Not how this one was supposed to go. | Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Flaherty brutalized for 9 ER in 3 innings
Late Pre-Game Note: Kolten Wong was a very late scratch, so Tommy filled in for him. During the game, Danny Mac reported it was due to “discomfort on his left side,” and he was being evaluated.
Cards’ fans had discomfort watching this game.
The Bird’s-Eye View
It’s hard to identify positives about this performance. Tommy was 2-3…. Yep, that’s about it.
This was not a case of Jack getting BABIP’d, or errors that prolonged innings, or a poor umpire strike zone (not any worse for either side, anyway). Jack just flat-out obviously did not have his good stuff, leaving several sliders hanging and as well as fastballs up and out over the plate, and the Brewers teed off, knocking him out of the game before he could get an out in the 4th. When the dust settled, he’d give-up 9 ERs.
His line was so ugly you’d never associate it with him had you not known:
3.0 IP, 9 ER, 8 H (2 HR), 6 SO, 2 BB
81 P (48 S)
Ironically, right off the bat, things looked great for the offense, as after just 8 total pitches, the Cards parlayed a lead-off single by Tommy Edman and a 1-out double by Paul Goldschmidt to take a quick 1-0 lead.
Same with Jack, as he used his strikeout tool to record 5 of the first 6 outs of the game, which was a (very) brief positive. Unfortunately, the Brewers’ middle of the order hit back-to-back dingers in their half of the first, as Yelich and Braun went deep to give the Brewers a fast 2-0 lead.
The Brewers made it 4-1 in the 3rd, sequencing a single, walk, and a double, all with 2 outs. But then the real damage was done in the football inning 4th and 5th innings in which they plated a touchdown and two field goals, respectively. They batted around in both innings, sending 10 up in the 4th and 11 in the 5th.
In the 4th, Jack faced 5 batters without registering an out, then he was pulled for Jake Woodford who the Brewers found very hittable tonight as well. He finished the 4th then got just one out in the 5th, having given up 5 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks with just one strikeout.
So if you’re counting along, that made it 17-2 after 5. That was kinda the game there.
Just for good measure, there also was a mini confrontation in the bottom of the 5th with Yadi and the Brewer’s bench that resulted in both managers getting tossed. Yadi followed that up by yelling at the 2B ump during warm-ups before the bottom of the 6th began—something about the ump trying to rush Crismatt through his preparation for the inning. Or something.
There actually was more baseball played through the ninth, but that only involved each team notching another run each, which did nothing but give you the final, lop-sided score of 18-3.
The Flight Path
Top of 1st (In Play, Run(s)) – There’s your lead, Jack!
Getting down 0-2, Tommy didn’t get down on himself, banging a ground-ball single to right. Paul DeJong next flew out deep to the right-field corner (332 ft), but Edman stayed put at first. With his speed it looked like it was deep enough to try to advance. No matter, as Paul Goldschmidt cranked a one-hope double off the wall in right-center that scored a motoring Tommy from first to make it 1-0 after just 8 pitches!
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) September 15, 2020
Rangel Ravelo, playing RF tonight, then grounded out to third for out 2. Your clean-up DH Brad Miller got robbed of a base hit and RBI by pitcher Brett Anderson, who reacted quickly on a hot ground ball come-backer (101 mph EV), firing it at about 90 mph to first in frustration to end the inning.
Bottom of 1st (In Play, Run(s)) – Well, shoot. That lead didn’t last long.
Jack, talking lately about trying to be more efficient to go deeper into games, came out pumping strikes, K-ing Avisail Garcia on a 92 mph tailing fastball away. But things quickly went awry to the next to hitters. Christian Yelich belted an 0-1 curve that stayed above the bottom of the zone a bit too much into right-center (106 mph EV, 395 ft) for a homer, then Ryan Braun crushed a fastball middle and only slightly away into center (for back-to-back dingers to suddenly make it 2-1 Brewers.
Top of 2nd – Two hard-hit balls unluckily didn’t go for hits in a 3-up, 3-down inning.
Yadier Molina started the second by nailing a hard grounder, (99 mph EV) but it was right at second baseman Keston Hiura, and I think Yadi completed the jog all the way to first. It was close. Matt Carpenter then played into the stat-nerds’ hands by pulling a sharp grounder right into the shift, with third baseman Jace Peterson placed in short-right, gloving it for out 2.
Tyler O’Neill got a great pitch to hit, an 88 mph cutter just below the belt middle-in, and he made great contact (102 mph EV), lining it into center, but Garcia raced in to backhand it at his knees running straight in toward second.
Bottom of 2nd – Jack finally recorded a non-strikeout out.
Jack began the 2nd like he ended the first, by notching another strikeout, with Gyorko becoming the fourth K of the evening already. Jace Peterson became the first non-strikeout out, grounding out to Tommy at second.
