Two games into the most important series of the season for both teams so far, the St. Louis Cardinals (39-31) and the Milwaukee Brewers (39-31) have each won one game a piece. The suspenseful battle for the NL Central continues tonight in game three of the four-game series between the Cardinals vs Brewers.
The key to the rest of the series for the Cardinals, get the starting pitcher out of the game early. There is a long way to go in the year, but every game counts in this battle in the Midwest.
Whoever wins this series will be in sole possession of first place in the two-team race for the crown, and it’s been close so far. Coming into game three, St. Louis is third in the NL with a .254 BA, while Milwaukee is third to last, at .232. The Cardinals are second in the NL in total runs, while Milwaukee is ninth, but have 17 fewer home runs than the team in Wisconsin. The Brewers have also struck out the third-most times in the NL with 615, while the Cardinals are second to last in strikeouts with 525. St. Louis has a higher OBP and SLG than Milwaukee, and has an OPS of .726, compared to .706 of the Brewers.
The numbers are a little different on the pitching side of things. Milwaukee has a better ERA at 3.67 compared to St. Louis’ 3.81. The Cardinals have allowed 14 fewer runs, and six fewer home runs. Strikeouts are where the Brewers take over here, with over 100 more of them for the third-most in the NL. Milwaukee also has a 1.24 WHIP, while St. Louis has a 1.28 WHIP, while BA against Brewers pitching is .233, compared to .243 of the Cardinals.
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As expected, game one of the Cardinals vs Brewers was a pitchers duel. It was a hot game at American Family Field between aces, Corbin Burnes and Miles Mikolas. Both pitchers have been dealing all year with sub-three ERAs and Mikolas was coming off his near no-hitter which got ruined with one out left in the game against the Pirates.
It was a low scoring game, with a combined nine hits between the two teams. The Brewers won the game 2-0 off a Tyrone Taylor 2-run blast in the bottom of the fifth, which proved to be all that was needed.
Burnes earned the win as he went seven innings deep, allowing no runs, and had 10 strikeouts. Mikolas did his thing, but it was not enough as he was handed the loss pitching 6.1 innings with three strikeouts. Josh Hader came in to shut it down, per usual.
If you like offense, or you are a Cardinals fan, game two was a lot more fun to watch. It was a 6-2 victory for the Redbirds on national television. It was another toasty game in Milwaukee and the series is now knotted up at one.
In Jack Flaherty’s second start this year, he still did not look like himself. He only allowed two runs on a first inning home run by Willy Adames, but his inefficiency was the problem. Flaherty had five walks and looked very uncomfortable all game.
Aside from Flaherty, the story of the game was rookie sensation, Nolan Gorman who had himself a night. Gorman, batting fifth, went 4-4 with two home runs and four RBIs. Nolan Arenado and Brendan Donovan went 2-4 each. The Cardinals bullpen held Milwaukee scoreless to earn the win in game two of the Cardinals vs Brewers.
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