St. Louis Cardinals were looking to break their longest winning streak, six, with a win for a sweep over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park Wednesday. But, not meant to be. However, in my opinion, matching six straight wins is not a bad thing. To me and more importantly, since August 9, they hold a 15-4 record. They won the series over the Brewers with a 12-2 and 6-3 wins the first two games. I feel winning each series going forward should be the Cardinals goal with postseason within their grasp should they do so.
And a statement by Kolten Wong (Tom Kertscher, AP via Fox Sports Midwest): “To expect a sweep at this level is tough,” Wong said. “Getting them is amazing, but winning series, that’s the No. 1 goal.”
Streaks will come again, but Cardinals fans should revel in their strong play and success thus far, looking at the 'Big Picture' - the goal to be obtained at the end of September.
And, they have played sixteen consecutive games. Not having the abundant days off they and most teams had in the first half of the season. They returned home to St. Louis. Cardinals with a day off today to regroup and take on the incoming Cincinnati Reds. To begin a new streak of wins.
BREWERS TAKE GAME THREE, 4-1, TO STAY THE SWEEP.
Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty came into Wednesday game with only giving up 2 HR/3 ER in August, in 38 IP holding a 0.71 ERA.
He has found, not only are Brewers comfortable "in their own skin", but comfortable in their home park when he's on the mound. Wednesday he did go deep for six innings. But, Brewers hand him 2 ER/3 Runs and the loss, even though he only issued one free pass, only five hits allowed while fanning seven in the interim.
In the first, I feel, was an indicator of how the game was going to go. One of the few errors by 2B Kolten Wong. His throw to second. That allowed Christian Yelich, hitting into a fielder's choice, to advance to second base and Trent Grisham to third. Followed by rookie Keston Hiura ground out, but run scored.
And Hiura (.304 BA) had his way with the Cardinals in Game Three. He was 2-4/1 HR/1-2B with putting up three of the Brewers runs.
Subject matter came up yesterday, during Wednesday game, a ballpark should not define a pitcher. They should be able to overcome.
Cardinals Miles Mikolas doesn't care if he ever pitches at Globe Life Park in Arlington TX, home of the Texas Rangers, again. He didn't do well there when he was with the Rangers, and was stung again in his return start this season as a Cardinals May 17. If baseball mulligans could be claimed, that is one game Mikolas would remove only seeing 1.1 IP/2 HR/7 ER in that match-up.
Flaherty has not done quite that poorly facing the Brewers on the road, but very close as one outing he only saw 2.2 IP. And after his stand yesterday, he is 0-2 in three game starts at Miller Park only seeing a total of 13 IP while giving up 4 HR/11 ER.
So, there may be a stigma a pitcher carries with him to the mound in certain ballparks. Try as the may to dismiss it - ill results continue to follow them.
THE WONG BALL SAVED A SHUTOUT
Kolten Wong has become the player Cardinals knew he could be. Great defense and, now, the bat to go with. He currently holds a .280 BA and in August, has hit a .362 with a .412 in the past seven days.
Wednesday, he was 3-4 AB/1 HR/1 RBI/1-2B. In Jordan Lyles sixth inning, on cruise control over the Cardinals, Wong was top-of-the-order. Lyles had five scoreless innings, nine strikeouts, with one walk issued. On a 1-2 count, he rendered a perfect slider for Wong, who sent the two-seamer out over the right wall to stay the shutout. Which retired Lyles from the mound.
But, Brewers bullpen continued Lyles lead holding Cardinals scoreless with a combined six strikeouts between Junior Guerra and Josh Hader. Had the Cardinals had the lead, again, they would not have had to face Hader. Reportedly, Brewers manager Craig Counsell only brings Hader in when they have the lead ~ for the last inning. Hader pitched the last two yesterday.
Even though the Cardinals have been much improved in the strikeout department recently, they had fifteen total in Wednesday's game.
NEXT UP ~ CARDINALS HOST THE CINCINNATI REDS
Cardinals groundball specialist Dakota Hudson (13-6/3.47 ERA/106 K) will face Reds Trevor Bauer (10-11/4.34 ERA/217 K).
CARDINALS REMAIN IN FIRST PLACE OF THE NL CENTRAL
With Cardinals strong play in August they have shared first place with the Chicago Cubs, been pushed to second place; but, now hold sole ownership by two games.
The Cubs are on the road in New York facing the Mets. This season, on the road, has not been Cubs strong suit. However, they have won their series with two wins in the three game series. Cubs LHP Jon Lester makes the start in tonight's game. Away from Wrigley Field he holds a 4.43 ERA this season. However, in August, an 8.51 ERA.
So Cardinals fans will wait to see if the Mets are able to stay a sweep with their strong arm Jacob deGrom (2.56 ERA) to face Lester. In August, he holds a 1.38 ERA, which in his four starts three of those are at home.
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