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NLCS Game 4 Live Blog: Brewers vs. Cardinals

Oct 13, 2011, 11:31 PM EDT

NLCS Brewers Cardinals Baseball AP

11:31pm: Furcal grounds out to short, ending Game 4 of the NLCS. The Brewers captured a 4-2 victory and have guaranteed that the series will travel back to Miller Park. NLCS Game 5 is Friday night at 8:05 p.m. ET. Thanks for hanging out.

11:29pm: Berkman punches a single through the right side of the Brewers’ infield. Furcal is up.

11:26pm: Jay grounds out to short. Berkman steps in with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

11:24pm: Theriot completes an 0-for-4 night with a soft groundout in front of the plate. One out.

11:22pm: Theriot and Jay are coming up. We could see Lance Berkman as a pinch-hitter after those two hit.

11:19pm: Gomez flies out to deep center, then Braun strikes out. To the bottom of the ninth…

11:12pm: Morgan flares a single to left field after a long battle with Salas. One out for Carlos Gomez, who replaced Kotsay in the outfield earlier in the game. Braun will bat if Gomez avoids the double play.

11:08pm: Salas remains in the game for St. Louis and strikes out the pinch-hitting Jonathan Lucroy.

11:04pm: Molina fans on a ball in the dirt to end the threat. To the ninth inning we go…

10:59pm: Holliday grounds out to Hairston. Fielder makes an excellent pick at first base. Two down.

10:56pm: Freese registers his eighth hit of the NLCS with a single to center field. Holliday is up.

10:55pm: Pujols is retired on a groundout up the middle. The Brewers had perfect positioning.

10:53pm: The Cardinals will send Pujols, Freese and Holliday to the plate in a crucial eighth inning. Wolf, who allowed just two earned runs over seven solid innings, has been replaced by Francisco Rodriguez.

10:51pm: Betancourt grounds out to the pitcher, Kottaras pops out to Molina. Quick work by Salas.

10:45pm: The Cardinals’ fifth pitcher of the night is right-hander Fernando Salas, and he quickly retires Hairston on a fly ball to left field. Betancourt and Kottaras are due up next for Milwaukee.

10:43pm: Craig is retired on a weak groundout back to the pitcher. Pujols is left standing in the on-deck circle. The Brewers still hold a 4-2 lead in this NLCS Game 4 as we roll to the top of the eighth inning.

10:40pm: Morgan, now playing right field, tracks down a hard-hit ball from Furcal. Two down.

10:38pm: Punto strikes out as Wolf’s impressive outing continues. One down.

10:35pm: The Cards will send pinch-hitter Nick Punto to the plate to open the bottom of the seventh.

10:32pm: Weeks also falls to 0-2, then strikes out swinging. He appeared to strike out looking on the pitch before, but third base umpire Gary Darling called timeout before Dotel went into his delivery.

10:29pm: Fielder falls to 0-2, then draws a two-out walk. Weeks will bat next.

10:25pm: Kotsay grounds out to first base, then Braun strikes out. In steps Fielder.

10:23pm: The Cardinals will turn to right-hander Octavio Dotel to start the seventh.

10:19pm: Theriot chases a high fastball for the second out of the inning, then Jay hits a lazy fly ball to center field. The Brewers will carry a 4-2 NLCS Game 4 lead into the top of the seventh inning.

10:16pm: Molina flies out to center, but Holliday advances to third on Morgan’s weak arm. One down.

10:13pm: Holliday smacks a leadoff double to the left-center field gap. Molina steps to bat for the Cards.

10:10pm: Morgan strikes out looking. But the Brewers lead by two as we move to the bottom of the sixth.

10:09pm: Wolf is retired on a bunt. Morgan steps in to big boos from the St. Louis crowd.

10:08pm: Theriot bobbles a hot shot from Kottaras. Weeks scores, Hairston moves to third. Kottaras is safe at first base. The Brewers now have a 4-2 lead over the Cardinals in the top of the sixth inning.

10:04pm: Tony La Russa calls on veteran southpaw Arthur Rhodes to face Kottaras, a left-handed hitter.

10:01pm: Betancourt grounds out to shortstop. Weeks can’t score. One down.

9:59pm: Hairston follows quickly with a double over Furcal’s head. Weeks is at third base. No outs.

9:58pm: Weeks hits a leadoff single, and the Brewers are threatening yet again.

