Cheap Seats

Game 31: Cardinals 10, Brewers 1

The Milwaukee paper on Sunday morning referred to the Cardinals as the "winged menace."

And there's little doubt why the people in Wisconsin feel that way.

After all, St. Louis swept away the Brewers in a four-game series completed Sunday at Miller Park. And, before that, the Cardinals took two of three games at Busch Stadium. Milwaukee, which won nine games in a row after leaving St. Louis, is 14-16 for the season. Subtract the Redbirds impact on their record and they'd be 13-10.

For whatever reason, the Cardinals have Milwaukee's number. And it's prevented the Brewers, at least through the first five weeks of the season, from being serious contenders.

Milwaukee on Sunday played with fire, allowing a pair of Cardinals on base before wiggling out of trouble with no damage done.

But the Brewers weren't as lucky in the second when, with two on and two out, the Redbirds were able to score six runs when Jon Jay was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Shane Robinson walked to force in a run, Matt Holliday walked to drive in the second run, Allen Craig ripped a double down the left field line to plate the third, fourth and fifth runs and Yadier Molina singled up the middle to drive home the sixth.

It was all the support starting pitcher Jaime Garcia would need.

The Cardinals lefty threw eight innings, scattering eight hits while allowing only one run.

Four of the hits came in the bottom of the fifth when Milwaukee scored its only run. Carlos Gomez doubled to left to start the inning. But the other three hits were all infield squibs that managed to find a place to hide from fielders until the batter reached first base.

Garcia bent but he didn't break. He fought through the inning with minimal damage allowed. And then he settled it to help preserve the bullpen for Chicago.

It's obvious, the key to the Cardinals' early season success is getting starters deep into the ballgame. If the ball stays out of the bullpen's hands until it's Trevor Rosenthal or Edward Mujica territory, it's more than likely the guys in red are going to win.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Garcia never let the Brewers up off the mat. Hopefully, he did a little something to quiet the naysayers who complain that he can't pitch on the road with a dominating performance at the home of a competitive division rival.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Craig's double to break the game open. He also had a triple later in the game and has raised his batting average to .291 for the season after a slow start.

Lowlight: Ty Wigginton continues to sink. He struck out in his lone at-bat to drop his season batting average to .136.