The Cardinals foiled the Cubs catch-up efforts yet again Wednesday, sweeping the Brewers with a 5-1 win in the finale of a three-game set in Milwaukee and reducing the magic number to 12.
Adam Wainwright pitched seven strong innings, allowing only five hits and a walk while racking up six strikeouts. By shutting out the Brew Crew for seven innings, Wainwright lowered his ERA to 2.59 while notching his MLB leading 18th win.
Albert Pujols paced the offense with a pair of homers and two runs scored with three RBIs in a 3-for-4 day. Matt Holliday drove in a run in the first with a sacrifice fly, but came out of the game a short time later when a fall at first base apparently resulted in a bruised knee.
Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols flashes a smile to his teammates after cracking one of his two homers Wednesday against Milwaukee. AP photo.
I find the above photo to be interesting because the legend is that Pujols has a knack for predicting what opposing hurlers are going to throw him before an at bat, often predicting his homers to his teammates. It sure looks like that could be what he is reacting to here.
Colby Rasmus, who played again with a bruised heel after it was announced that he would be kept on the bench was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI.
Kyle McClellan, who struggled in August, pitched the ninth inning for the second day in a row. And for the second time in a row, it was non-eventful, allowing regular closer Ryan Franklin the time off manager Tony La Russa said he needed for the stretch run.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Pujols, who now has 47 homers, hit them both off of former teammates -- the first off of 2006 World Series pitcher Jeff Suppan and the second off of longtime Cardinals prospect Chris Narveson.
Lowlight: Skip Schumaker was 0-for-5 with a strikeout from the leadoff spot.