Chris Carpenter was far from his best Wednesday night, lasting just five innings in his St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 3 of their National League Division Series at Busch Stadium.
While Carpenter surrendered all three Milwaukee runs on six hits and three walks, the relief corps came up big. Fernando Salas, Game 2-winning rookie Lance Lynn, Marc Rzepczynski and closer Jason Motte, who struck out three of the four batters he faced for the save, combined to bail out the Cardinals and retire the final 12 Brewers in order. Sadly, none of their jerseys were torn off and shredded to pieces by Nick Punto.
Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo matched Carpenter's five less-than-perfect innings, coughing up all four St. Louis runs in the first. He allowed eight hits and five walks overall, with John Jay, Albert Pujols and David Freese each crushing RBI doubles. Yadier Molina grounded into a double play, but scored Pujols on the sacrifice, which proved to be all the runs St. Louis would need.
Milwaukee's bullpen kept their team in the game with LaTroy Hawkins surrendering just one hit and a walk over three innings, but it was too-little too-late for the Beer Makers. They've managed to lose eight in a row on the road during the postseason, a stretch that goes way back to Game 1 of the 1982 World Series in St. Louis when Mike Caldwell shut them the hell out.
While Ryan Braun and Lance Berkman were each hit by a pitch, there was yet again no rough-housing on the field... probably because Nyjer Morgan was not in the starting lineup in favor of Mark Kotsay, who totally face-planted in the first inning while trying to get his adorable butt back in to second base.
Also, there were no squirrel sightings during the game. Where were you little buddy?