September 18, 2014

Pitching duel goes to Cardinals

Matt Holliday gives the Cardinals the lead in the seventh.  UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Matt Holliday gives the Cardinals the lead in the seventh. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The St. Louis Cardinals dealt the Milwaukee Brewers post season playoff chances a damaging blow with a 2-0 victory at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Wednesday night.

Brewers starting pitcher Mike Fiers and Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright were locked up in a pitching duel.  Fiers held the Cardinals hitless through 5 2/3 innings before Wainwright’s single up the middle took care of any no-hit threat.

Meanwhile, Wainwright (19-9) was pitching around 7-hits and two walks, making the key pitch when he needed to.   He went the distance for his 19th win of the season, tying him with Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw for the major league lead.

Fiers (6-3) allowed just three hits, two runs (one earned) and two walks to go along with his seven strikeouts.  But Matt Holliday drew a leadoff walk in the seventh and singles by Matt Adams and Jhonny Peralta led to a pair of runs to give the Cardinals all the offense they would need.

With the loss, the Brewers fell 2 1/2 games behind Pittsburgh in the National League wildcard chase.  They’re 5-games behind St. Louis in the division race, with 10-games left to play.

This was the Cardinals’ 21st shutout of the season, their most since 1968 when Bob Gibson and the rest of the Cardinals staff had 30.

The final game of the series is tonight in St. Louis.  Former Cardinal Kyle Lohse (12-9, 3.81) pitches for the Brewers.  Shelby Miller (10-9, 3.75) goes for St. Louis.

It took public pressure and sponsorship concerns to sideline Adrian Peterson (Opinion)

It was just Monday that the Minnesota Vikings thought it was OK for Adrian Peterson to return to the team, ready to play the following Sunday.  Nothing had really changed from the week before when they decided to make him inactive for the teams game against New England.  Yet the change was made and Peterson was back in business.

Less than 48 hours later, Peterson was back on the shelf, this time on the NFL’s exempt/commissioner’s permission list, until his child-abuse case is resolved.  He must stay away from the team while he addresses the charges in Texas.

So what’s changed from Monday until now?

How about public pressure.  How about Minnesota’s governor, who backed the Viking ownership team in the construction of a new indoor facility, and his concerns about having Peterson return to active duty.  And perhaps most of all, how about sponsor discontent. [Read more...]

Brewers continue to fight the fight

Gerardo Parra is greeted at home plate by Matt Clark after 4th inning home run. - UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Gerardo Parra is greeted at home plate by Matt Clark after 4th inning home run. – UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Milwaukee Brewers are fighting to stay in the National League playoff picture.  They came from behind to knock off the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 in 12-innings on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium.  It ended a string of eight straight Cardinal victories over the Brewers at Busch Stadium.

St. Louis scored two runs in the first inning off of Wily Peralta, but it could have been worse.  Peralta walked in a run and faced the bases loaded with no outs.  But Peralta got Jhonny Peralta to ground into a 6-4-3 double play that made it 2-0.  Yadier Molina followed with a comebacker to Wily Peralta and the damage was minimal.

Peralta and the rest of the Brewers pitching staff then held the Cardinals scoreless for the next 11 innings to pull out the win.

Gerardo Parra gave the Brewers one run when he homered off of Cardinals starter Lance Lynn in the fourth.

Then with Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal on in the 9th to try to save the Cardinal win, rookie Matt Clark lifted a fly ball to left to drive in the tying run.  It stayed 2-2 until the 12th when Carlos Gomez singled, stole second and third and then scored in a Hector Gomez bloop single to right drive in the game winner. [Read more...]

Packers rally from 18 down to beat Jets (AUDIO)

Jordy Nelson

Jordy Nelson

The Green Bay Packers fell behind by 18-points in the first half on Sunday, then rebounded to knock off the New York Jets 31-24 at Lambeau Field.

Things started slow for the Packers on both sides of the ball.  Aaron Rodgers fumbled the first snap from center and the Jets recovered.  Geno Smith eventually found the end zone from 1-yard out and the Jets led 7-0.

The Jets defense then went to work on the Packers and forced a punt.  Geno Smith responded with a 29 yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker and New York jumped out to a 14-0 lead.

Mason Crosby broke the dry spell for the Packers, booting a shot 31-yard field goal and it was 14-3 Jets.

On the next Jets possession, Chris Ivory capped off a 17 play, 80 yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to make it 21-3 New York.

The Packers managed to get two more Mason Crosby field goals, from 20 yards and 55 yards to make it 21-9 Jets.

What happened next was the turning point in the football game.  The Jets looked like they were headed for more first half points when Geno Smith was hit while throwing a pass for the end zone.  The pass came up short and Tramon Williams picked it off at the three yard line.  [Read more...]

Brewers break out and beat the Reds

Mark Reynolds - UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Mark Reynolds – UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Milwaukee Brewers banged out 15-hits and got home runs from rookie Matt Clark and Mark Reynolds in a 9-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds before another sold out crowd (41,870) at Miller Park on Sunday.

The win allowed the Brewers to stay a game and a half behind Pittsburgh in the race for the final National League Wildcard.  The nine runs were the most in a game since the Brewers beat the San Diego Padres 10-1 on August 25th at Petco Park.

Matt Garza (8-8) pitched six solid innings, allowing one run on four hits, walking three and striking out six.  It’s his first victory since July 24th.

The Brewers sent eleven hitters to the plate in the seventh.  Clark clubbed a three run homer to extend the 3-1 lead to 6-1.  Scooter Gennett also singled in a run and Ryan Braun drew a bases-loaded walk as the Brewers jumped in front 8-1.  It’s the third home run for Clark in as many starts since being called up from the minors earlier this month.

Mark Reynolds closed out the scoring with his first home run since Aug. 14.

The Brewers get the day off today, then start a three-city, nine-game road trip in St. Louis tomorrow night.  The trip also takes them to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.