MILWAUKEE – What started with all the breadcrumbs of a compelling, playoff clash between two rivals, twisting their way through the early innings, circumventing the absurdity of the rain-delayed rooftop, and then eventually bringing the Cardinals back the place where so many games end up in this era.
Yadier Molina was at the crossroads of all this.
The iconic catcher hit home runs to tie the game on Tuesday, drilled another homer to break that tie, and then doubled later as the Cardinals pulled away for a 6-3 victory over Milwaukee at Miller Park. The ten major bases tied the best of Molina's career, while also making it into the top 1
For icing, he passed closer to Carlos Martinez during the Smiling Nine, which ended with the potential tying run to the plate and Dexter Fowler approached the wall at right field to capture the final.
"Yadi was the lead actor in this one," said manager Mike Schildt. "A great homer to tie it." Big homer to break it. … We don't take it for granted. "
The Cardinals scored six runs for their sixth consecutive game, winning their sixth straight game and their ninth in their past 10. They will arrive Wednesday morning for their last regular season game at Miller Park with a chance to sweep the series and throw the Brewers 7 ½ games back in the Central National League.The Cardinals will effectively send a division rival for the second time in as many months, this time as they open three-run second place to the Chicago Cubs
. One of the best barometers for the Cardinals this will not happen The result is Molina's prayer, which has long since revealed his sense of team rebounding to his game.
He speaks explicitly about this year's team skills during spring training, the depth of alignment, the combination of steel and accent, which he sees on defense and the fresh style of prevention that shaped the Cardinals' last playoff team in 2015. It took four months to merge those pieces. – or, indeed, it emerges – and Molina instills her instincts.
"We have a great run right now," he said. "We play good baseball. This is important to me. "
Four of Molina's seven multiplayer games have come to Miller.
Asked about this, he reached for his locker and knocked twice on the wooden panel, before listing some of the reasons why it was a good place to hit, from the clear eye of the dough to the controlled conditions of a retractable balpark. the roof.
Shortly after Molina's second home run, the left-field flapped and broke 1: 1 in the seventh, something almost as unlikely as the tied All-Star Game stopped play. A rainstorm rolled into the zone faster than the roof of the Pac-Man ball could close, leaving teams to play briefly in the strait before the empire gave way to a bizarre delay. The Brewers retain a tarpaulin near the field, but this does not unfold at all.
Prior to the game, the Cardinals described a leak in the roof that continued through Monday's game, and a longtime National Leaguer cracked that "this has been the case for 10 years. "The game in August 2012 was similarly delayed by a pop-up shower and this one, on Tuesday, was less than 10 minutes late. Shield backed away from the delay early in the seventh, suggesting that "they would play in a much worse state."
The Cardinals' burst began when, like the roof, Milwaukee reliefs were slow to provide cover.  Brewers starter Adrian Hauser kept his pace through five innings with three double plays, and Molina's first homer – a solo shot – was only the third ball out of the box against Hauser. Miles Mikolas (8-13) allowed one run in the second set of singles, but otherwise kept the Brewers intact, turning again and again to his curve. Going into Tuesday's game, one in every five pitches that Mikolas has thrown so far this season were crooked balls. Nearly one-third of the field in six innings against Milwaukee were crooked. He spun a curve at 78 mph past National League MVP Christian Yelich past for a convoluted blow in the third inning. We're back to breaking ball. And then ended the inning with Jelic, who was looking at 93 mph, called a stroke.
Nicholas reversed curves that started at eye level and dropped, and then pulled harder curves that began with a belt and a kiss of dirt. As a result, he noted 10
"If the other team is not on it," Mikolas said. "They say don't let the fish search for fish. If they do not hit a particular step, do not make them try and swing and miss something else. Stick to what works. ”
The Brewers tightened the game with a two-run home run from left-hander Andrew Miller in the bottom of the eighth before the Cardinals answered. Molina started it. He doubled, Harrison Bader doubled, and Colten Wong, off the bench and back from his toe, offered his second RBI strike on Tuesday to extend the lead to three runs. Martinez got a double play to finish the eighth for Miller and then, with two outs, annoyed the Brewers in what may be a problem. Underground single. Walk.
The inning accelerated to Martinez when the tying came to the plate.
But not before he was welcomed to the mound twice by a team of teammates.
In the middle, the calm in the eyes of the storm that became the Cardinals was Molina.
"Whenever you have guys who have that type of experience and that kind of presence, they play well, it's always a positive thing for the group to eat," Schild said. "The thing about Yadi is that he will always contribute no matter how he plays. Usually he always plays very well.