Bird Bytes: The Cardinals Failed Miserably In a Big Test Against the Superior Brewers

What a mess.

It isn’t just that the Cardinals lost all three games to the Milwaukee Brewers.

It’s how they lost.

1. Giving away a game on Monday.

2. The St. Louis pitchers getting blasted for 12 runs on Tuesday.

3. The Cardinal  hitters scoring one run — with only two hits — in Wednesday’s must-have game.

4. Getting outscored by the Brewers 20-9.

5. Getting outscored by the Brewers 8-0 in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings of the three games.

6. The Cardinals were charged with five errors in the series, including three in the second game.

7. Milwaukee’s bullpen had a 2.55 ERA in 17.2 innings, with a strikeout rate of 30.6%. Pitching with runners in scoring position, Brewer relievers allowed a .607 OPS.

8. The St. Louis bullpen had a 7.24 ERA in 13.3 innings, with a strikeout rate of 15.7% When pitching with runners in scoring position, the Cardinal relievers allowed an OPS of .969.

9. The Milwaukee relievers walked only 6.9 percent of the batters faced in the series.

10. The St. Louis relievers walked 18.6 percent of batters faced. Again: 18.6%. (!!!)

11. Six of the Cards’ nine runs in this series came via the home run.  Otherwise, poof.

12. The Brewers had 19 RBIs in the series; only eight were delivered on homers.

13. Milwaukee pitchers had a 3.00 ERA in the series. Cardinals ERA: 6.67.

14. Brewers starting pitchers: 3.86 ERA.  Cardinals starting pitchers: 6.08.

15. Brewers manager Craig Counsell effectively used traditional defensive shifts in this series; Cardinals’ batters were 1 for 20 against the Milwaukee shift.

16. The Cardinals are mostly anti-shift. The Brewers had to cope with a traditional shift on only 10 at-bats over the three games, and went 3 for 10.

17. Matt Carpenter in the series: 13 plate appearances, 1 for 9, four strikeouts, three walks, one run and one RBI. Carpenter’s strikeout rate in the three games was 30.8%.

18. Christian Yelich in the series: 16 plate appearances…six walks … a three-run triple … a three-run homer… four runs … eight RBIs … .563 onbase% … .900 slugging%.

19. Yadier Molina had a three-run homer for the Cardinals in the second game. Otherwise, 0 for 11.

20. Harrison Bader in the series: 1 for 11, five strikeouts.

21. Jedd Gyorko:  0 for 8, four strikeouts. One million runners left on base … or so it seemed.

22. Kolten Wong 0 for 8, three strikeouts.

23. Paul DeJong, 2 for 9 one RBI, two strikeouts.

24. Yairo Munoz, 1 for 5 in the series with a strikeout.

25. Milwaukee got 3 homers and five RBIs from Ryan Braun; five hits and three walks and a .500 onbase percentage from Lorenzo Cain; a homer and an .896 OPS from Jesus Aguilar; and a two-RBI game from Travis Shaw in Wednesday’s victory.

26. Tyler O’Neill is slugging .508 for the Cardinals this season; he’s 16 above the league average offensively in park adjusted runs created. O’Neill has 4 Defensive Runs saved in right field. He’s the second fastest runner on the team (to Bader) according to Statcast tracking. He won a game last Saturday with a massive home run to beat the Giants.  Tyler O’Neill had one plate appearance in the three games vs. Milwaukee.  ONE.  As many as Edmundo Sosa. ONE.

27. The Cardinals had a hard time getting something started. They were 9 for 67 in the series with the bases empty.

28. Cardinals’ left-handed relievers Chasen Shreve and Brett Cecil combined for nine batters faced in this series. Nine. And they allowed four runs.

29. How are the NL contenders doing in the final month?

Current record in September:

  • Brewers 16-7
  • Rockies 16-8 .
  • Dodgers 15-9
  • Braves  15-9
  • Cubs  13-11
  • Cardinals 11-13.

30. Over the last two seasons the Brewers have played six series against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals are 1-5 in the six series. The Cardinals have lost 13 of 19 games to the Brewers at Busch since the start of last season.

Bird Bytes: 

  • Getting annoyed by the double shifts.
  • Shildty didn’t have a good series against the Brewers.
  • I hope Adolis Garcia is hanging in there. I feel bad for the rookie.
  • So, the Cardinals are trying to catch the Dodgers for the second wild card? They’re a game behind LA, which trails Colorado by a half-game in the NL West.
  • This of course could change in a hurry.
  • The Dodgers are off today. The Rockies are attempting to complete a four-game sweep of the pathetic Phillies today. If the Rox win, they’ll lead the Dodgers by a full game with three to play. If the Rox lose to the Phils today, then they’ll be tied for first place going into the final weekend.
  • That final weekend looks like this: St. Louis at Chicago for 3 … LA at San Francisco for 3 … Milwaukee hosting Detroit for 3 at Miller Park.
  • Next stop, Wrigley Field.
  • Would you draw any pleasure from seeing the Cardinals mess up the Cubs this weekend and cause the Cubs to tumble into the first wild-card spot? The Cubs are only a half-game ahead of the Brewers.
  • Milwaukee is off today. The Cubs are completing a four-game home set against the Pirates. If the Cubs win, they’ll be tied with the Brewers for first place in the NL Central. If the Pirates beat the Cubs today, the Brewers will have a one-game lead on the Cubs with three contests to go.
  • Going into the final game of the series with visiting Pittsburgh, the Cubs rank 20th among the 30 MLB teams this month in OBP (.297) and are 28th in slugging (.358.) The Cubs have scored four runs or fewer in 11 of their last 16 games through Wednesday.
  • Remember how young Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras bragged last winter about how he would surpass Buster Posey and Yadier Molina and take over as the NL’s best catcher? Contreras is hitting .154 with a .228 OBP and .192 slug this month. Since the All-Star break he has a .298 OBP and .283 slug and is 38 percent below league average offensively in park adjusted runs created.
  • Nice moment. Dramatic moment: Adam Wainwright starts the first game at Wrigley Field and will try to keep the Cardinals’ season alive. The quality of his performance means just about everything.


More – A Big Problem For the Cardinals In September: The Young Starters Are Struggling