ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Wednesday night’s 8-1 blow out at Miller Park may very well have been the knockout punch to the 2010 season for the Cardinals (72-65). On a night when Albert Pujols looked as if he was breaking out of a slump in this must win situation by hitting his first home run (36) in ten games, starter Jaime Garcia had trouble getting out of innings.
Garcia (13-7) could not prevent rallies as he could not get the final out in the third and fourth innings when he had chances. Brewers (65-74) second baseman Rickie Weeks happened to be a potential final out in each of the innings, but worked his way on base twice by way of the walk. Those were the only passes Garcia allowed on the night, and they both came back to bite the rookie in the form of Ryan Braun.
The Brewers’ first run came in the third inning after Weeks drew his first walk and stole second off of Garcia and rookie catcher Matt Pagnozzi, nephew of former Gold Glove catcher Tom Pagnozzi. All-Star outfielder Ryan Braun then drove in his first RBI of the night with a single to center.
Now too concerned with Braun at first still with two outs, Garcia lost command to Prince Fielder, who drilled a pitch down the middle to center for a ground-rule double. Next, Tuesday night’s hero Casey McGehee followed up as he gave Milwaukee their first lead with a two-run single to left field making the score 3-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, the story was the same for Jaime Garcia as he could not get Weeks for the third out to kill the Milwaukee rally. After Weeks’ second walk, Corey Hart drove in a run with a single. Then, Ryan Braun capped off his night with a three-run homer (20) that made the game unreachable for the Cardinals at 7-1.
All 7 of those Milwaukee runs came with two outs. Braun finished the night 2-4 with 4 RBI’s.
The start for Garcia was his worst in 2010. He allowed a season-high 7 earned runs. His ERA climbed up to 2.69 from 2.35 in just four innings of work. Wednesday was Garcia’s fifth start against the Brewers finishing 2-2 for the season.
The Cardinals offense sputtered throughout the game as manager Tony La Russa put together a different kind of lineup. Recent call-ups Tyler Greene, Nick Stavinoha and Matt Pagnozzi all made starts. Brewers starter Chris Capuano (3-3), a lefty, went seven innings allowing the one run on the Pujols homer. After that, the Capuano only have up three more hits.
Albert Pujols had a solid game on Wednesday night as he went 2-3 with a home run and a double. Since injuring himself on the tarp roll at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. on August 26, the slugger has struggled just hitting .195 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI’s.
The Cardinals go 7-8 versus the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010. St. Louis has not won a season series against Milwaukee since 2007 when the Redbirds went 8-7 against the Brewers.
With the loss, the Cardinals do not gain ground in the NL Central Division or the Wild Card standings. They trailed by six games in both races before Wednesday’s game.
Next, the Redbirds travel to Atlanta for a four-game series. The Braves began the day as the first place team in the Wild Card standings.
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