Founded in 2010

News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the Entire North Iowa Region

Cardinals rough up Brewers, 9-3

By Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel –

MILWAUKEE — In the event the Milwaukee Brewers thought the St. Louis Cardinals would be any less formidable this season sans Albert Pujols and Tony La Russa, the visitors delivered news to the contrary before leaving town.

Bouncing back nicely from Zack Greinke’s dominating pitching performance the previous day, the Cards pulled away to a 9-3 victory Sunday at Miller Park behind a strong performance by a pitcher who wasn’t supposed to be in the starting rotation.

By roughing up the Brewers’ pitching staff in two of the three games, the Cards gave indication — granted, the season has just begun — they will be a force again in 2012 in the NL Central.

“Right now, they’re swinging the bat really well,” said Brewers lefty Randy Wolf, who had to battle mightily just to limit the Cardinals to three runs over five innings.

“Every inning was a battle. Watching the tape after the game, they put a lot of really good at-bats together. They have a good, balanced lineup, they really do, especially right now. I really hope they are peaking now because they look really good; they do.

“I don’t think anybody went into this series thinking they were going to be less of an offensive threat without Albert. They’re still going to be really good, and their pitching is good, too. They’re going to be a tough team but three games into it, there’s no reason for us to panic.”

The Cardinals were particularly unkind during the series to the Brewers’ middle relief corps, but it was a former reliever who led the way for St. Louis. Right-hander Lance Lynn, slated to be a bullpen setup man before Chris Carpenter was sidelined with a neck issue, dominated the Brewers for 62/3 innings.

Blowing mid-90s fastballs by hitters and also freezing them first with cutters, then curveballs, Lynn allowed just two hits and one run over that span. The only hitter to break through was Corey Hart, who homered for the third time in two games in the fifth.

“He had a real good fastball,” said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. “He had a lot of life on it; kept the ball in on the right-handers. He had all of his pitches working.

“We didn’t know if he’d be able to maintain his velocity, which he did until the last inning. That’s always an unknown, whether he can maintain 95 (mph) most of the game, and he did. He’s a big, strong guy. I don’t know if they plan to keep him as a starter, but he did a nice job.”

Brewers leftfielder Ryan Braun had some of the best swings against Lynn, smacking a single in the first inning, then two deep drives to center before finally breaking through for a homer against Jason Motte in the ninth. Braun was impressed that Lynn did not allow a runner past first base, other than Hart.

“I was surprised that somebody could transition from the bullpen to starter and maintain his stuff,” said Braun. “His velocity was consistently in the mid-90s. He had really good command of his fastball, both sides of the plate.

“Last year, he didn’t throw many of his slider/cutter pitch (it was a cutter), whatever he was throwing today. He really threw that pitch well today, too. I was impressed.”

While Lynn was cruising, Wolf was fighting from the very outset. It took him 108 pitches to record 15 outs, and if not for stranding eight runners it would have gotten ugly quickly.

“You look to have a 1-2-3 inning and it just didn’t happen today,” said Wolf, who allowed eight singles and one double — a run-scoring shot to right-center by Matt Holliday in the first inning. “It definitely could have been a lot worse.”

After Lynn departed, the Brewers tried to do some damage against the St. Louis bullpen but it wasn’t enough. Norichika Aoki collected his first major-league hit in the eighth inning off Mitchell Boggs, and Alex Gonzalez drove him in with his first hit with the Brewers, a double to left.

But the Cards kept coming, scoring two in the seventh, one in the eighth and three in the ninth on a home run by Shane Robinson off Kameron Loe. Closer John Axford pitched just to get work but exited after a pair of two-out walks, followed by Robinson’s blast off Loe.

“I feel like there’s a reason they won the World Series, and they have a great team again,” said Braun. “Certainly, they’re going to be in it all year. We have that same expectation.

“We hope to be in it all year as well. I’m sure every time we play against them we’ll have our hands full.”

Then, looking for a silver lining to the 1-2 opening weekend, Braun added, “I feel great about our team. We have one win more than we had last year at this point. We started off last year 0-4, so at least we’ve got our first win under our belt.”

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Even more news:

Need help with your website?
Call your local professional,
Breakthrough Web Design:
or go to

Copyright 2022 – Internet Marketing Pros. of Iowa, Inc.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x