Brewers bullpen shuts out Cardinals in Game 1 of doubleheader to buoy postseason hopes

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The most direct route for the Milwaukee Brewers to the expanded postseason is through the Cardinals by winning the four remaining games in this weekend series.

The Brew Crew bullpen, known for its finish, gave them the start needed.

Milwaukee shut out the Cardinals, 3-0, in Game 1 of the doubleheader Friday at Busch Stadium. Christian Yelich had a home run, and all three runs came against Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty. In Flaherty’s previous two starts against them, the Brewers have scored 12 runs.

Flaherty (4-3) was in command early, especially with his curveball. He struck out two batters on it in the first inning. Then a steady stream of walks undermined his outing. He walked four in five innings. Two of them were leadoff walks. One of them ended up costing him a run.

It took Flaherty 95 pitches to get 15 outs in the 21-out game.

Not that he had much support.

Or any.

Against a patchwork of Brewers’ relievers — beginning with part-time starter Brent Suter — the Cardinals managed five hits. They did get three at-bats with a runner in scoring position. Of course, those were the final three at-bats of the game. Josh Hader, the Brewers’ uber-closer, struck out the final two batters he faced for the save. St. Louis native Devin Williams handled the bridge inning and did not allow a runner to reach second base.

He coaxed two double plays to keep the Brewers’ lead unthreatened.

The win moved the Brewers to 28-29 and closer to the Cardinals (28-27). The Cardinals have had seven chances to get three games better than .500 this season, and they are 0-7 now in those games.


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