Top of 3rd – Nuthin’ doin’.
Harrison Bader, licking his chops at facing a lefty, hit a deep-ish liner to right center on an up and away sinker that didn’t, but it hung up long enough for Garcia to lope over and grab it with an outstretched gloved left hand with a small jump for out 1.
Tommy followed by grounding out to Peterson at third. The throw was high and up the line a bit, but Gyorko came off the bag, gloved it, and tagged Tommy on the way down for the out. Paul DeJong became the Cards’ first strikeout victim of the game, whiffing on a full-count, middle-away sinker.
Bottom of 3rd (In Play, Run(s)) – The heart of the Brewers’ order got to Jack again.
After the homers, Jack looked like he was on a mission, forgoing the democratic method of using his fielders for outs, instead taking care of ninth-place batter Omar Narvaez swinging. Garcia made contact, however, as he followed by flying out to Ravelo in right, who looked very unsure of himself in doing so.
Yelich kept the inning going, though, as he inside-outed a down-and-in 94 mph fastball through the area at short vacated by the shift. Focusing down and away to Braun, Jack got behind him 3-1, then walked him on a slider in that same area off the plate to make it first and second 2 outs for Vogelbach.
Jack finally got the third out, and he was fortunate to get it, as Hiura lined out to O’Neill in left (99 mph EV).
Top of 4th – A 2-out infield single was all she wrote.
Anderson got Goldy to lunge at a 1-1 change-up down and away of the plate and lift it to right toward the line, caught by Braun. Ravelo followed by grounding out to Arcia at short. Brad Miller nearly cut the lead in half, launching a deep fly into the right-field corner, but it hooked just foul. He did reach, though, as he rubbed a grounder to second and busted his rump to first to beat it out, as Hiura’ fielded it bare-handed but threw wide of first.
Yadi then made Anderson work, getting a full count but ultimately swinging through a sinker actually middle but above the zone to end the inning.
Bottom of 4th (In Play, (Run(s)) – The first three reached to load the bases. Ten Brewers went to the plate as Milwaukee busted the game open and knocked Jack out of the game. It was ugly.
First batter Gyorko got fooled on a 1-2 slider Jack took a bit off of at 81 mph down and away. But he kept his hands back, took a kind of half-swing, and still barreled it enough to send a soft liner to right center for a single. He got bumped to second as Jack issued a free pass to Peterson on 7 pitches.
Now with first and second nobody out, Arcia singled on a slider that actually was well off the plate, but he hit it off the end, looping a liner to center, but the runner was stopped at third.
Then more damage came, as Narvaez lined a hanging slider into right-center, scoring 2 to make it 6-1.
Now with first and third, nobody out, next hitter Garcia duplicated Narvaez’ hit on the same hanging slider, lining it to the nearly exact spot in right-center to plate Arcia to make it 7-1. That was it for Jack, as Shildt brought in Jake Woodford.
Jake got the pleasure of facing Yelich with first and second nobody out. Christian smacked an outside fastball on a line toward Carpenter at third, who was shaded toward short, but it glanced off his out-stretched glove, but it didn’t roll far enough to allow the runner to score.
Now with the bases loaded again, Woodford got a grounder to Carpenter, who went around the horn for the 5-4-3 double play, but another run scored to make it 8-1.
Now with a runner at third and 2 out, Vogelbach drew a walk on 5 pitches. Hiura then launched a fastball up and out over the plate into right-center for a 3-run tater to make this a laugher at 11-1.
Top of 5th (In Play, Run(s)) – Despite being down 10, the Cards showed moxy, loading the bases with 2 out.
Carpenter made good contact on an elevated fastball, but pulled it right to Hiura in short right, getting beat by the shift in the same manner for the second time tonight. O’Neill jumped on the first pitch he saw and lined it to center, but it stayed up, allowing Garcia to flag it down coming in.
Bader kept the inning going, however, knocking a line-drive single to center. Tommy then reached on a swinging bunt down the third-base line to make it first and second. DeJong loaded them up with a 4-pitch walk.
Goldy then got a full count, and with the runners going, he took a walk to make it 11-2. Ravelo got his shot next and got down 0-2 on two sinkers.
Bottom of 5th (In Play, Run(s) – The ugliness continued.
Woodford walked first batter Peterson on 4 pitches, trying to work him outside with each pitch, but each pitch was just a bit outside. He rebounded to strike out next hitter Arcia, boring a hard sinker down and in toward his hands. Narvaez walked to make it first and second, one out. Tyrone Taylor entered to pinch-hit for Garcia. Taylor promptly pulled a double into left-center, making it 12-2.
Kaminsky started his night by walking Yelich to load the bases. Then, Braun reached on catcher interference, as his bat backswing hit Yadi’s left wrist. That forced in another run to make it 13-2.
