Walton's Game Observations – Tuesday – Brewers 5-4

The Milwaukee Brewers came back from a four-run deficit to defeat the Cardinals 5-4 Tuesday night.

The St. Louis Cardinals blew a 4-0 lead, losing to the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 Tuesday night at Busch Stadium, splitting the first two of the four-game midweek series in the process. The Cardinals' record is 60-33.

Jeff Suppan took on Doug Davis. Neither was particularly sharp, but Suppan fought through six, allowing three runs on six hits. His reward would have been his tenth win of the season, but Julian Tavarez blew the save, allowing two in the eighth.

Albert Pujols hit a two-run home run. Hector Luna and David Eckstein each had two hits.

Lotsa fans
With over 44,000 in the stands, the Cardinals surpassed the two million fan mark for the season Tuesday night. The team is on target for its largest attendance year in the stadium's history, surpassing the high set in 2000 (3,336,493).

Another schedule announcement
Just as they did for this coming Sunday, ESPN has announced they will pick up another Cubs-Cards Sunday game. Next time, it will be the Cardinals game vs. the Cubs at Wrigley on Sunday night, August 14. The game time will move from 1:20pm to 7:05pm.

Kliner on edge
After being rumored to be part of a trade with Florida, Steve Kline was asked on Monday to report to Double-A Bowie, according to the Baltimore Sun. The Birds wanted to make the move to clear up a roster spot for Erik Bedard and because Kline has been ineffective. Kliner refused, as is his right, which forced the team to designate James Baldwin for assignment instead.

Whitey Herzog Bobblehead Night
A number of players from the ‘80s returned for Tuesday's game, including Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee, as the house was sold out. Oddly, Whitey did not pull down the countdown clock, as #34, Danny Cox, removed his number. Likely, they are saving Whitey for later in the season.

Tuesday's lineup – Albert and some other guys
Eckstein, Taguchi (cf), Pujols, Rolen, Grudzielanek, Luna (rf), Rodriguez (lf), Diaz and Suppan. Scott Rolen returned, a day after his shoulder MRI. The entire outfield consists of bench players, 2/3 of whom were in Memphis last week. No offense to the players, but let's hope this isn't a lineup we'd ever have to see in the playoffs. La Russa is resting many of his studs for the upcoming Cubs series. Jim Edmonds has a sore hamstring. Einar Diaz returned from a three game exile, probably since his bat was deemed to be needed.

On to the game…

Brewers first – False alarm
Brady Clark led off the game with a single and took second on a ground out. That was it.

Cards first – Lead taken again
Eckstein started the home hitting with a single. He was forced out at second when So's bunt was popped into the air. While Davis dropped the ball, his throw beat Eck to the base. Albert slammed a ball into the bullpen in left for his 25th home run and 74th and 75th RBIs of the season. Rolen walked but when Grudz flied out, Rolen apparently thought there were two outs and kept running, right into the final out of the inning. Cards 2-0.

Brewers second – A baserunner
With two out, Russell Branyan shot a bouncer up the middle that eluded Eckstein for a home-team single.

Cards second - J-Rod on
Rodriguez singled with one out. Nice to see.

Cards third - Rolen delivers run
So slapped a ball that got past Clark for a one-out triple. Albert was given a free pass. Rolen delivered a sac fly. Cards 3-0.

Cards fourth – Bottom of the lineup delivers
Luna singled and J-Rod walked. Diaz singled the run home. Suppan moved Diaz up on a sac as J-Rod stayed at third. Cards 4-0.

Brewers fifth – Suppan suddenly shaky
Luna, learning the outfield on the job, let a Damian Miller ball get by him in the right center gap, turning a single into a double. Al immediately said, "He (Luna) hasn't hurt us at all in the outfield this season or last." Before the words were out of his mouth, Branyan doubled past So in center to score the run. Clark's single past Grudz scored another. Cards 4-2.

Cards fifth – Rolen clearly not right
Against a new Brewers hurler, Dana Eveland, Rolen grimaced in pain as he checked his swing one pitch before striking out. Grudz singled with two out and Luna reached on a swinging bunt hit down the line. Both were stranded by J-Rod.

Brewers sixth – Soup gets out of it
Lyle Overbay hammered the first pitch of the inning to left for an opposite-field homer. Randy Flores and Al Reyes were up and throwing, but Suppan buckled down and got his three outs. They should be his last outs of the night. Cards 4-3.

Cards sixth – Soup stays for a few minutes longer
Suppan was allowed to hit, apparently because the bench is short-handed, or at least La Russa wants to rest the starters the entire evening.

Brewers seventh – Skating by
Randy Flores took the mound to start the inning. With one out, Al Reyes came in and allowed a J.J. Hardy single. J-Rod poorly played a fly ball to left, allowing the third out to reach in Clark. But, Reyes fanned Rickie Weeks to escape.

Cards seventh – Good chance missed
Rolen singled with two out and surprisingly stole his first base of the season. Guess his legs are ok. Bill Hall at third made a fielding error on Grudz' routine grounder to put runners on the corners instead of ending the inning. Grudz stole second without a throw. Luna just missed a hit, but Hall caught it for the final out.

Brewers eighth – Tavarez coughs up lead
Overbay singled leading off against Ray King. He was pulled for Julian Tavarez, who promptly used Albert to collect an unassisted double play. Jenkins reached on a ricochet play off Tavarez and Grudz. Luna nicely cut off a single by Miller to keep runners on the corners. Bill Hall doubled off the line into the right field corner, as Luna's throw home was up the line, allowing the second runner to score. Hall took third on the throw, where he stayed. Brewers 5-4.

Cards eighth – Great chance
Pinch-hitter Abraham Nunez singled with two out. Carlos Lee didn't go all out to get a ball as Eckstein's single put runners at the corners. The Brewers changed pitchers from Jorge de la Rosa to Julio Santana. Pinch-hitter Jim Edmonds flied out on the first pitch.

Brewers ninth – Eldred creates and eliminates jam
Trent Durrington stroked a leadoff ground rule double to left leading off against Cal Eldred. Clark bunted him over to third. But, Eldred fanned the next two to escape.

Cards ninth – Over and out
Milwaukee closer Derrick Turnbow retired the final three hitters without incident.

Upcoming action (times CDT)
Wednesday vs. Brewers: Mark Mulder vs. Ben Sheets 7:10pm FSNM
Thursday vs. Brewers: Jason Marquis vs. Chris Capuano 2:10pm FSNM
Friday vs. Cubs: Chris Carpenter vs. Carlos Zambrano 7:10pm FSNM
Saturday vs. Cubs: Matt Morris vs. Jerome Williams 2:15pm Big FOX
Sunday vs. Cubs: Jeff Suppan vs. Mark Prior 7:05pm ESPN

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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