9:54pm: Freese grounds out to short to end the fifth. A big zero for the Brewers and Wolf as we move along to the sixth inning. The Brewers will send Weeks, Hairston and Betancourt to the plate.

9:51pm: Craig goes down looking, but Pujols keeps the inning alive with a sharply-struck single to left.

9:47pm: Furcal grounds out to third base to open the bottom of the fifth. Craig and Pujols are due up next.

9:40pm: Theriot starts a brilliant double play on Fielder, putting an end to the top of the fifth inning.

9:39pm: Braun punches a ball through the left side of the Cardinals’ infield, scoring Morgan from third base. The Brewers now have a 3-2 lead in this NLCS Game 4 with Fielder stepping to the dish.

9:34pm: Lohse is done after 4 1/3 innings. He allowed six hits and two earned runs (though Morgan will also count against him if he scores). The Cardinals’ first reliever will be right-hander Mitchell Boggs.

9:32pm: Kotsay grounds out, but advances Morgan to third base. Braun is up with just one out.

9:30pm: Morgan doubles down the left-field line, flashing a big “Beast Mode” after reaching second base.

9:29pm: The Brewers are back to the top of their batting order. Morgan steps in to more boos.

9:27pm: Another quick pitch count update: Wolf is at 64, Lohse is up to 72.

9:25pm: Theriot flies out to left field to open the bottom of the fourth inning and Jay follows with a weak groundout to first base. Lohse then pops out to center, capping an easy frame for the Brewers’ Wolf.

9:20pm: Kottaras grounds out to second base, then Wolf flies out to center. We head to the bottom half…

9:15pm: Betancourt singles to center field, scoring Hairston from second base. This one is tied, 2-2.

9:14pm: Hairston doubles down the left field line, just beyond the glove of a diving Freese. Fielder scores easily as the Brewers close to within one run. Betancourt will try to pour on some more.

9:13pm: Weeks strokes a line drive to right-center, but Jay is in the right spot to snag it. One down.

9:11pm: Fielder rips a leadoff double to the right-center field gap. Weeks steps in, looking for a big hit.

9:05pm: Molina can’t pad the lead, grounding out to short. The Cardinals will take a 2-0 lead into the top of the fourth inning. Fielder, Weeks and Hairston will come to the plate against Lohse.

9:04pm: Holliday draws a four-pitch walk. Two baserunners on for Molina.

9:02pm: Freese keeps the inning alive with a shot off of Betancourt’s glove. Holliday will bat.

9:01pm: Pujols grounds out to short and is now 0-for-2 in this NLCS Game 4. Two outs.

8:58pm: Allen “Wrench” Craig sends an opposite-field homer into the right-field bullpen, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. It also appeared to catch the wind. Pujols steps to the plate, looking to add on.

8:57pm: Furcal flies out again to center field to open the bottom of the third inning.

8:54pm: Braun falls to 0-2, then pops out to first base. Lohse works out of the jam to preserve the Cardinals’ one-run lead. St. Louis will send Furcal, Craig and Pujols to the plate in the bottom of the third.

8:52pm: Kotsay flies out to left field. Two outs, but Braun steps in with two ducks on the pond.

8:50pm: Morgan gets caught on the right arm by an inside pitch, takes first base. One out.

8:49pm: Wolf smacks a double to right field. Morgan comes to the plate to more boos.

8:47pm: Kottaras strikes out looking. Lohse looks to be settling in nicely. Wolf steps to the dish.

8:45pm: A quick pitch count update on both starting pitchers: Lohse is at 29, Wolf is at 36.

8:43pm: Lohse strikes out after chasing a couple of high fastballs. The Cardinals lead the Brewers 1-0 in this NLCS Game 4 as we move to the top of the third inning. Kottaras, Wolf and Morgan will bat.

8:41pm: Jay grounds out softly to first base, so Molina can’t score from third. Lohse steps in.

8:40pm: Theriot reaches first base when Weeks muffs a routine groundball. Molina to third, Jay is up.

8:37pm: Molina drills a ground-rule double down the right field line, then mocks the Brewers’ “Beast Mode” gesture with what we’re calling the “Cry Baby.” Theriot will bat with a runner in scoring position.

8:33pm: Holliday hits a ball that barely squeaks over the right field fence, just to the left of the foul pole. It looked to catch the wind, which is blowing out to right. St. Louis leads 1-0 here in the second inning.

8:31pm: Freese strikes out swinging to lead off the bottom of the second inning. Holliday is up.

