Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 2, Brewers 1
By Rob Rains, STLSportsPage.com
On Sept. 10, the Cardinals gave up two runs in the ninth inning and lost to the Reds, dropping their record for the season to two games above .500 and leaving them three games behind in the race for the second wild-card spot.
The odds of them making the playoffs were not great.
The picture looks a lot different today after the Cardinals ran their winning streak to 10 games on Tuesday night in Milwaukee, giving them a four-game lead in the wild-card race with just 12 games left in the regular season.
It’s the longest winning streak for the Cardinals since they won 11 games in a row in 2001. Strictly counting games in September, it’s their longest streak since they also ran off 10 wins in a row in the final month of the 1963 season.
They reached that mark on a night when they had only one hit in the two rallies that produced both of their runs but featured two walks and two key stolen bases.
Here is how Tuesday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: Tommy Edman led off the first inning by drawing a walk, stole second, went to third on a groundout and scored on Tyler O’Neill’s sacrifice fly … That was the only run of the game until the eighth, when Lars Nootbaar, who had come into the game as part of a double-switch, drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Edman’s single … The Cardinals had only four other hits in the game and struck out 13 times … Nootbaar, who is hitless in his last 20 official at-bats, replaced Dylan Carlson, who appeared to wince after taking an awkward swing while striking out in the seventh. There was no update on his status after the game … Edman stole another base in the eighth, increasing his total for the season to 27.
On the mound: Jake Woodford allowed just two hits in five scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out five … The Brewers scored their only run in the eighth off Luis Garcia off a walk, a double by Kolten Wong and a sacrifice fly … Giovanny Gallegos relieved to start the ninth and saw the Brewers load the bases with two outs following an intentional walk to Christian Yelich before Gallegos was able to strike out pinch-hitter Pablo Reyes to end the game … The Brewers did not have an at-bat with a runner in scoring position in the first 16 innings of the series.
Key stat: The Cardinals had been one of just three major-league teams that had not had a double-digit winning streak within a season in the last 20 years. The two others are the Orioles, whose last 10-game streak was in 1999, and the Marlins, who have never won that many games in a row.
Worth noting: Jack Flaherty was impressive in his pre-game session of throwing to hitters on Tuesday. The Cardinals expect to decide his next step on Wednesday but it’s possible he will start one of the games of Friday’s split-doubleheader against the Cubs. J.A. Happ will start one of the games, but the other starter is to be determined. With it being only a seven-inning game, Flaherty might just go two or three innings, depending on his pitch count.
Looking ahead: Miles Mikolas will get the start on Wednesday night as the Cardinals seek their 11th consecutive win.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains