The visiting Milwaukee Brewers will try to keep their slim postseason hopes alive when they face the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday.
The teams split their doubleheader Friday, with the Brewers winning the first game 3-0 and the Cardinals winning the nightcap 9-1.
The Brewers (28-30) are on the brink of elimination in the National League wild-card race. The Cardinals (29-27) are still in the chase for the NL Central’s second-place playoff slot.
The Brewers have been playing catchup all season, since they have never reached the high side of .500. They must win their last two games to have any chance of reaching the bracket.
“We know everything now is do-or-die, and if we don’t go hard, our season will be over,” Brewers infielder Eric Sogard said. “We’re absolutely going to go at it 110 percent and give it everything we have and leave it all on the table. That’s what we have to do and that’s all we can do.”
The Cardinals will start Adam Wainwright (5-2, 3.05 ERA). He struck out nine batters in seven innings during a 4-2 doubleheader victory on Sept. 16 in his one start against the Brewers this season.
He allowed those two runs on just four hits and one walk while going the distance in that game.
“It’s almost hard to describe what Waino does for us. He does so much,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said after that game. “He goes down 2-0 in the first after a rough night and just bears down. Just went out and dominated, was in complete control. Displays yet again the art of pitching, and displays yet again what it means to be an ace with all caps.”
Wainwright is 18-10 with a 2.45 ERA in 43 career appearances against the Brewers, including 36 starts. But Keston Hiura is 3-for-8 with a double, homer and four RBIs against him.
The Brewers will start Brandon Woodruff (2-5, 3.43 ERA). He lost his only start against the Cardinals this season, which came in that doubleheader game against Wainwright.
He allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits in seven innings. Tyler O’Neill and Brad Miller hit homers off him in that loss.
“I wasn’t as sharp as I was last week but that’s part of it,” Woodruff said after that game. “The fact I was able to go deep in the game and help save that bullpen, I think was huge. If I could have a couple pitches back, it would be a different story. That’s how it goes sometimes.”
Woodruff is 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts and two relief appearances against the Cardinals in his career. Paul DeJong (3-for-9, double, homer, three RBIs), Kolten Wong (2 for 4, double, RBI) and Miller (2-for-6, double, homer) have hit well against him.
The Cardinals placed reliever John Gant on the 10-day injured list with the groin muscle strain he aggravated during Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader. The team recalled reliever Nabil Crismatt to replace him.
–Field Level Media