photo: Jack Flaherty via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 – St. Louis 3 at Milwaukee 18
A tumultuous contest featuring the benches clearing, costly injuries and ejections was part of an 18-3 trouncing of the St. Louis Cardinals by the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park Tuesday evening. St. Louis (21-22) has won just one of the series’ initial three games with the double-header finale set for Wednesday.
Before the game ever began, a down note was sounded as lead-off hitter Kolten Wong was a late scratch due to a left side injury that may or may not require an injured list move. Even so, the visitors mustered a run in the first frame for an early lead. However, Milwaukee answered with two solo home runs in the home half of the inning and it was all downhill for the Cardinals after that.
Jack Flaherty (L, 3-2) lasted just three plus innings, surrendering nine runs, earned, on eight hits and two walks. The righty struck out six. The solo shots were two of four home runs hit off St. Louis pitching.
Jake Woodford was equally ineffective, retiring four batters and serving up a bomb comprising three of the five tallies allowed on three hits and three walks.
Rob Kaminsky replaced Woodford with two on and one gone in what proved to be a turbulent fifth inning. A free pass loaded the bases for Ryan Braun, who was awarded first when his swing hit Yadier Molina’s left wrist in what was ruled catcher’s interference. While Molina was being attended to by St. Louis’ medical staff, a contretemps erupted whereby both benches and bullpens cleared, leading to ejections of both managers – Mike Shildt and Craig Counsell.
After the game, Shildt was vehement in his defense of his catcher, defending his toughness. The manager was careful not to make allegations against Braun, but noted that “it just didn’t look good” because there was “a little conversation prior to it.”
Molina remained in the game for two more frames before departing for scans and treatment. His ongoing playing status remains to be seen. Post-game, Shildt said, “There is some discomfort there, for sure. If Yadier Molina is in discomfort, something is wrong.”
Meanwhile, St. Louis pitchers continued to be pounded. Kaminsky finished the fifth but not before yielding three runs, two earned, on a hit and two walks. Woodford and Kaminsky allowed both inherited runners to score.
Nabil Crismatt was relatively effective, all things considered. The 25-year-old tossed the final three innings, giving up three hits, including a solo long ball.
Offensively, the Cardinals managed seven hits, with Tommy Edman the sole player with multiples. The second baseman singled twice in four at bats with a walk and run scored. Paul Goldschmidt went 1-for-2 with a double, walk and two RBI before exiting for the night when Kaminsky entered.
After Chicago’s late win, St. Louis has fallen to five games back in the Central Division and drops below .500 for the first time this season. Their hold on second place is increasingly tenuous, with Milwaukee a half-game behind the Cards and the Reds just one game back.
Wednesday’s games: at Milwaukee (22-25). Game 1 – 4:10 pm CDT, Adam Wainwright (4-1, 2.91) vs. Brandon Woodruff (2-3, 3.40) // Game 2 – 45 minutes after the first game’s finish, Johan Oviedo (0-2, 4.66, tentative off the IL) vs. Brent Suter (2-0, 3.52) FOX Sports Midwest // KMOX
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