The St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday did the last thing they wanted to do: They gave the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates reason to believe they can win.
The Redbirds fumbled away a game-long lead to the Brewers by failing to add on after establishing an early advantage. Then closer Trevor Rosenthal allowed a lead-off walk and an 0-2 double to allow the game to be tied in the ninth and, eventually, lost in extra innings.
Milwaukee could have been knocked out early when the Cardinals found themselves with the bases loaded and no one out in the bottom of the first inning following singles by Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay and Matt Holliday.
St. Louis plated one run when Matt Adams walked. But what could have become a big rally was killed when Jhonny Peralta hit into a double play that made the score 2-0. Yadier Molina made the final out and that was in for the Cardinals who collected only three more hits and no runs over the remaining 8 innings of regulation play and one hit and no runs in three frames of extra play.
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Milwaukee scored a run in the top of the 12th and the Cardinals were unable to answer. The result is that the Brewers pulled to withing four games of the Birds with two games left in the series and 11 left in the season. Pittsburgh, which seems to have an endless supply of last place teams to face, defeated the Boston Red Sox to pull within 2 1/2 games of St. Louis.
Remember when Lance Lynn used to be criticized as a guy who only won because he pitched on days when the offense scored a bunch of runs? Yeah, well that's not happening these days.
Lynn hurled seven innings in which he allowed only one run. He scattered five hits and walked one while striking out five. But he was unable to overcome the lack of St. Louis offense which kept him from securing a deserved win.
With any sort of decent offensive support, Lynn could be threatening the 20 win mark this season.