ST. LOUIS — Alex Reyes has experienced the highs and the lows that come with the job of being a closer in the major-leagues this season, and unfortunately for the Cardinals, he suffered another low on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.
Trying to earn his 28th save, Reyes served up a home run to Avisail Garcia in the ninth inning that allowed the Brewers to tie the game 3-3.
Brought back out to pitch the 10th, a wild pitch by Reyes allowed the go-ahead run to score and his two-base throwing error came in front of a pair of two-out hits that let the Brewers pick up two more runs and go on to their second consecutive win over the Cardinals.
“It’s tough, especially coming into this series and knowing it’s a big series, and having the lead there in the ninth and giving it up it’s tough, it’s tough to go home tonight and swallow that one,” Reyes said. “But tomorrow’s another day, another opportunity to go out and perform and it’s what I’m looking forward to right now.
“It’s not easy going out there and having the game in your hand and ending up on the losing end. It’s a tough one for sure.”
The Cardinals got one of the runs back in the bottom of the 10th on an RBI single by Yadier Molina, getting the tying run to the plate, but Paul DeJong and Harrison Bader struck out to end the game.
The loss cost the Cardinals a chance to pick up a game in the wild-card race on the two teams ahead of them, the Padres and Reds, both of whom lost on Wednesday.
The Padres currently hold that spot, with a four-game lead over the Cardinals.
“We’re still right in it,” said starter Jack Flaherty. “I knew going into today’s game that San Diego had lost and we had a chance to pick up a game. It made the start that much more fun knowing that. I hate scoreboard watching, but it was on and I saw it that they lost.
“A lot of these teams don’t want to see us in the playoffs. It doesn’t matter how we get in or where we get in. All we’ve got to do is take care of what we can. We’re not nearly as far out as it may look to some people. It’s right there.”
Here is how Wednesday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: After Paul Goldschmidt doubled in the first, he scored on a two-out single by Tyler O’Neill. Molina was hit nu a pitch before O’Neill scored on a single by Lars Nootbaar … Goldschmidt’s RBI double in the second followed a two-out single by Tommy Edman … That was the Cardinals last hit until Bader singled with one out in the sixth … Nolan Arenado was 0-of-4 and struck out three times, two of them coming on checked swings that were called strikes by first base umpire Alan Porter. When he yelled and gestured at Porter as he started to take the field for the eighth inning Arenado was ejected.
On the mound: Flaherty retired the first 10 hitters he faced before Willy Adames homered with one out in the fourth. Garcia homered leading off the fifth to cut the Cardinals lead to 3-2 but Flaherty was able to pitch around an infield single and his own error, and a leadoff walk in the sixth, to protect the one-run lead before leaving for a pinch-hitter. He allowed four hits, just the one walk and struck out eight in his six innings … Genesis Cabrera’s scoreless seventh inning extended his streak without allowing a run to 13 2/3 innings … Giovanny Gallegos allowed a single and walk with one out in the eighth but escaped with a foul popout and a strikeout … Reyes took over in the ninth but blew the save when he gave up Garcia’s second homer of the game, his second blown save of the season.
Key stat: Goldschmidt raised his average in 15 games so far this month to .345 (20-of-58) with 14 RBIs.
Worth noting: The Cardinals’ first-round pick in this year’s draft, Michael McGreevy, made his professional debut on Wednesday with a one-inning outing in the rookie-level Florida Complex League. After walking just 11 batters in 101 innings in his college season, McGreevy walked the first hitter he faced. He gave up a run, but got out of the inning with a strikeout and a double play … The Cardinals placed reliever Justin Miller on the injured list with a sore elbow and recalled Junior Fernandez from Memphis … Kwang Hyun Kim, back on the injured list because of a sore elbow, is scheduled to make a rehab appearance with Memphis on Thursday night. He is expected to throw about 35 to 40 pitches … The Cardinals announced their 2022 spring training schedule on Wednesday. Their 30-game schedule will begin on Feb. 26 and conclude on March 27. Only two games will not be on Florida’s east coast, games against the Yankees on March 5 in Tampa and the following day against the Tigers in Lakeland.
Looking ahead: Jon Lester will get the start in the final game of the series against the Brewers on Thursday night as the Cardinals try to prevent a series sweep.