John Stuper on the mound; Milwaukee Brewers in a stupor.

"How can you explain this?" asked catcher Ted Simmons, repeating the obvious question after the Cardinals 13-1 rout to tie the World Series at three games each. "Can't. Not any more than you can explain our winning the first game by 10-0."

He tried anyway:

"They hit, and didn't have any bad defensive plays; we had a bunch of errors (after being defensively brilliant in Game 5). It kept adding up."

And Stuper, who through eight innings held the Brewers to one fewer hit than they had errors? Simmons paused.

"He threw strikes."

Anything that excited the Brewers? Another pause.

"He threw strikes."

The effect on Milwaukee for game 7 Wednesday?

"None," Simmons emphasized. "Everything that's happened up to now means nothing. One game left. Yeah, a couple players said some things right after the game, that we've all been through this before. That's what it's come down to again."

The Brewers won the American League East championship the final day of the season; they won the American League playoffs on the last day.

"Hope our luck holds again," said right fielder Charlie Moore.

Some Brewers seemed sorry the game was not called during the second, 2-hour 13-minute, delay, in the last of the sixth with St. Louis ahead by 8-0.

"As I understand it," Simmons said, "no (World Series) game has ever been called, so we didn't expect it. And there was plenty of time to get it in. It's not like there's a day game tomorrow."

Many witnesses, soggy ones here and those watching television, assumed the score should have been 14-1, that Lonnie Smith beat Simmons' tag trying to steal home in the third. Simmons agreed with plate umpire Jim Evans. In fact, Simmons thought 12-1 would have been correct, that Willie McGee was out at the plate even though Simmons dropped Moore's throw.

"He didn't touch home," Simmons insisted. "I've got red paint all over my shin guards. That's why I tagged him (after recovering the ball). I'd be very surprised if he touched home."

He sighed and said:

"It doesn't matter."