|Milwaukee (80-82) «||0||2||0||1||1||0||2||0||1||2||9||15||2|
|St. Louis (91-71)||1||0||0||0||0||0||3||2||1||0||7||7||0|
ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals are scuffling to the postseason, going 1-6 after clinching the NL Central. It's hardly a crisis of confidence.
"Yeah, we made some mistakes this whole series," Albert Pujols said after the Milwaukee Brewers completed a three-game sweep with a 9-7, 10-inning victory on Sunday. "Some errors here and there, but listen, this is part of the game.
"I'll think we'll be all right."
Players noted that the Cardinals weren't alone in taking a collective sigh of relief after clinching. They open the playoffs Wednesday at the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"Every team is solid, and it seems like every team is kind of struggling coming into the postseason," shortstop Brendan Ryan said. "I know it's two separate things, and everybody's going to be at their best."
Prince Fielder homered twice and Jody Gerut's two-out infield hit drove in the go-ahead run for Milwaukee, which swept the Cardinals on the road for the second time this season. The Brewers finished 80-82 hours after Ken Macha learned he'd be back for a second season.
"It's cool," Fielder said. "We have a manager we know."
The Cardinals failed to make it a happy 65th birthday for manager Tony La Russa, who joked before the game that he was looking forward to getting the senior citizen discount at the movie theater.
"We just got swept, you can't deny that," La Russa said. "We have a couple of days to get ready, and we'll play well on Wednesday."
Fielder ended with 46 homers, one behind Albert Pujols for the major league lead, and drove in three runs to tie Ryan Howard for the majors' RBI title at 141. He lost a chance to take the RBI title outright when he drew an intentional walk to load the bases in the 10th.
Mid-game replacement David Freese had two hits and three RBI for St. Louis, including a two-run bloop single off Chris Smith (1-0) to tie it at 6 in the eighth. Freese made his professional debut at catcher in the 10th after the Cardinals pinch-hit for two catchers. Yadier Molina got a day off to rest a sore knee.
Fielder's second homer of the game came in the ninth came off Todd Wellemeyer (7-10). The Cardinals forced extra innings against Trevor Hoffman (3-2) when Julio Lugo beat the relay on a potential game-ending double-play ball with the bases loaded.
Pujols won his first NL homer title and St. Louis' first since Mark McGwire hit 65 in 1999 despite going without a long ball in his last 79 at-bats since Sept. 9. He led the majors in slugging percentage for the third straight season, finished second to Hanley Ramirez with a .327 average, and was third with 135 RBI.
Pujols said he could have hit 50 homers but not if he wanted to bat .330, too.
"Believe me, I can go out there and try to hit the ball out of the park, but that's being selfish," Pujols said. "I want to help my team to win and that's by driving the ball, getting on base and driving it to the gap."
He got a prolonged standing ovation after setting a major league assists record at first base with 185, which reflects his range at the position.
Joel Pineiro, who'll start Game 3 of the division series Saturday in St. Louis, allowed three earned runs in five innings. He was 1-3 with a 4.75 ERA in his last five starts. Though he allowed 11 homers on the season he gave up four long balls in the last two games.
Jeff Suppan got a ceremonial 30th start for the Brewers, giving up a run on two hits in two innings. He's made 30 starts in 11 straight seasons, tied with Livan Hernandez for the longest streak among active players.
