Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 2, Brewers 1
By Rob Rains
This was more of what the Cardinals were hoping for from Steven Matz.
After failing to get an out in the fourth inning of his first start with the Cardinals, giving up nine hits and seven runs, the team’s biggest free agent signing over the winter was much improved on Saturday night in Milwaukee.
Matz worked 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, in picking up his first win for the Cardinals over the Brewers.
He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter and at one point retired 11 batters in a row and 14 out of 15 before turning a 1-0 lead over to the bullpen.
Here is how Saturday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: Paul DeJong’s RBI double with two outs in the fourth broke up a scoreless game. The hit followed back-to-back walks …The Cardinals increased the lead to 2-0 in the eighth on a two-out double by Nolan Arenado, a wild pitch and an RBI single by Corey Dickerson … Tommy Edman singled in the ninth and now has at least one hit in all seven games so far this season … Arenado also has a hit in all seven games … Four of the Cardinals’eight hits were doubles … Andrew Knizner got the start at catcher for the second consecutive game and hada double but also struck out three times.
On the mound: Matz threw 77 pitches, 51 for strikes. He left with a runner on base but Ryan Helsley struck out Hunter Renfroe to get out of the inning … Genesis Cabrera worked a 1-2-3 seventh but gave up a home run to Victor Caratini with two outs in the eighth that cut the lead to 2-1 …Giovanny Gallegos got the final out of the inning and then had to pitch around a leadoff single in the ninth to earn his second save, getting the final two outs on a double play.
Key stat: The Cardinals have not allowed a run in the ninth inning so far this season. Combined in the six games in which the opponent has batted in the ninth they have allowed only three hits, all singles, in 21 at-bats, a.143 average, featuring four different pitchers.
Worth noting: Top prospect Nolan Gorman hit his fifth homer in as many games for Triple A Memphis on Saturday night. He is hitting .353 so far for the season.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals and Brewers will close out the four-game series on Sunday with Dakota Hudson making his second start of the season.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains