St. Louis might need more than a miracle to catch the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. That doesn’t mean the Cardinals have given up.
The Cardinals try for a third straight win and look to hand the Brewers their first losing home series in almost two months Wednesday night.
St. Louis (71-64) had won once in its previous eight games at Miller Park before Edwin Jackson(notes) pitched seven solid innings and drove home the go-ahead run a 2-1 win over Milwaukee (81-55) in Tuesday’s series opener. Though the Cardinals are a distant 9 1/2 games behind the Brewers (81-55), they have a chance to make up ground quickly with the teams meeting five more times in the next week.
St. Louis has a chance to hand Milwaukee back-to-back losses for the first time since July 23 and 24 at San Francisco, and ensure its first losing series at Miller Park since dropping the first two of a three-game set versus Arizona from July 4-6. Winners of 27 of 33 overall, the Brewers have won 21 of 25 at Miller Park since losing two in a row to the Diamondbacks.
Wolf (11-8, 3.37 ERA) is looking to continue a strong stretch in which he’s gone 5-0 with a 2.57 ERA in six starts - all Milwaukee wins - since losing at San Francisco on July 23. He’s defeated the Cardinals twice in that span.
The left-hander allowed five runs in six innings of a 10-5 home win over St. Louis on Aug. 3, and one run in eight innings of a 5-1 victory at Busch Stadium one week later.
Wolf yielded two runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-2 win over the Cubs on Friday.
“I always felt that if I was healthy, I had the ability to pitch,” Wolf said. “I actually feel better at 35 than I did at 25. I hope that continues.”
The Cardinals counter with Jake Westbrook(notes) (10-7, 4.75), who looks to avoid a third straight loss to the Brewers. The right-hander allowed three runs over eight innings in the loss to Wolf and the Brewers earlier this month, and gave up four in five innings of a 4-3 loss at Miller Park on June 12.
He surrendered four runs and matched a season high with five walks in six innings but did not factor in the decision of a 5-4 victory over Pittsburgh on Friday.
Corey Hart(notes) is 3 for 6 with a homer versus Westbrook, while Nyjer Morgan(notes) is 3 for 8 against him. That pair combined for five of Milwaukee’s seven hits Tuesday. Batting .341 (15 for 44) with 11 RBIs in 11 games versus St. Louis this season, Hart is 20 for 49 (.408) during a 12-game overall hitting streak.
With a victory Wednesday, the Brewers would finish August with 22 wins, a franchise record for any month.