Adam Wainwright Tosses Gem, Season Collapses into Nothingness

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Sep 7, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta (27) scores past Milwaukee Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado (12) in the fourth inning at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers needed to win on Sunday in the fourth game of their four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals after losing two-of-the-first-three.

The Crew sent rookie Jimmy Nelson (2-6, 4.14 ERA) to the mound to take on Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright (16-9, 2.69 ERA).

It is possible that this would be Nelson’s final start in the rotation during the regular season, as Ron Roenicke had indicated that with Matt Garza back from the disabled list the Crew would be going back to a five-man rotation, rather than stick with the six-man rotation they used this week.

Wainwright, a true big league ace, came into the game after struggling throughout August. Wainwright allowed at least three runs in all of his starts since August 1, except for his two-run outing on the seventh.

Wainwright was on his game today however and tossed a complete game in the Cardinals 9-1 win over Milwaukee, and 3-1 series win over the struggling Brewers. The loss drops the Brewers to a mere 5-games over .500.

Through three innings, each pitcher allowed only one hit and neither had a walk. Wainwright struck out three Brewers through the first three innings, and Nelson didn’t strike out anybody.

The Cardinals opened the scoring in a big way in the top of the fourth. Jon Jay led off with an infield single. Jean Segura made a spinning throw on it, but it pulled Jonathan Lucroy off first base to give the Cardinals a runner. Jay advanced to second on a wild pickoff throw by Nelson.

Jay moved to third on a single by Jhonny Peralta. Peralta just dumped a little fly in front of Khris Davis in left to put men on the corners with nobody out. Jay came in to score on a Matt Adams fly out to left to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead.

Yadier Molina drew a five-pitch walk, Nelson’s first of the game, to put two on for Oscar Taveras. Taveras singled up the middle to center to bring in Peralta and make it 2-0. Peter Bourjos followed with a triple to left-center to clear the bases and make it 4-0 Cardinals.

Neither team managed a run in the next inning and a half and Nelson’s day was done when Matt Clark pinch hit for him (and lined out) in the bottom of the fifth. He went five innings and allowed four runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out three.

Will Smith came in to pitch the sixth for Milwaukee and set the Cardinals down in order, including whiffs of Matt Adams and Taveras. Wainwright set Milwaukee down without issue in the bottom of the frame.

Brandon Kintzler came on to pitch the seventh for Milwaukee. Bourjos and Kolten Wong led off with back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with nobody out. With Wainwright at the plate Wong stole second and Martin Maldonado threw the ball into center field allowing Bourjos to score, and give Wong third base. Matt Carpenter singled to short to bring in Wong and make it 6-0 Cardinals.

Wainwright worked through the bottom of the inning cleanly. Aramis Ramirez opened with a single but was erased on a Gerardo Parra ground out. Parra was erased on a Davis double play to end the inning.

Alfredo Figaro came on to pitch the eighth for Milwaukee. Jhonny Peralta led off with a single am advanced to second after two outs. Parra fielded a fly ball and the back into the infield and neither Scooter Gennett nor Segura caught it allowing Peralta to take second. Parra was charged with the error but the throw skipped right over second base and should have been caught.

Taveras singled on a diving stop by Gennett. The dive saved a run and our runners on the corners for Bourjos who grounded out to third to end the threat.

After a perfect bottom of the eighth for Wainwright, Figaro returned to the hill for the ninth. Wong led off with a double to right-center and he came around to score two batters later on a Carpenter single to right to make it 7-0. Two batters later Peralta knocked a home run (20) to left to make it 9-0.

That was it for Figaro, as Ron Roenicke called for Wei-Chung Wang to finish the inning. He struck out Xavier Scruggs to end the inning.

Wainwright returned to the bump to try and complete the game in the ninth. Gennett led off with a double down the line in left. Carlos Gomez came in to pinch hit for Ryan Braun, and knocked an RBI single to center to put Milwaukee on the board.

Lucroy flew out to right for the first out of the inning and Jason Rogers came in to pinch hit for Ramirez, and walked to put two on for Parra who grounded into a game-ending double play.

Wainwright took the win, and Nelson the loss. The win puts St. Louis five games over the Brewers in the division, and means the Brewers have lost 11 of their last 12 games.

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