|Prince Fielder ends his season in style, blasting two home runs as the Brewers complete the sweep. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Felipe Lopez, 2B||5||1||3||0||1||0||0||.310|
|Jody Gerut, RF||6||1||1||1||0||0||4||.230|
|Ryan Braun, LF||5||1||2||1||1||0||0||.320|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||5||2||3||3||1||0||1||.299|
|Casey McGehee, 3B||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.301|
|Mat Gamel, 3B||3||0||2||1||0||1||0||.242|
|Chris Smith, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- J.J. Hardy, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.229|
|Trevor Hoffman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Jason Bourgeois, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||3||.189|
|John Axford, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mike Cameron, CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||4||.250|
|Corey Patterson, CF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.103|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||4||3||2||0||0||2||0||.304|
|Jason Kendall, C||4||0||1||2||0||1||1||.241|
|Jeff Suppan, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.143|
|Chris Narveson, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.125|
|Seth McClung, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Craig Counsell, PH-3B||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||.285|
|a-struck out for Smith in the 9th|
|b-fouled out for Hoffman in the 10th|
|c-walked for McClung in the 8th|
|2B - Felipe Lopez (38, Reyes), Ryan Braun (39, Wellemeyer), Mat Gamel (6, Pineiro), Jason Kendall (19, Pineiro)|
|HR - Prince Fielder 2 (46, Pineiro, Wellemeyer)|
|SH - Jason Kendall (6)|
|RBI - Jody Gerut (35), Ryan Braun (114), Prince Fielder 3 (141), Mat Gamel (20), Jason Kendall 2 (43)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jody Gerut (11), Ryan Braun (36), Prince Fielder 2 (57), Mat Gamel (6)|
|SB - Ryan Braun (20, 3rd base off Miller/Pagnozzi), Alcides Escobar 2 (4, 3rd base off Pineiro/LaRue, 3rd base off Wellemeyer/Freese)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|E - Mat Gamel 2 (7, Misplayed grounder)|
|Seth McClung (H,5)||0.2||0||0||0||1||0||0||4.94|
|Chris Smith (BS,1)||1||2||2||2||1||0||0||4.11|
|Trevor Hoffman (BS,4; W,3-2)||1||0||1||1||3||1||0||1.83|
|John Axford (S,1)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||3.52|
|WP - Chris Narveson 2 (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Suppan 30-19, Chris Narveson 92-53, Seth McClung 9-4, Chris Smith 23-12, Trevor Hoffman 29-15, John Axford 17-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Suppan 2-2, Chris Narveson 5-5, Seth McClung 1-1, Chris Smith 1-2, Trevor Hoffman 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Jeff Suppan 9, Chris Narveson 21, Seth McClung 3, Chris Smith 6, Trevor Hoffman 6, John Axford 3|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Skip Schumaker, 2B||3||1||2||0||0||0||0||.303|
|Mitchell Boggs, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.071|
|David Freese, 3B-C||3||0||2||3||0||1||0||.323|
|Brendan Ryan, SS||5||1||0||0||0||1||4||.292|
|Todd Wellemeyer, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.128|
|a- Khalil Greene, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.200|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||5||0||1||0||1||1||3||.327|
|Matt Holliday, LF||3||0||1||2||2||2||1||.313|
|Ryan Ludwick, RF||3||1||0||1||2||1||2||.265|
|Colby Rasmus, CF||4||0||0||0||1||1||4||.251|
|Mark DeRosa, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.250|
|Dennys Reyes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Kyle McClellan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Trever Miller, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Josh Kinney, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Yadier Molina, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.293|
|c- Joe Thurston, PH-2B||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.225|
|d- Rick Ankiel, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.231|
|Tyler Greene, SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.222|
|Jason LaRue, C||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.240|
|Julio Lugo, 2B-SS^2B||2||2||1||1||1||0||0||.280|
|Joel Pineiro, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.136|
|Matt Pagnozzi, C||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|e- Troy Glaus, PH-3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.172|
|a-struck out for Wellemeyer in the 10th|
|b-announced for Kinney in the 8th|
|c-walked for Molina in the 8th|
|d-walked for Thurston in the 9th|
|e-flied out for Pagnozzi in the 9th|
|2B - Matt Holliday (39, Suppan)|
|SH - Matt Pagnozzi (1)|
|RBI - David Freese 3 (7), Matt Holliday 2 (109), Ryan Ludwick (97), Julio Lugo (21)|
|2-OUT RBI - Matt Holliday (41)|
|SB - Julio Lugo (9, 2nd base off Narveson/Kendall)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|PB - Jason LaRue (1)|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Todd Wellemeyer (L,7-10)||2||4||3||3||2||2||1||5.89|
|IBB - Fielder by Todd Wellemeyer|
|HBP - Escobar (by Joel Pineiro)|
|WP - Joel Pineiro (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Joel Pineiro 81-52, Mitchell Boggs 16-9, Dennys Reyes 7-5, Kyle McClellan 2-1, Trever Miller 10-6, Josh Kinney 20-9, Todd Wellemeyer 58-38|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joel Pineiro 5-6, Mitchell Boggs 2-0, Dennys Reyes 2-0, Todd Wellemeyer 2-2|
|Batters Faced - Joel Pineiro 23, Mitchell Boggs 3, Dennys Reyes 3, Kyle McClellan 1, Trever Miller 3, Josh Kinney 5, Todd Wellemeyer 12|
|Attendance - 43464|
|Game Time - 3:52|
|Temperature - 62|
|Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Bill Welke|