Daily Rant: A Look Back At The Weekend
By James Benoit
The weekend for the St. Louis Cardinals was a a bit of a mixed bag, as they lost Saturday, but won Sunday, salvaging their pride by not allowing the below .500 Milwaukee Brewers enjoy the satisfaction of a series sweep. Their walk-off win on Sunday made for a happy road-trip to Petco Park in San Diego, where they will face the Padres for 3 games before traveling to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers for a 4-game weekend set.
Behind the Box Scores: On Saturday, Mike Fiers took on Jake Westbrook, and the Milwaukee Brewers definitely got the better of the fight. After a quick 1st inning, Carlos Gomes began the scoring with a sacrifice bunt to Jake Westbrook, scoring Aramis Ramirez. The pitcher got in on the action two batters later, as Fiers singled home Jonathan Lucroy. Seeking to keep pace, the St. Louis Cardinals added a run in the bottom of the inning, on a Daniel Descalso single.
A fielding error led to another Brewers run, but that was it for the scoring until the 7th, when Rickie Weeks hit his 17th homerun, making it 4-1. After a Bryan Anderson single, an Adron Chambers triple made it 4-2, and it looked like the Redbirds may be closing in on the Brewers. After a Yadier Molina walk and Pete Kozma double, Skip Schumaker hit a sac fly to score Molina, drawing the Cardinals within a run.
An Aramis Ramirez homer in the 9th pushed the lead to 2, as the Brew Crew took a 5-3 lead, and before the inning was over, the Brewers led 6-3. With the exception of just a walk in the bottom of the 9th inning, John Axford made quick work of the St. Louis Cardinals to end the game, and earn his 27th save of the season.
Sunday brought a bit of good news to Cardinal Nation, as they ended the series with a walk-off win. Let’s take a brief look at how they got there.
After Joe Kelly made quick work of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1st, the St. Louis Cardinals led off the bottom of the inning on a mission. Jon Jay singled, and after a Matt Carpenter groundout, Matt Holliday hit his 26th homerun of the season, scoring both he and Jay. Just 1 out later, Carlos Beltran ended an 0-14 slump on his 29th homerun of the season, making it 3-0.
The Brewers added a run on a Joe Kelly wild pitch in the top of the 2nd, drawing within 2 runs. Not long after, the Cardinals made up the run after Matt Carpenter’s 21st double of the season, scoring Joe Kelly, who doubled earlier in the inning.
A Jean Segura single in the 4th inning brought home Corey Hart, cutting the Redbirds lead yet again to just 2 runs. It looked as though the game was all wrapped up when Jason Motte entered the game, but Norichika Aoki hit his 8th homerun of the season on a line drive to right with Segura on base. The blast tied the game, and after a 1-2-3 inning for the St. Louis Cardinals, the game went to extras.
Allen Craig Carries Cardinals With Walk-Off Hit
Lance Lynn managed to give up just a single in his scoreless inning, and it was off to the bottom of the 10th. Matt Carpenter singled after a Jon Jay groundout to short, and in stepped Adron Chambers. He struck out, but a wild pitch by Kameron Loe allowed Carpenter to advance to 2nd. Allen Craig singled to right, and Norichika Aoki threw a dart to home plate. Matt Carpenter somehow found a way around the tag at home, and scored, giving Allen Craig his first ever walk-off hit.
A Quick Look at the Standings:
Tonight the St. Louis Cardinals face the San Diego Padres at 9:05 CT at Petco Park. On paper, the Redbirds should make quick work of the Padres, but nothing is guaranteed. If somehow the Redbirds could manage a sweep to begin the week, heading into the Los Angeles Dodgers series morale would be quite high.