Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 10, Brewers 0
By Rob Rains
For 17 games, and 71 plate appearances, the number 29 stared back at Paul Goldschmidt from the outfield scoreboard as he came up to bat for the Cardinals.
The 29 represented the number of home runs Goldschmidt had hit this season, a tantalizing reminder of how close he was to another 30-homer season.
In his at-bat in the third inning Friday night, the long wait ended, and in grand style.
Even though 30 was a much better-looking number than 29, Goldschmidt saw it for only two at-bats before the number changed again.
After hitting his second grand slam of the season and sixth of his career, Goldschmidt added a three-run blast in a six-run sixth inning for home run number 31 that gave the Cardinals the blowout win in the opener of their three-game series against the Brewers at Busch Stadium.
The seven RBIs was a career-high for Goldschmidt, who now has 89 for the season.
Adam Wainwright was the beneficiary of Goldschmidt’s big night, as he worked six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, to earn his 12th victory of the season.
The win kept the Cardinals four games ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central and pushed the Brewers five back with 15 games remaining in the regular season.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Goldschmidt became the first Cardinal with a seven-RBI game at home since Carlos Beltran on May 2, 2012. Matt Carpenter did it last year in a game in Chicago … Carpenter just missed hitting the Cardinals’ second grand slam of the night when he flew out a foot in front of the right field wall in the sixth, settling for a sacrifice fly … Kolten Wong also came up with the bases loaded in the sixth and delivered a two-run single, his third hit of the game, before Goldschmidt launched his second home run … Eight of Goldschmidt’s 31 home runs have come against the Brewers … Dexter Fowler drew three walks, scoring twice, and has reached base in 11 of his 13 plate appearances in the last three games … Paul DeJong and Harrison Bader each struck out three times … It was the seventh time the Cardinals have scored 10 or more runs in their last 19 games.
On the mound: Wainwright gave up a leadoff single in the first and another single in the second before retiring 12 of the next 14 Milwaukee hitters, allowing one walk and hitting a batter. He has now allowed a total of one run in his last three starts, covering 20 innings … Ryan Helsley, Dominic Leone and Genesis Cabrera each pitched an inning in relief … The Cardinals bullpen has combined to throw 16 scoreless innings over the last six games … It was the 13th shutout of the season for the Cardinals, only two behind the league-leading 15 by the Dodgers. Nine of the shutouts have come in the 40 games since Aug. 1.
Key stat: In the last 11 games, Cardinals starters combined have allowed nine runs in 63 innings, an ERA of 1.29. The starters have allowed no runs in six of the 11 games, one run in two games, two runs in two games and three runs once.
Worth noting: The broken kneecap that has ended the season for Christian Yelich earlier this week cost him a chance to set a record against the Cardinals. Yelich’s season ended with eight home runs against the Cardinals, all in the first six games of the season. Nobody in franchise history has ever hit more than nine; the last player to hit nine was Richard Hidalgo of the Astros in 2000. After hitting the eight homers so quickly, Yelich was just 6-of-28 with one extra base hit, a double, and one RBI in the last 10 games he played against the Cardinals this season … Beginning with Friday night’s game, all of the final 16 games of the year for the Cardinals will be against teams with a winning record – the Brewers, Nationals, Cubs and Diamondbacks.
Looking ahead: Jack Flaherty will try to continue his dominant second half on Saturday night in the second game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains