Tuesday’s Game Report: Brewers 8, Cardinals 4
Ryan Helsley was officially welcomed to the major leagues Tuesday night by Christian Yelich, the unofficial owner of the Cardinals.
Yelich greeted Helsley the same way he has treated most Cardinals’ pitchers this season, blasting another three-run homer into the seats at Miller Park.
If you are counting at home, that is eight homers for Yelich, and 18 RBIs, in the six games the Cardinals and Brewers have played this season. Dating back to last season, Yelich has hit at least one home run in a record seven consecutive games against the Cardinals.
The latest homer came in Helsley’s major-league debut, summoned from the bullpen to face the red-hot Yelich with two runners on in the fifth and the Brewers already holding a 5-0 lead.
Helsley got ahead in the count 0-2 before Yelich battled back to even the count and then hit a 91 miles per hour fastball 427 feet into the seats in right field.
Helsley became the sixth pitcher in Cardinals history to give up a homer to the first batter he faced in his career, a group that includes Bob Gibson and broadcaster Rick Horton. The last to do it was Evan MacLane in 2010.
After the homer, Helsley retired the next seven hitters he faced in a row, recording four strikeouts. He also got his first hit, beating out an infield single.
The loss dropped the Cardinals to 1-5 against the Brewers this season.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals were limited to just four singles through the first five innings before Marcell Ozuna hit a two-run homer in the sixth, his fourth homer in the last three games … Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong drove in the other two runs with singles in the eighth inning … Matt Carpenter grounded into his first double play in 680 at-bats, ending a streak of 189 games since he last hit into a double play on Sept. 9, 2017.
On the mound: A non-play by Carpenter which was ruled a double opened the way to a five-run third inning for the Brewers against Jack Flaherty, who allowed a career-high nine hits, including homers from Lorenzo Cain and Yasmani Grandal, while recording only eight outs. Ironically the Cardinals retired Yelich twice in that inning once by Flaherty and when Giovanny Gallegos struck him out with the bases loaded to end the inning … Gallegos struck out five in his two innings and was charged with one run, coming on the Yelich homer off Helsley.
Key stat: The other dangerous hitter in the Brewers lineup was pitcher Brandon Woodruff. His two-run double capped the five-run third inning and left him 4-of-6 against the Cardinals this season. As a group, Milwaukee’s pitchers have seven hits in 12 at-bats in the six matchups so far this season.
Worth noting: Helsley was one of three players called up from Memphis on Tuesday. Yairo Munoz and Gallegos, who had just been sent down one day earlier, were allowed to make the quick return as injury replacements. Mike Mayers went on the injured list because of a lat strain and Tyler O’Neill has a nerve issue in his elbow. The team also sent Drew Robinson back to Memphis, one day after he was recalled to replace Gallegos … St. Louisian Ron Kulpa, who was forced to leave Monday night’s game when he was umpiring home plate and got hit in the head by a wild pitch, was absent from the crew working Tuesday night’s game … Harrison Bader missed his third consecutive game because of a sore hamstring. Dexter Fowler started in center field for the first time since 2017 … Rehabbing reliever Luke Gregerson pitched a scoreless inning for Springfield on Tuesday.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will send Michael Wacha to the mound on Wednesday to try to avoid a series sweep. The day game will begin at 12:40 p.m. Yelich is 4-of-12 in his career against Wacha, including a home run in their first matchup this season.