8:28pm: Betancourt flies out to center field. A quick second inning for Lohse, who was able to get ahead of all three batters he faced. He fell behind all four hitters he faced in that shaky first inning.

8:27pm: Hairston hits a hot shot to third base. Freese makes the play. Two outs for Milwaukee.

8:26pm: Weeks grounds out to shortstop. He, too, voiced concerns about the strike zone.

8:22pm: Pujols chases a low pitch and strikes out. Wolf registers a perfect first frame. He’s the first starting pitcher on the Brewers’ staff to keep the Cardinals scoreless through the first inning.

8:20pm: Craig grounds out sharply to third base. Pujols will bat with the bases empty.

8:18pm: Furcal swings on the first pitch and launches a ball to the warning track in center field, but Morgan snares it. Wolf, the Brewers’ starter, has had trouble containing offenses in the early innings.

8:14pm: Fielder chases a ball in the dirt, giving Lohse his second strikeout. To the bottom of the first…

8:12pm: Braun singles up the middle for the Brewers’ first hit of the game. In steps Fielder.

8:10pm: Kotsay fans looking, has a few words with the home plate umpire, then heads to the dugout.

8:06pm: Morgan steps to the plate to boos, then grounds out to shortstop.

7:43pm: We’ll get underway at the top of the hour. Wouldn’t want to interrupt TBS’ thrilling pregame show.


The Cardinals are carrying a 2-1 series lead into Thursday night’s NLCS Game 4 against the Brewers. First pitch is scheduled for just after 8:00 p.m. ET. Follow along as we provide updates throughout the night.

Your starting lineups, as shared earlier:

1. Nyjer Morgan, CF          1. Rafael Furcal, SS
2. Mark Kotsay, RF           2. Allen Craig, RF
3. Ryan Braun, LF            3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B        4. David Freese, 3B
5. Rickie Weeks, 2B          5. Matt Holliday, LF
6. Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B    6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS   7. Ryan Theriot, 2B
8. George Kottaras, C        8. Jon Jay, CF
9. Randy Wolf, LHP           9. Kyle Lohse, RHP

Updates will read bottom-to-top. Consider the comments section an “open thread.” Let’s do this.

  1. lukeslice - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    Why does Phil Coke look half purple?!??!

  2. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Is nobody here to discuss the game? Where are fans of the Cards?

  3. mplsjoe - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Does Delmon Young’s playoff performance make the Tigers offer him arbitration? I can’t imagine they were planning to do so, but this many playoff homers can change a team’s mind.

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Ok, Holliday’s hand looks fine. I was wrong.

  5. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Somebody tell Weeks this is the playoffs.

  6. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Ok, for me this was the announcing highlight of the playoffs….Ron Darling’s incredulous “What” when Smoltz says .180 for a pitcher is like .350 for an everyday player.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:12 PM

      Ah, the myth of the “Good-Hitting Pitcher.”

  7. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    I’m just going to say it: thus far, TLR looks like a genius.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:11 PM

      Amazes me that the guy who is #3 all-time in wins gets so little respect. Only visiting manager I’ve seen at Nats games who got booed by his own team’s fans. Granted, some of those fans were quite full of one of St. Louis’ most famous products (Budweiser) at the time, but still…

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:15 PM

        It is his recent penchant for over managing that turns some people off. Seriously, the double switches that simultaneously weaken the defense and the offense. I can see that being annoying for Cards fans. I think he is smug and don’t care much for him, but I don’t have the venom…mainly because I don’t care about the Cards…unless they play the Phillies.

      • natstowngreg - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:37 PM

        Yeah, I get the overmanaging and smugness things. But he has had a fair amount of success. Wonder where Cards fans think they’re going to find a better manager.

        But like you, he’s not managing my team, so Cards’ fans’ displeasure doesn’t trouble me much.

      • paperlions - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:58 PM

        Anywhere. Anyone that is better at staying out of the way, prefers talent to veterany goodness, and plays players based on talent instead of which side of the plate they stand on or hand they throw with would be an improvement.

        Duncan has been more important to the Cardinal success since LaRussa has been around than LaRussa has.

  8. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    What the hell is this beast mode crap? Somebody please tell me…I haven’t the faintest clue.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:22 PM

      It’s a line of athletic clothing that says “Beast Mode” on it. Some MLB players have adopted it, including several Nats, particularly Michael Morse.