During a lengthy delay after the trainer attended to Yadi, the catcher was annoyed by some chirping out of the Brewers’ dugout. With mask off, he wandered right over to the Brewers’ bench to voice his displeasure. Gyorko was the first to greet him to play peacemaker. Other Cardinals and Mike Shildt came over, and there was lots of jawing but that was it.
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) September 16, 2020
After all that, Kaminsky gave up a ground-ball single up the middle to Vogelbach, scoring Taylor to make it 14-2. Kaminsky then walked the next two batters to make it 15-2. The embarrassment reached its peak as with the bases loaded, Gyorko hit a long fly ball near the wall in right. Thomas seemed to settle under it, but he actually got turned the wrong way, and the ball drifted left and it glanced off his glove for an error as another run scored to make it 16-2.
The baseball gods are a cruel bunch, so naturally they willed a screamer to be hit off the bat of the next hitter Peterson into right-center that Thomas actually made a fine sprinting catch on, lunging upward with his arm to snare it. But of course, that also allowed another run to score on a sac fly to make it 17-2.
Finally, finally, the inning ended as Arcia lined out to Edman at second.
Bottom of 6th – Before the 6th could start, Yadi was screaming at the 2B umpire, apparently because the ump said something to new reliever Nail Crismatt about the amount of time to warm up. Or something. Also, both Shildt and Brewers’ manager Craig Counsel were tossed at some point, presumably from something they did during the dust-up after Yadi’s catcher interference.
Oh yeah, the game. Narvaez lined out to Bader, then Taylor singled on a grounder up the middle. Yelich then obligingly grounded a one-hopper right back to Crismatt reached up and snared. He turned and fired confidently to second to start the inning-ending double play.
Top of 7th – Righty Ray Black entered for the Brewers. The Cards managed a run off him.
In a nine-pitch at-bat, O’Neill walked to start things off. Bader then gave one a ride, lining one deep to left, but it was caught right before the track. Tommy followed with a walk to make it first and second one out.
DeJong got an RBI by knocking a one-hopper off the wall in left-center to score O’Neill and move Edman to third. Perhaps Pauly D thought he got more of it and was in a home run trot, as when the ball came back into the infield, he was standing on first and not second.
Lane Thomas became the second out by swinging through a 96 mph heater for a strikeout. Ravelo then rapped a hot grounder right back through the box. It glanced off the pitcher’s foot, and it rolled right to the second baseman near the bag, and the Brewers turned the inning-ending double play.
Bottom of 7th – Crismatt remained in to get more work. He wasn’t fooling any hitters. Wieters entered to leave no position players left on the bench.
Gamel led off by grounding back to Crismatt for out 1. But next batter Vogelbach launched a homer over the right-center-field wall on a meatball hanging change-up to make it 18-3. Hiura next hit a screaming liner that DeJong knocked down and zinged to first for out 2.
Sogard followed by nailing a liner down the right-field line for a double. He was stranded there, though, as Peterson flew out to Thomas in right.
Miller took a backward K, watching a curve that wasn’t a strike inside off the plate get called a strike. Wieters thought that since he was in the game he might as well hit, so he singled to left-center. Carpenter likewise got caught looking, but his called third strike was an obvious good fastball in the upper third of the zone, only slightly in. What the heck, make it a threesome: Tyler struck out, but at least he went down swinging, waving at a knuckle curve down and away (that was in the zone anyway, had he watched it go by).
Bottom of 8th – Crismatt stayed in to give another inning for the team. The Brewers went down in order. That’s not a typo.
Arcia grounded out to DeJong at short. Narvaez struck out on a foul tip. Taylor struck out swinging on a nice 1-2 change-up.
Top of 9th – Luis Urias came in to play third for the Brewers. Sogard went from third to left, replacing Yelich.
Bader went down hacking, whiffing on a fastball above the zone, Tommy did the same for two quick outs.
Bottom of 9th
The Bottom Line
- Jack’s 6th strikeout, which happened already against the first batter in the 3rd, was his most in a start so far this season.
- The 4 earned runs Jack had already given up by the third were also a season high.
- In the 5th, the Cards loaded the bases for the 60th time this season, tied for the fourth most in baseball.
- At the 14-run point in the 5th, it became the most runs the Cards have given up to the Brewers at Miller Park.
- 18 runs were the most the Brewers have ever scored against the Cards.
- The game became the first time the Brewers ever have scored more than 18 runs in a game twice in the same week. On September 9th, they beat the Tigers 19-0.
- Because of all the run-scoring carnage in the 4th and 5th, the Cards made several substitutions. After the 5th, Matt Wieters was the only available position player.
He entered in the 7th.
- The loss bumped the Cards 5 back from the Cubs and inched Cincy to within a half game of El Birdos and the Brewers within one game.
- When it was 11-1 after 4, the Brewers had a 99.6% Win Expectancy and the chart kinda wanted to just round that up right there.