St. Louis Cardinals

August 2, 2014

Ugly loss: Wainwright mashed by Brewers, Matheny miffed by replay system

Well, that was no way to welcome your new teammates to town, not for a St. Louis Cardinals team at turns frustrated and fuming after an ugly loss Friday night.

With new rotation mates John Lackey and Justin Masterson watching from the dugout, St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright dissolved in a 7-4 loss to Milwaukee.

The loss dropped the Cardinals three games behind the National League Central-leading Brewers, who scored all their runs on five extra-base hits -- a home run and RBI double by Aramis Ramirez, a pair of RBI two-baggers by Ryan Braun, and a three-run double by Jonathan Lucroy.

When the Brewer finally stopped running the bases around him, Wainwright had allowed seven runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, with three walks, five strikeouts, a hit batsman and a balk.

"It was not an easy night tonight," said Wainwright (13-6). "I made some good pitches tonight and they worked me hard. Good teams do that sometimes."

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny left the game when Wainwright did.

He was ejected while making a Wainwright for Seth Maness pitching change. Most of Matheny's ire was directed at second base umpire Will Little, whose safe call at second base -- on a play in the midst of the Brewers' four-run sixth -- was upheld following a 2-minute, 7-second replay review following Matheny's challenge.

Matheny is now 3-15 in replay challenges this year. That less-than-stellar record aside, he said the system doesn't allow players or managers room to express frustration over a call that goes against them.

"Sooner or later, the system has to allow us to say something," an obviously peeved Matheny said in his postgame comments. "We sit and watch this enough, we've gotten to the point we've taken a lot of emotion out of the game. Getting tossed out of the game ... I don't think that was the intention of this."

Little apparently took exception to something Matheny said during the pitching change in the bottom of the inning, leading to his early exit.

Matheny had also tangled with Little when he called Wainwright for a balk with Carlos Gomez at first base in the fifth inning.

That was the least of Wainwright's worries Friday night: In his last three starts, Wainwright has given up 20 hits in 17 innings, allowing 13 runs (11 earned), with 10 walks and 12 strikeouts. His ERA in that span is 5.82, and his season ERA rose Friday from 1.92 to 2.26.

Matheny said Wainwright had difficulty adjusting to a tight strike zone called by home plate umpire Greg Gibson.

"He had to change his game plan, he had to come (on)to the plate and get more of it than he normally would, instead of being able to pick and make those perfect pitches on the edge that he's used to getting called," Matheny said.

"Not an excuse and he won't (excuse it) either, because then he had some pitches that weren't exactly very characteristic of Adam. But this guy has been phenomenal all season, and we know he's going to be that way the next time we see him."

St. Louis tried to rally from a 7-0 deficit with Matt Holliday's 11th homer leading off the sixth, a two-out RBI single by Matt Carpenter in the seventh, and his two-run triple in the ninth.

Ramirez homered in the second and knocked home a run with a double in the second, and Braun added an RBI double in the fifth. The roof fell in on Wainwright when he gave up Lucroy's three-run double in a four-run sixth.

After that blow, Braun doubled home the last run of the inning off Maness, with the run charged to Wainwright.

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