Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Brewers 1 (11 innings)
By Rob Rains
Paul Goldschmidt has had a lot of success in his career in Milwaukee, but he didn’t really think it looked like it through his first four at-bats on Tuesday night, failing to hit the ball out of the infield.
Luckily for Goldschmidt and the Cardinals, he got another chance.
“It wasn’t looking so hot there in regulation,” Goldschmidt said. “Those first four at-bats weren’t too great. They got me out pretty easily. Just fortunate that our pitching did a great job and I was able to get another shot in extra innings.”
After the Cardinals were held to just two hits through the first 10 innings, only one of which left the infield, Goldschmidt got that extra chance when he came up in the 11th and blasted a two-run homer that sent the Cardinals to the victory.
Goldschmidt’s blast was followed by a three-run homer from Tyler O’Neill, the first time the Cardinals had hit two homers in the same extra inning since Yadier Molina and Tommy Pham both homered in a seven-run 11th inning at Philadelphia on June 20, 2017.
In the new extra-inning rules, where a team starts with a runner on second base, the pressure is really on the visiting team to try to score more than one run to really have a decent chance of winning the game.
“I said that in the dugout in the 10th,” Goldschmidt said. “One is obviously good but you almost assume the other team is going to get one run.”
Alex Reyes was able to keep the Brewers from getting that one run in the 10th, setting the stage for the Cardinals big inning in the 11th.
“Mentally when Goldy hit the homer you go, ‘now we can just concentrate on the hitter,’” said manager Mike Shildt. “Adding on is critical at any juncture of the game but with the guy at second and a guy at the plate with the bat in his hand it’s important to get as many runs as you can.”
The only other extra-inning homer by the Cardinals in Milwaukee came from Jason Heyward in the 10th inning on Sept. 15, 2015.
Here is how Tuesday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals were shut out on just one hit, an infield single by Tommy Edman in the third, before Harrison Bader singled on the first pitch in the eighth and later came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Dylan Carlson … Goldschmidt’s homer was the sixth in extra innings in his career, the second with the Cardinals. He had not homered in his last 10 games in Milwaukee … After the homer, Nolan Arenado doubled, one out later Andrew Knizner was hit by a pitch and then O’Neill launched the three-run blast. O’Neill had also been 0-for-4 in the game to that point and had just three hits in his previous 20 at-bats.
On the mound: The Brewers’ only run came in the sixth off starter Kwang Hyun Kim when Lorenzo Cain hit a leadoff double, only the fourth Milwaukee hit, and scored on a double by Travis Shaw … Ryan Helsley stranded Shaw at second by getting the final two outs in the inning and the bullpen combined to keep the Brewers from scoring over the final 5 2/3 innings, leaving eight runners on base … Reyes pitched the 10th and 11th, getting five of his six outs on strikeouts, but he also issued three walks, one intentionally … Kim, Helsley, Kodi Whitley, Giovanny Gallegos and Reyes combined to hold Milwaukee to just one hit in 15 chances with a runner in scoring position.
Key stat: In 39 career games at Milwaukee, Goldschmidt has posted a .372 average (55-of-148) with 14 homers and 34 runs batted in.
Worth noting: The Cardinals made the decision to put Carlos Martinez on the 10-day injured list on Tuesday after the team’s medical staff expressed concern that the location of the sprain in his right ankle might cause more stress going forward if he tried to pitch through the injury. Martinez might miss only one start, on Friday, which will go to Johan Oviedo … Miles Mikolas made his second rehab start for Memphis on Tuesday night in Nashville and allowed three runs, all in the first inning, and worked four innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter, throwing 69 pitches … Starting with the May 21 game against the Cubs, the Cardinals will expand the seating capacity at Busch Stadium to about 27,000 fans per game after receiving permission from the city of St. Louis on Tuesday to reduce the social distancing between seating pods from six feet to three feet … The Cardinals only brought two players on the taxi squad for the week-long trip, catcher Ali Sanchez and reliever Junior Fernandez, opting to keep the other possible players in action for Memphis. “If something happens we’ll figure it out,” Shildt said.
Looking ahead: John Gant will get the start on Wednesday night in the second game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains