Mistakes Doom Brewers in Thirteen-Inning Loss

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Sep 18, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams (32) is walked by Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Jonathan Broxton (not pictured) allowing third baseman Matt Carpenter (13) to score and tie the game during the eighth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers are running out of time to pick up one of the last remaining spots in the post season. They came into tonight’s matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals, trailing the red birds by five games in the division and the Pittsburgh Pirates by 2 ½ in the race for the second wild card.

The Brewers sent former Cardinal Kyle Lohse (12-9, 3.81 ERA) to the mound to take on Shelby Miller (10-9, 3.74 ERA).

It looked like it could be another long night for the Brewers offense, as Miller had only allowed one run in three previous starts this September. Lohse on the other hand has struggled in August and September, with 7.30 and 5.91 ERAs in each respectively.

It bore out for Miller, who pitched a good game, but had to exit early after taking a line drive off the leg and the Brewers lead the game late but a bone headed play by Mark Reynolds, and the first run scored against Jonathan Broxton conspired to allow the Cardinals to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Neither team seemed to want to win the game, with bad bunts and terrible at-bats for the next five innings, but eventually the Cardinals plated a run in the 13th inning to take a 3-2 win, and 2-1 series win.

Neither team managed a base runner until the bottom of the third when Lohse hit Kolten Wong with an 0-1 pitch. Wong moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Miller and Matt Carpenter walked to put two on but Jon Jay lined out to end the inning.

The Brewers finally cracked Miller in the top of the fourth. Jonathan Lucroy belted a two-out double, to set a new National League record for doubles in a season by a catcher (45) and tie the Major League record.

Lucroy came in to score on the next pitch as Aramis Ramirez belted a single up the middle to give Milwaukee their first lead since they won in the 12th inning on Tuesday. Ryan Braun followed with a single but that was it for the Crew in the inning.

Neither team scored again until the eighth inning. Ryan Braun knocked Miller out of the game after six innings with a line drive off his leg. Miller finished the inning, but he left after that. He went six innings and allowed two runs on five hits and no walks. He struck out four.

Lohse returned to the mound for the bottom half of the eighth after throwing seven stellar innings. Oscar Taveras led off with a clean single and Peter Bourjos came in to pinch run. Wong grounded back to the mound and Lohse took the lead out at second.

A.J. Pierzynski came in to pinch-hit for Maness, and Ron Roenicke called for Jonathan Broxton to take over. Pierzynski grounded out to Reynolds at first, but Reynolds just tagged the bag and didn’t try to turn two, it appeared he forgot how many outs there were.

Broxton walked Carpenter to put two on for Jay who singled to left to bring in Wong to put the Cardinals on the board in an inning that should have ended on the Pierzynski ground out. Holliday grounded out to temporarily end the inning on a play where he dove into first base.

On first view he looked safe, he chopped slowly over the mound and it took Gennett a while to get there and throw to first. Upon review Holliday was ruled safe but the umpires sent Carpenter back to third base, loading the bases rather than making it a tie game.

Broxton walked Adams on seven pitches to bring in Carpenter and tie the game at two. Peralta grounded out to end the inning, with the game freshly tied. Lohse went 7 1/3 innings and allowed one run on four hits and one walk. He struck out two and hit a batter. The walked in run by Broxton was the first run charged to him in eight innings with the Brewers.

Neither team scored again in the next three innings, both burning through their relief pitchers and executing poorly on bunts. The managers burned through their bullpens and benches but neither team could scratch out a run.

Through 12 innings, the Brewers had done through Lohse, Broxton, Jeremy Jeffress, Will Smith, Marco Estrada and Brandon Kintzler and Zach Duke. The Cardinals used Miller, Randy Choate, Seth Maness, Trevor Rosenthal, Pat Neshek and Carlos Martinez.

In the bottom of the 13th Roenicke sent Jimmy Nelson to the mound and Martin Maldonado work behind the plate, at this point third catcher Matt Pagnozzi was the only position player left on the Brewers bench.

Holliday led off with a single up the middle to lead off the 13th for the Cardinals. Adams followed with a grounder to second, and the Brewers erased Holliday at second base but Segura was too slow on the turn to get Adams at first.

Nelson broke Peralta’s bat on the next at bat, but he muscled a grounder past Ramirez to put two on. It should have been a double play ground out, but Ramirez couldn’t get down on it. Cruz singled up the middle to give the Cardinals a 3-2 win in 13 innings.

Nelson took the loss after giving up four ground balls, two of which should have been double plays, and Sam Freeman got the win for the Cardinals for simply existing in the 13th inning.

The loss drops the Brewers 3 ½ back in the race with the Pirates for the second wild card, meaning even a sweep of the Pirates this weekend, which is already unlikely, won’t bring them back to even.

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