St. Louis — Sweeping the hated rival Cardinals never gets old for the Milwaukee Brewers.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Brewers improved to 18-9 against St. Louis since 2008 with a 3-2 nail-biting victory at Busch Stadium. Adam McCalvy shed some light on Milwaukee’s handling of St. Louis in this article, http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100818&content_id=13596374¬ebook_id=13596382&vkey=notebook_mil&fext=.jsp&c_id=mil
It was a classic scene of the old dog teaching the new dog an old trick. After closer John Axford allowed the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman came to the rescue.
It only Hoffman three pitches, two of them changeups, to make Brendan Ryan look bad on a swinging strikeout. Hoffman looked in 2009 form, and he notched his 598th career save.
But it shouldn’t have been a one-run game. Randy Wolf was cruising along, and he took a two-hit shutout into the ninth inning. After forcing Randy Wynn to ground out, Albert Pujols doubled to left on a ball that hit Ryan Braun’s glove and should have been ruled an error. Then, Axford relieved Wolf and gave up another shot to left, this time by Matt Holliday. This time, Braun misjudged the ball, allowing it to carom over his head and roll to the wall.
However, the defensive nightmare wasn’t over. Aaron Miles came up next, and he grounded a ball to Prince Fielder at first only to have Fielder miss the ball and allow a run to score. After Axford walked Colby Rasmus to load the bases, Hoffman saved the day with a flawless performance.
Axford recorded a five-out save last night, and his pitch count was climbing today. So Manager Ken Macha pulled the trigger for Hoffman, and it paid off.
The offensive hero of the day was rookie Lorenzo Cain, who became only the second player this season to slam two extra-base hits against Adam Wainwright in the same game. Although Wainwright dominates righties and was 11-0 at home this year, Macha chose Cain because he “wanted to see how the young guy handled it.”
Cain is having a splendid run, batting .389. Check out the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s article on the young rookie: http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/100816399.html
Wolf was magnificent with his fastball, change and curve ball all landing perfectly for strikes throughout the afternoon. The 33-year-old veteran has been on a tear of late, posting a 3-0 record in his last five starts with a 2.65 ERA.
Milwaukee improved to 57-64 for the season, and they have won three of four games heading into a nine-game homestand starting Friday. Now is the perfect time for the Brewers to get back over .500, with six of those nine games against beatable Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.