with the Reds. He holds 0.56 WHIP. The Cardinals have hit him with a .257 BA/.500 SLG. With Reyes capability on the mound, pitching a total 14 innings with 17 SO, this could prove be a great match-up.