Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals - Game Three

NLCS Game 3 Live Blog: Brewers vs. Cardinals

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11:20pm: Thanks for hanging out. Game 4 of the NLCS is scheduled for Thursday at 8:05 p.m. ET.

11:19pm: McGehee also chases a high fastball from Mote. Game over.

11:18pm: The Brewers will pinch-hit for Lucroy with Casey McGehee.

11:16pm: Betancourt chases high heat. Two down.

11:14pm: Hairston grounds out to shortstop. One down.

11:11pm: Furcal strikes out. The Brewers will send Hairston, Betancourt and Lucroy to the plate in the top of the ninth inning, down one run. The Cardinals can take a 2-1 NLCS lead if Motte closes it out.

11:07pm: Punto strikes out to open the frame, then Fielder makes a nice play on a tough hop to retire Descalso. The Cardinals are back to the top of their order, but they have two outs here in the eighth.

11:03pm: Motte strikes out Weeks, hitting 99 mph with his out-pitch. To the bottom of the eighth…

11:00pm: The Cardinals bring in closer Jason Motte for a four-out save.

10:57pm: Rzep fans Fielder. TBS’ Ron Darling calls his last slider the “biggest pitch Marc has ever thrown.”

10:54pm: Freese has been replaced by the more defensively adept Daniel Descalso.

10:53pm: Lynn stays in the game and retires Braun on a groundout to second base. The Cardinals will bring in left-hander Marc Rzepczynski to face Fielder, then probably a right-hander to face Weeks.

10:49pm: Freese grounds into an inning-ending double play. The Cards hold a mere one-run lead and the Brewers have Braun, Fielder and Weeks set to bat in the bottom of the seventh. Huge inning for Milwaukee.

10:46pm: Molina flies out to right field. Freese, who is 3-for-3, steps to the dish.

10:44pm: The Brewers bring in Takashi Saito, who plunks Berkman with his first delivery.

10:39pm: Hart also flies out to center, then Kotsay flies to right. Lynn sets ’em down in the top of the seventh.

10:35pm: Morgan flies out to center field. More boos from the St. Louis faithful.

10:33pm: Lance Lynn enters and will face pinch-hitter Nyjer Morgan. Big boos from the crowd.

10:30pm: Holliday strikes out again with two batters on. He’s 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored so far in this NLCS Game 3. The Cardinals still lead the Brewers 4-3 as the top of the seventh inning arrives.

10:26pm: Pujols is intentionally walked. The pressure is on Holliday yet again.

10:24pm: Jay flies out to left field. Pujols steps in with a man on second base.

10:20pm: Furcal bunts Craig over to second base. Jay and Pujols are coming up.

10:18pm: Allen “Wrench” Craig singles to left field as a pinch-hitter to open the frame.

10:17pm: Gallardo is also finished after five innings. He allowed eight hits and walked five, but the Cardinals were only able to score those four first-inning runs. The right-hander tossed 95 pitches (48 strikes). The Brewers’ first reliever of the night will be veteran right-hander LaTroy Hawkins.

10:14pm: Salas quickly retires all three batters in the top of the sixth. To the bottom half we go.

10:12pm: The Redbirds’ first reliever is Fernando Salas.

10:10pm: Carpenter is done for the night. He allowed six hits and three earned runs over five innings, issuing three walks against three strikeouts. Carp threw 89 pitches, 48 of which went for strikes.

10:08pm: Gallardo strikes out Punto. Let’s head to the sixth.

10:04pm: Berkman pops up on a first-pitch swing to open the bottom of the fifth, then Molina is retired on a fly ball in foul territory. But Freese stays hot with his third hit of the night, a single to right field.

9:59pm: Carp fans Weeks to escape the danger. To the bottom of the fifth we go.

9:55pm: Fielder is issued an intentional pass after Carpenter falls to a 3-0 count.

9:53pm: Light rain has begun falling at Busch Stadium.

9:51pm: Braun flies out to the right-field warning track, but Kotsay tags and advances to second base.

9:50pm: Hart strikes out, Kotsay walks. The Brewers have a runner on with Braun and Fielder coming up.

9:44pm: Holliday chases high heat and strikes out. Gallardo escapes a big jam. The Cardinals lead 4-3 as we head to the top of the fifth inning. Carpenter is at 67 pitches and Gallardo is up to 82.

9:42pm: Pujols advances to second base on a ball in the dirt.

9:40pm: Gallardo intentionally walks Pujols, bringing up Holliday with runners at first and third.

9:39pm: Jay swings on the first pitch and grounds into a double play. Ugly at-bat.

9:38pm: Furcal walks. Gallardo has now thrown 71 pitches, just 35 for strikes.

9:35pm: Carpenter leads off the bottom of the fourth inning with a hot shot to shortstop, where Betancourt couldn’t make a play. The Cardinals now have the top of their batting order coming up.

9:31pm: Gallardo grounds out to end the top of the fourth.

