Wed. Final: Brewers 5, Cardinals 4
By Todd Welter
Next game: Thursday, July 9th vs. St. Louis
Instead of using his power, Prince Fielder used what he called panic speed to be the hero of the Brewers' 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park.
The Brewers had bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning when Fielder hit a slow bouncing grounder towards the shortstop. Fielder hustled down the line as fast as he could to beat out Brenden Ryan's throw to first base allowing Craig Counsell to cross home in the eighth inning which broke up a 4-4 tie. Fielder is never going to be known for his speed and Brewers manager Ken Macha joked that Fielder's running down the line was at blinding speed.
"Blinding? No, it was just panic speed I guess," Fielder jokingly described his charge down first base.
When will teams learn that going to a left handed reliever against Fielder is not the greatest idea? Fielder is now hitting .330 against left handers along with 32-RBI's after notching that RBI infield single off southpaw Dennys Reyes.
"A hit is a hit plus a RBI to help us go ahead is a pretty big deal especially off Reyes because he is tough," Fielder said. "I was just trying to put the ball in play and just try to hit it where they weren't."
Jason Motte (3-3) took the loss as he loaded up the bases to set up Fielder's heroics. Counsell hit a two-out double to start the rally and then J.J. Hardy and Ryan Braun each drew walks.
The Brewers should have made this game a blow out but could not cash in on the many scoring chances they had. The Crew stranded 12 baserunners and went 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position. They had three innings with bases loaded but only walked away with two runs.
The Brewers loaded up the bases in the second inning but walked away with just one run thanks to Jason Kendall's RBI walk. The Brewers had a chance to grab the lead in the seventh with bases loaded and two outs but Mat Gamel struck out to end the threat.
Thankfully for the Brewers, the Cardinals could not capitalize any better on their scoring chances. The Cardinals went 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position. St. Louis did make things very uncomfortable in the ninth as Hoffman loaded up the bases-- including putting the go-ahead run on base with an intentional walk to Albert Pujols-- but he got Yadier Molina to ground into a game-ending fielder's choice.
"Trevor really hadn't been in a game in 10 days and he got quite a workout," Macha described.
Todd Coffey (4-1) got the win for being part of a Brewers pitching effort that stranded 11-Cardinals baserunners. Brewers starter Jeff Suppan had a decent night's work as he lasted five and two-thirds innings in which he gave up all four of the Cardinals' runs. He allowed six hits, walked four and struck out two.
The Cardinals took a three-run lead in the fourth on Molina's RBI double to right, Ryan's two-out, 2-RBI double to left, and Skip Schumaker's RBI single.
The Brewers evened up the game in the bottom of the frame thanks to Gamel's two-run homer to right and Counsell's RBI single. Counsell finished 2-for-4 along with a walk.
Cardinals starter Todd Wellemeyer was knocked out early in the contest. He lasted just four innings in which he gave up four runs on seven hits, walked four and struck out three.
The Brewers (44-40) are now just a game back of the Cardinals (46-40) for the NL Central Division lead.