National League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, August 3rd (All times Eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (58-52) at Milwaukee Brewers (61-50), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Edwin Jackson (1-0, 1.29) Milwaukee - Randy Wolf (7-8, 3.44)
(Sports Network) - Last night's game between the Brewers and Cardinals certainly looked like a meeting between two clubs in the midst of a heated division race; players were hit and ejected, messages were dealt out and extra innings were needed to decide the outcome.
With Milwaukee and St. Louis set to play less than 24 hours after the heated affair with today's afternoon start time, more fireworks could fly in the rubber match of this three-game set at Miller Park.
Monday's series-opening win by the Brewers featured less drama as Milwaukee ran its winning streak to seven straight games while extending its lead over St. Louis for first place in the National League Central to 3 1/2 games.
Last night's encounter more than made up for the lack of excitement. The contest featured a three-run homer by Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia, 22 runners left on base, multiple lead changes, a few big innings and heated moments -- including the ejection of St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina after he bumped and appeared to spit on the home plate umpire.
After all was said and done, the Cardinals walked away with an 8-7 victory on Lance Berkman's run-scoring hit in the 11th inning, snapping St. Louis' six- game slide at Miller Park and ending Milwaukee's longest overall win streak since May of 2009.
"That was one of the hardest-earned wins of the year," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "It was a hell of a game. I think we needed it more than they did."
Garcia ended a big fourth inning with his home run that gave the Cardinals a three-run edge, but Yuniesky Betancourt hit a three-run homer in the fifth that helped put the Brewers back on top for a short time.
That was just a prelude to the big events. Albert Pujols, who missed time earlier this year with a broken left wrist was hit in the same area by a pitch in the seventh inning. Though he remained in the game and an X-ray after the game did not show any breaks, his status for his contest is in doubt.
St. Louis then opened up the bottom of the frame by hitting Milwaukee All-Star Ryan Braun in the back. No ejections were handed out, but both benches were warned.
"That's clearly intentional. That's ridiculous," said Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy. "There's no way that we were trying to hit Pujols on purpose. Are you kidding me? In that situation? If we wanted to put him on base, we would have walked him."
An ejection did come in the 10th inning when Molina was called out on strikes and began to argue with home plate umpire Rob Drake. A suspension could also be in the cards as Molina made contact with the umpire, though the catcher denied spitting on Drake and added he felt the umpire initiated the contact.
"It was a bad call," Molina said. "He (Drake) was pushing at me. He said 'don't come back here.' And I said I have every right to. I would never spit in the face of another man. I thought he made contact with me first."
Regardless, that could leave Edwin Jackson without his starting catcher today as he makes his second start with the Cardinals. He made a great first impression on his new teammates in his debut last week and aims for a fourth straight winning decision
Dealt first by the White Sox to the Blue Jays and then to the Cardinals last week, Jackson took the hill on Friday versus the Cubs and gave up a run on seven hits and two walks over seven innings. It marked his 10th straight start of at least six innings and upped his combined record to 8-7 with a 3.78 earned run average in 20 starts.
"It's more important for the team to get a win than myself," Jackson said. "We needed that game."
The 27-year-old righty is 1-1 against with a 3.00 ERA in two starts lifetime versus the Brewers, who turn to Randy Wolf in this finale.
The veteran lefty halted a four-decision slide on Friday by beating the Astros, 4-0. Wolf threw seven innings of the shutout, scattering four hits and three walks with five strikeouts. The win moved him to 7-8 on the season with a 3.44 ERA in 22 starts.
The 34-year-old has decent career numbers against the Cardinals, going 5-7 with a 3.79 ERA in 15 starts, but struggled with his command when he last faced them on May 6. Wolf was drilled for six runs on seven hits over five innings of a loss, with Pujols driving in three of the runs. Molina also hit a solo homer off of Wolf.
08/03 10:31:12 ET