With the exception of Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers seem far less annoying than they were back in 2011. Different players plus a 2013 season in which they were really awful make it hard to hate them like before. But with all the hype coming into the first 2014 meeting between the Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals thanks to a nine-game winning streak, halting it was bound to be sweet.
And it was, as the Cardinals beat the Brewers 4-0 to indeed stop that streak. Plus hopefully even Lynn’s most ardent Cards fan detractors appreciated his performance.
It was a shutout — meaning, to be ridiculously obvious, he gave up no runs. He also allowed only three hits, struck out 11 (including Braun twice plus got him to ground into a double play) and walked three. Yes, a couple of those walks led to the possibility of a “Lance Lynn big inning” in the fifth and the sixth, as the Brewers had two on both times — yet also two out in those innings too. And, again, it was a shutout. Crisis averted. Twice.
Lynn now joins Mark Buehrle, Zack Greinke, Felix Hernandez and Chris Sale as the only pitchers in the majors with three wins. Oh, and Luis Avilan of the Braves — who has a 13.50 ERA, meaning Lynn’s now 4.00 is not the highest either.
Carlos Martinez followed Lynn to pitch the eighth and ninth and dominated too. Seventeen pitches to retire hitters 1 through 6 in the Brewers batting order, with 11 of those pitches strikes.
Then there was the Cardinals offense, with 11 hits to go along with those four runs. Jhonny Peralta once again homered, putting the Cards on the board in the second and making three of his five total hits ones that have left the ballpark.
The remaining three runs were on a Jon Jay homer in the sixth — a blast that was a relief to see for a couple of reasons. First, Matt Holliday led off the inning with a single to left. Matt Adams followed that up with a double … yet Holliday, on Jose Oquendo’s ill-advised move of waving him on, was easily thrown out at the plate. Allen Craig was next and hit a fielder’s choice that had Adams moving up to third … where he was easily thrown out. When Peralta then singled, Craig wisely stopped at second. But Jay then showed why he was in the game against Matt Garza, since he hits him ridiculously well and did once again.
Garza was not happy … and those eyes scare me.
Then there was Matt Carpenter and Bob Davidson. Perhaps, if Carpenter’s reaction to Davidson’s called strike three had been more Garza-like, it would have been understandable why Davidson ejected him. Since it wasn’t — as you can see here — it’s just Bob Davidson being Bob Davidson once again and insisting his presence in the game be noticed. I mean, even Dan McLaughlin and Ricky Horton were speechless after the ejection — which as we know is very rare.
Tonight is the second game of the series, with the deadline for entering the 2011 World Series Game Six DVD giveaway just before that — get your entries in, as we have more DVDs to give away than the original three, thanks to the generosity of A&E Home Video.
And tonight’s game features Shelby Miller vs. Marco Estrada as the starters. Here’s hoping Miller has a successful outing. He’s 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA against the Brewers for his career, while Estrada is 0-4 with a 5.74 ERA against the Cards. Game time is 7:10 p.m. Central.
Christine Coleman is the lead writer for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates and like AMF on Facebook if you don’t already.