Game Report: Brewers 5, Cardinals 4
The Cardinals do not need any more reminders of why Christian Yelich is the reigning MVP in the National League, but he gave them another one on Sunday anyway.
And that came after also doing it in the first three games of the season-opening series between the two division rivals.
Yelich capped a big weekend with a two-run double in the ninth inning off Jordan Hicks to complete a Milwaukee comeback that gave the Brewers the walkoff win and sent the Cardinals to their third loss in the four-game series.
The hit came after Yelich began the game with a home run in the first inning his fourth in as many games, tying the major-league record for most consecutive games with at least one home run to begin the season.
In the four games Yelich was 6-of-12 with the four homers and eight RBIs. He also walked six times and scored six runs.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals hit three home runs of their own, from Paul DeJong in the fourth and back-to-back blasts from Matt Carpenter and Paul Goldschmidt in the fifth, producing all four of their runs … Goldschmidt’s homer was his fourth in the first four games of the season, the first Cardinal to do that since Mark McGwire in 1998. The most through four games in team history is five by Lou Brock in 1967 … The Cardinals also struck out 15 times, 12 in the first five innings against Corbin Burnes, making his first major-league start … The Cardinals’ record fell to 2-13 since 1998 in nine-inning games in which they struck out at least 15 times … In the four games the Cardinals combined to strike out 47 times in 139 at-bats, or almost exactly one-third of their at-bats… The Cardinals also hit nine home runs in the series, tying their record for the most in the first four games of the season, which they also did it 2000 and 2001.
On the mound: The home runs helped give Michael Wacha a 4-1 lead as he allowed just three hits after Yelich’s homer until coming out of the game after the sixth inning … A leadoff walk by Alex Reyes hurt the Cardinals in the seventh as Andrew Miller relieved with two outs and walked Yelich, then allowed back-to-back hits that cut the lead to 4-3 … Hicks came in with two outs in the eighth, and nobody on base, to try for the four-out save. He got that out, but then gave up a double on an 0-2 pitch to lead off the ninth, then a single off his glove before Yelich’s game-winning hit to left center.
Key stat: Including his last game in 2018, Yelich has homered in his last five games against the Cardinals, which ties the record for the longest home-run streak by a player against the Cardinals. He is the seventh player to homer in five consecutive games against the Cardinals and the first to do so since Jeff Bagwell did it in 2000.
Worth noting: The Brewers hit nine homers off the Cardinals starters in the four games. It’s the most allowed by the Cardinals in the first four games of the season since giving up 10 in 2001 in three games in Colorado and one in Arizona. The team record for most home runs allowed in the first four games is 11 in 1956 … The nine homers by the Brewers equaled their most ever in a series against the Cardinals (four-game series in 2004) … Kolten Wong had two of the Cardinals’ seven hits and has posted a .571 average to start the season. He also stole two bases in a game for the first time since 2017 … The Cardinals plan to skip Dakota Hudson in their next time through the rotation because of several upcoming days off. He will be available to pitch out of the bullpen starting on Wednesday.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will be in Pittsburgh for a day game on Monday. Adam Wainwright will make his season debut. After a day off on Tuesday, the two teams will complete the two-game series on Wednesday night.