As Nick Stavinoha goes, so go the Cardinals.
The recently called up flychaser had a part in all three of the Redbirds runs Wednesday, driving in two and scoring another, as St. Louis downed the Brewers 3-2. The victory gave the Birds a 2-1 series victory over Milwaukee after the Brewers had swept the team's two previous series.
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Stavinoha, a little heralded 28-year-old, has had clutch hits that were instrumental to three Cardinals victories in the last week. He's hitting only .250, but he has managed to make his hits count.
Todd Wellemeyer didn't go deep into the game, but he was much more effective this time out, holding the Brewers to two runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched. He gave up six hits and walked one while striking out five. A crew of five relievers combined to finish the game, allowing two hits and four runs. Ryan Franklin pitched 1 1/3 innings to get his 12th save.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Stavinoha
Lowlight: Albert Pujols was 0-2 as major league pitchers have universally decided not to pitch to him -- ever -- as long as the Cardinals don't have anybody capable of protecting him in the batting order.
Manager Tony La Russa might as well bat Pujols leadoff so he might get honestly pitched to once a game. Otherwise, he is forced to expand his strike zone in effort to make something happen.