Wednesday’s Game Report: Brewers 5, Cardinals 1

Wednesday’s Game Report: Brewers 5, Cardinals 1

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals might have played their last game of the season against the Brewers on Wednesday night. The key word is might.

The win by the Brewers, combined with a loss by the Phillies, left the two teams just a half-game apart in the race for the third and final wild-card spot in the National League – which will be the opponent for the Cardinals in the wild-card round.

Both teams trail the Padres, who appear to be headed to the second wild-card seed. Milwaukee has seven games to play, four against Miami and three against the Diamondbacks, all at home. The Phillies have eight games left on their schedule, all on the road – one at Chicago, four at Washington and three at Houston. If the two teams end in a tie, the Phillies would win the tiebreaker.

One night after clinching the NL Central, the Cardinals rested many of their regulars, even playing Juan Yepez at third base and Alec Burleson at first.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals only run came on a home run by Andrew Knizner leading off the seventh, his fourth of the year and second in the last two games … They loaded the bases in the inning on a double by Ben DeLuzio and walks to Brendan Donovan and Lars Nootbaar, but Yepez grounded into a double play to end the threat … Milwaukee starter Brandon Woodruff struck out 10 Cardinals before coming out of the game after the sixth inning.

On the mound: Jose Quintana continued his strong September, allowing one run in five innings but was the hard-luck loser. He allowed four hits, walked two and struck out seven. In his five starts in September, Quintana allowed a total of three runs  in 30 1/3 innings … Giovanny Gallegos inherited a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and allowed all three runs to score  on a bases-loaded walk and a ground-rule double. All of the runs were charged to JoJo Romero.

Key stat: Quintana has not allowed more than two runs in any of his 11 starts since he was acquired by the Cardinals from the Pirates at the trading deadline.

Worth noting: Bench coach Skip Schumaker missed the games in Milwaukee because of a family medical issue at home in California. Catcher Yadier Molina served as the de facto bench coach during the games, although Pop Warner assumed Schumaker’s actual coaching responsibilities. Molina will manage a team in Venezuela this winter and is a candidate to manage the Puerto Rico team in the World Baseball Classic next spring … Moises Gomez hit his 39th home run of the season in Memphis’ final game on Wednesday, which was the most in the minor-leagues this season.

Looking ahead: After Thursday’s day off, the Cardinals will host the Pirates for three games this weekend. Jack Flaherty is set to start the series opener on Friday night.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out Rob Rains, Editor.