The St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers opened their key five-game series by splitting a doubleheader. Now, they’ll end it with another.
The National League Central foes conclude their jammed series with a twin bill on Wednesday in Milwaukee.
When this series began Monday, it marked the first two of 10 games between St. Louis and Milwaukee up over the final two weeks of the season. The Cardinals (21-22) currently sit second in the Central, with the Brewers (22-25) in fourth place, but one game back of St. Louis. The top two teams in the division are guaranteed a playoff berth; third and beyond are left fighting for a wild card.
“We still have plenty more baseball against the Cardinals, and they’re going to mean a lot more,” Brewers infielder Keston Hiura, said, according to MLB.com, after his three-run homer highlighted a seven-run fourth inning Tuesday in Milwaukee’s 18-3 rout of St. Louis.
Milwaukee, which totaled seven runs while going 2-3 over its previous five games, has won two of the first three of this series. Brewers star Christian Yelich was 1-for-18 in his previous five games before he homered and had three total hits Tuesday.
St. Louis, meanwhile, has dropped five of its past seven games. Cardinals star Paul Goldschmidt, however, is 6-for-20 in his past five contests and is hitting .384 with 32 RBIs in 36 career games at Milwaukee.
“We need to just trust ourselves and know what we’re capable of as a group,” Cardinals infielder Paul DeJong told the club’s official website.
Adam Wainwright (4-1, 2.91 ERA) is expected to start Game 1 for the Cardinals. The veteran has completed at least six innings in all but one of his seven starts this season, including Friday against Cincinnati. In that contest, Wainwright yielded a two-run homer and one other run over six innings of a 3-1 loss.
The right-hander has been very good at Milwaukee, going 7-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 20 career games (16 starts). Since 2014, he is 3-0 with a 2.02 ERA in six starts at Miller Park.
Cardinals coach Mike Shildt told reporters Tuesday he will likely hand the ball to rookie Johan Oviedo (0-2, 4.66 ERA) in the nightcap, assuming Oviedo posts a negative COVID-19 test.
Milwaukee appears set to start Brandon Woodruff (2-3, 3.40 ERA) in the opener. The right-hander has not earned a winning decision since Aug. 25, but he is coming off his best outing of 2020. Against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, Woodruff allowed just one hit and struck out 12 without a walk over seven innings of a 1-0 Brewers victory.
“It’s not that I’ve been pitching bad, I just wasn’t pitching the way I want to, and (Friday) I got back to who I am,” he said.
Woodruff was solid in posting a 3.38 ERA to win both starts against the Cardinals in 2019.
In the nightcap, the Brewers are scheduled to start Brent Suter (2-0, 3.52 ERA). Though primarily a reliever, Suter has made two starts, including Saturday against the Cubs. In that contest, the left-hander fanned six over three scoreless innings of a 4-2 loss.
Teammate Daniel Vogelbach is 12-for-26, with a homer hit Tuesday, in eight games since Milwaukee claimed him off waivers earlier this month.
Meanwhile, the statuses of St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina (hand injury) and infielder Kolten Wong (side) appear uncertain for Wednesday’s action.
–Field Level Media