“Craig did a great job of hitting, and Holliday forearmed the ball out of there,” Wolf said. “I was confident [that] I could keep them at that score.”
Wolf was pitching for the first time since a disastrous start at Arizona in Game 4 of the first round, when he was pounded by the Diamondbacks for seven earned runs in three ugly innings, putting the Brewers on the edge of elimination. He said he didn’t eat or shower the day after that start, and had to sweat through the Brewers’ tense Game 5 victory that let him off the hook and gave him a shot at redemption Thursday night.
Randy Wolf survived a shaky second inning as the Milwaukee Brewers roared back to beat the Cardinals in St. Louis 4-2. The win evened up the best of seven NLCS after four games. (Oct. 13).
The Detroit Tigers kept their playoff hopes alive Thursday night with a 7-5 win over the Texas Rangers. Justin Verlander pitched the Tigers to the win while Delmon Young hit two home runs. (Oct. 13)
“I don’t know if they call that depression, but it was tough to swallow,” Wolf said of his NLDS loss. “. . . It was a big feeling just to be back out there after [that] start.”
Given the stakes, the setting and La Russa’s proclivity for wearing a path from the dugout to the pitcher’s mound, it was hardly a surprise when the Cardinals manager made an early call to the bullpen, just as starter Kyle Lohse was about to face Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder for third time, in the top of the fifth inning of a tie game.
There was one out and Nyjer Morgan was on third base, having doubled to lead off and moved to third on a grounder to second. The call went to right-hander Mitchell Boggs to face Braun, and Braun fouled off a couple of tough pitches until he got a fastball to drive. His single to left put the Brewers ahead, 3-2, and snapped a string of 18 consecutive Milwaukee batters retired by the Cardinals’ bullpen.
“The key to success against a team [that] is playing as well as these guys are,” Braun said, “is taking advantage of the opportunities you get with runners on base.”
La Russa has yet to entrust a starter beyond the fifth inning in this series — which is how you wind up with a split of 17 2/3 innings pitched by St. Louis starters in the series, versus 17 1/3 innings pitched by relievers. On some teams, that would be unsustainable. For the Cardinals, it’s expected.
If only La Russa could coax a starter deep into the game. If only he could ease off the throttle for a night. If only he had a Randy Wolf.