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:53 PM

      Supposedly it came from Fielder’s kids imitating characters in “Monsters, Inc.” He started it and the others picked up on it. Read a while back that Roenicke wasn’t too thrilled with it, but let it go.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:58 PM

        What the hell is “Monsters, Inc.” ?

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:03 PM

        .Animated movie (Pixar)

  9. lukeslice - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Monkey and Greg…where the hell is everyone?

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:35 PM

      No idea….I didn’t expect any Brewers fans. They are hard to come by around here. I did, however, think that some of the Cards fans would at least participate somewhat in the blog.

      • jimbo1949 - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:42 PM

        Maybe should have advertised an East Coast thing. Then they would have showed up for the whine.

      • shaggytoodle - Oct 14, 2011 at 1:35 AM

        I think the Brewers fans were busy trying to drink thier team to a win.

  10. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Lohse looked stunned to get the hook there.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:42 PM

      No one should look stunned to get the hook from TLR, except Carpenter.

  11. natsattack - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    Desmond gave Morse a shirt that said Beast Mode.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:39 PM

      OK, I remember that now, Desmond introduced it into the Nats’ clubhouse. Whomever did it, if Morse keeps hitting .300 and 30 homers with it, cool.

  12. phillyphreak - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    I’ve never heard such high praise for a ground out…..

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:41 PM

      Yeah, but it got the runner to third which drew in the defense allowing the Braun RBI single to happen.

      • phillyphreak - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:44 PM

        Very true. I mean it was bound to happen since I posted that comment. I was more talking about the whole ‘he gets his arm over’ stuff.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:59 PM

        It’s small ball….We are Phillies fans so we are naturally confused by the concept.

  13. natstowngreg - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    ouch. But he’s an umpire…

  14. paperlions - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    Boggs? Seriously? You can’t give away games in the playoffs. Boggs has been horrible since…well, ever. He is awesome at leaving the ball up and giving up laser beams.

  15. jimbo1949 - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    Burma Rhodes warming up, and here he comes.

  16. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    Fucking Ryan Theireot (sp)….that was huge.

    • jimbo1949 - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:10 PM

      reverse tootblan

  17. thefalcon123 - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    Holy Shit! Do I hate Ryan Theriot!

  18. paperlions - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    Erriot striks again.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:13 PM

      I don’t understand what he did there. He busted in like he was going to make a play home…good move. Then, he hesitated allowing the ball to get into his body…bad move. Picks it cleanly, he has Weeks at home.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:13 PM

      I don’t understand what he did there. He busted in like he was going to make a play home…good move. Then, he hesitated allowing the ball to get into his body…bad move. Picks it cleanly, he has Weeks at home.

  19. paperlions - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    Why are StL fans frustrated with TLR? Because he pushes for guys like Erriot, who is scrappy, gritty, and veterany, but can’t hit, field, or run the bases for shit….but he must play the game the right way while sucking….did you see how he stayed in front of the ball he booted that led to a run? Way to keep your fundamentals, dude.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:19 PM

      Case and point.

      • paperlions - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:21 PM

        ….and then he backs up the error by striking out swinging at a shoulder high pitch with a runner on 3rd and 1 out….seriously, I was praying for a squeeze.

      • paperlions - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:31 PM

        Thanks thumbs down guy, taking a break from writing Law emails accusing him of hating the Cardinals?

  20. bigxrob - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    Saw on a j stark tweet that no cardinal starter has thrown more than 90pitches in this series. What is that all about?

  21. cur68 - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    Good hands on Fielder

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:02 PM

      He smothered it with his chest fat.

      • cur68 - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:04 PM

        Good fat on Fielder…

  22. cur68 - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    Yaddi’s predictable: always trying to hit a hit a homer. He makes good enough contact; shorten the bat and drive one. Bu nooo, not Yaddi. Yard or bust.

    • cur68 - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:05 PM


  23. cur68 - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    Axford up; Craig’s-maybe-relative John Axford, that is…good hair on the Axford branch of the family; must be all that Canadian air his head gets.

  24. cur68 - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Practically toned down for T. Plush, that celebration. He can chat up Phat Al while on first, now…maybe the idea is to get him to eat as much dirt as possible? Throw over enough, he’ll fill up on soil and slow down, right?

  25. cur68 - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:22 PM

    Salas looked real good against Braun. Nor the least intimidated.

    By my estimate Morgan ate about half a kilo of infield dirt and is wearing the other half, from diving back to 1st. He might be a touch slower running around in center. TLR some clever….

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