Jungmann fires strikes, but Cards don't miss

Brewers starter chased after two-plus innings, allowing seven extra-base hits

April 12th, 2016
Taylor Jungmann: "They hit the ball, but I was throwing strikes." (AP)

ST. LOUIS -- Taylor Jungmann was hit so hard in Monday's 10-1 loss to the Cardinals that one scribe wondered aloud whether the Brewers right-hander had been thrown off his routine by the extensive home opener festivities at Busch Stadium.

Manager Craig Counsell pondered the theory and managed to crack a smile.

"No, he didn't ride a Clydesdale or anything," Counsell said. "I don't think I can go with that."

Jungmann lasted two-plus innings and was charged with eight runs, all earned, on eight hits, including seven for extra bases. For the record, he agreed that the Cardinals' home opener traditions had nothing to do with his very tough afternoon.

Just how tough was it? Here are some measures:

• Jungmann surrendered more extra-base hits (seven) than he recorded outs (six), and was one shy of the franchise record for extra-base hits allowed in a game. Scott Karl surrendered eight to the Indians in April 1997, and Bill Pulsipher matched that dubious mark against the Cubs the following September.

• Jungmann's "game score," a measure invented by Bill James to measure a starting pitcher's effectiveness, was 9, making it Major League Baseball's first single-digit score this season. The previous low score belonged to Zack Greinke, who scored a 17 for the D-backs on Opening Day.

• It was the shortest of Jungmann's 23 Major League starts. He lasted 2 2/3 innings against the Cubs last Aug. 11.

"They hit fastball, they hit breaking ball. They hit inside fastball, they hit outside fastball. It wasn't any one pitch that they were going after me with," Jungmann said.

"They were definitely all over him," catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "They did not miss any mistakes he made."

Did the Cardinals' consistently solid contact make Jungmann wonder whether he was tipping pitches?

"When you get hit around like that, it's always something you want to look at," Jungmann said. "I'll go back and look at it, but it's not the first thing I'm going to look at. I'm going to look at the way I attacked them and things like that. Who knows?"

When Kolten Wong greeted reliever Tyler Cravy with a sacrifice fly and rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz knocked an RBI double, the Cardinals had eight extra-base hits before making their eighth out. They finished with 19 hits including 10 for extra bases and eight doubles. That was one shy of the Brewers' record for doubles allowed in a game, set in an August 2002 loss to the Pirates started by Jose Cabrera.

"They hit the ball, but I was throwing strikes," said Jungmann, who threw 38 of his 60 pitches (63 percent) for strikes. "I was ahead in counts. I think my ball was a little flat. When people hit me like that, I know my ball is getting a little flat."