Tue. Final: Cardinals 5, Brewers 0
By Todd Welter
Next game: Wednesday, July 8 vs. St. Louis
Adam Wainwright continued his dominance of the Brewers. If this outcome is a foreshadow of things to come, the Brewers are in trouble of out-dueling the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL Central division crown.
Wainwright shutout the Brewers through 8.1-innings pitched and Ryan Ludwick hit a three-run homer in the first inning as the Brewers dropped game-one of a critical three-game set against the Cardinals 5-0 at Miller Park. The Brewers (43-40) have now dropped five of their last six games and are two games back of the Cardinals (46-39) for first place in the NL Central.
Wainwright simply dazzled on the Miller Park mound. He allowed just seven hits and retired 19 of the last 24 hitters he faced. Wainwright (9-5) struck out nine and walked just two as he picked up his ninth win of the season. The Brewers stranded eight baserunners against him.
"He was good with a whole lot of help," Mike Cameron thought. "I expected him to be good and today he was that much better."
Wainwright has dominated the Brewers in his three starts against the Crew this season. He has allowed just two runs, 14 hits and has 25 strikeouts in 23.1-innings pitched.
His counterpart, Yovani Gallardo was not sharp at all during his five innings of work. He struggled with his control as he walked five and gave up six hits. He threw 102 pitches but only 56 went for strikes. This was the sixth out of 17 starts this year where Gallardo has thrown over 90 pitches through five innings.
"He gets a lot of strikeouts and he walks people so it is something that needs to be addressed," Brewers manager Ken Macha explained.
Gallardo did not help his cause when he got into an early 3-0 hole in the first inning. He gave up a single to Colby Rasmus and walked Albert Pujols. Ludwick then cleared the bases with a three-run bomb to right-center.
Gallardo had a shot to dig himself out of that hole in the second inning with one swing of the bat. He had bases loaded with two outs but ended the inning with a strikeout. Although it was a close call as it appeared Gallardo had checked his swing but home plate umpire Bill Hohn did not see it that way and called it a strike.
That did not please Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum and bench coach Willie Randolph as both were ejected for voicing their objections from the dugout. Sveum was immediately ejected after the inning and Randolph got an early shower after the top of the third inning ended.
What really hurt that inning the most was when Jason Kendall hit a bouncer to short with one out and the ball struck Cameron as he was charging for third. By rule, if the bases are loaded and the ball strikes a runner, that runner is out. So Kendall got a hit but it jeopardized the inning.
"I thought I got out of the way with my upper body but I guess it took a funny hop," Cameron described. "It was kind of strange."
Gallardo gave up another run in the fifth as Rasmus took him deep to right field. All told, Gallardo (8-6) gave up four runs and struck out six as he lost for the sixth time this season.
"I couldn't find a rhythm," Gallardo described. "One of those days where my command wasn't where it normally is."
Gallardo has not gotten much run support lately as in his last two starts the offense has provided him with just one run.
"We really did not get a whole lot going offensively," is how Macha summed up this night where the Brewers' bats did not help Gallardo.
Rasmus was a tough out all night as he went 3-for-5. He drove in another run in the sixth with a RBI double off reliever Chris Naverson.
This was not how the Brewers envisioned the start to a week in which they face the Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a six-game homestand. The Brewers might be in trouble in keeping up with the Cardinals as the Brewers are really in a rut lately. They have gone 18-26 since being at a season's best 11 games over .500 (25-14) in mid-May. Not exactly the type of momentum a team wants to have going into the All-Star break.