9:29pm: Punto snags a hard-hit line drive from Lucroy for the second out of the fourth inning. Betancourt was almost doubled up at first base, but Pujols couldn’t keep his back leg on the bag.

9:26pm: Holliday makes a sliding catch on a Hairston pop-up for the first out of the fourth inning, then Betancourt reaches when Freese can’t complete a diving stop at the hot corner. One on, one out.

9:21pm: Punto grounds out to second to end the threat. This NLCS Game 3 heads to the fourth inning. The Cardinals still lead 4-3, but Gallardo appears to be settling in faster than Carpenter.

9:18pm: Berkman grounds out to second base to open the bottom of the third, then Molina flies out to center field. But Freese keeps the inning alive with a ground-rule double over the head of Braun.

9:12pm: Weeks grounds out to end the top of the third. The Cardinals will bat with a one-run lead.

9:11pm: Furcal turns an impressive double play on Fielder, who broke his bat on contact.

9:10pm: Braun bloops a broken-bat single to right. He’s 5-for-9 in this series and 14-for-27 this postseason.

9:08pm: Kotsay, who made two bad mistakes in the first inning, just sent a no-doubt home run into the right field bullpen at Busch Stadium. The Brewers are down only one run with Braun and Fielder coming up.

9:07pm: Pitch counts through two innings: Carpenter 45, Gallardo 47.

9:05pm: Holliday grounds out to short. The Cards still lead 4-2 as we move to the third inning.

9:03pm: Albert advances to second base on a wild pitch by Gallardo. Holliday is at the plate.

9:01pm: Pujols remains ridiculously hot, punching a single through the right side of the infield.

8:59pm: Furcal and Jay are both retired on groundouts. Two quick outs for Gallardo.

8:55pm: Hart strikes out looking to end the frame, but the Brewers are back in this. Carpenter is suddenly up to 45 pitches and is leaving balls up in the zone. We head to the bottom of the second.

8:52pm: Gallardo scores Hairston with a sacrifice fly. Two outs. Cardinals 4, Brewers 2.

8:51pm: Lucroy flies out to right field. Brewers have runners at first and third, one out.

8:47pm: Betancourt adds another single, scoring Weeks from second base. Cardinals 4, Brewers 1.

8:46pm: Hairston also singles to right. The Brewers have life again here in the second inning.

8:43pm: Weeks laces an inning-opening line drive to right field. Up comes Hairston.

8:40pm: Carpenter grounds out to end the frame. Gallardo threw 33 pitches, 16 for strikes.

8:38pm: Punto is given an intentional walk after the count climbs to 3-0. Carpenter is now batting.

8:36pm: Freese launches a ball to deep right field that gets over the glove of Hart. Holliday scores, giving the Cardinals a 4-0 lead in the first inning. The Brewers seem a bit shell-shocked at the moment.

8:35pm: Molina grounds into a double play, but another run crosses the plate. Cards lead 3-0.

8:32pm: Berkman draws another walk. The bases are loaded, no outs. Molina is coming up.

8:28pm: Holliday draws a walk. There are still no outs. Gallardo looks to be in serious trouble.

8:26pm: Pujols golfs a ball to the base of the left-center field wall, scoring Jay. Cardinals lead 2-0.

8:23pm: Furcal advances to second base on a ball in the dirt, then scores when Kotsay can’t come up with a diving catch in center field. Jay is awarded a double and an RBI. He’s at second base.

8:20pm: Furcal leads off the Cardinals’ half of the inning with a single up the middle.

8:16pm: Fielder flies out to center field, and Kotsay is caught creeping too far off the second base bag for a double play. That’s what we call a momentum-changer. To the bottom of the first inning…

8:14pm: Carpenter plunks Braun in the arm after beginning the at-bat with two consecutive strikes. Fielder is coming up, looking to do a little early damage with one out and two men on.

8:12pm: Kotsay draws a one-out walk.

8:09pm: Carpenter retires Hart to lead off the game after the at-bat goes to a 3-2 count. We’re expecting a pitcher’s duel, but expecting anything in baseball’s postseason is often foolish.

******************

The sky has looked threatening all day long in the St. Louis area, but the city has avoided rain drops thus far and this NLCS Game 3 is going to start on time. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

We’ll be live-blogging the action all night, even if play needs to be stopped for thunderstorms (or squirrels). It’s Brewers vs. Cardinals. The seven-game series is tied 1-1. Here are your starting lineups:

   MILWAUKEE BREWERS            ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1. Corey Hart, RF            1. Rafael Furcal, SS
2. Mark Kotsay, CF           2. Jon Jay, CF
3. Ryan Braun, LF            3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B        4. Matt Holliday, LF
5. Rickie Weeks, 2B          5. Lance Berkman, RF
6. Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B    6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS   7. David Freese, 3B
8. Jonathan Lucroy, C        8. Nick Punto, 2B
9. Yovani Gallardo, RHP      9. Chris Carpenter, RHP

Updates will read bottom-to-top. Consider the comments an open thread. Let’s have some fun.

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.

Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”

The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.

There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.

Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.