Brewers fall 8-4 to St. Louis in home opener

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers won’t be going undefeated this year.

Fresh off a three-game sweep of San Diego to open the season, the Crew opened the home portion of their schedule Monday at Miller Park with an 8-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, dropping their record to 3-1.

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Here’s our three takeaways from the loss:

Zach Davies struggles at home continue

In 2017, Zach Davies had an ERA of 3.90, but that was a bit misleading. The righty was great away from Miller Park, as he went 9-2 with a 2.04 ERA on the road. At home, though, his ERA ballooned to 5.82. That carried over to his first appearance of 2018, as he made it 5.2 innings, giving up seven runs, six of which were earned. It included giving up a two-run homer to the opposing pitcher — Miles Mikolas.

“Probably one of the worst games to go out there and not have your stuff,” Davies said of his effort in a home opener. “It’s a fun day, and when eight runs go up on the board for the other team, it kind of puts a damper on the day.”

Home sweet home

Milwaukee hit one home run in three games in its series against San Diego. It wasn’t that they didn’t the ball well — they did. It’s just that Petco Park played pretty big. On Monday, the Crew got back to smashing the ball, knocking three homers under the closed roof of Miller Park, including a moon shot from first baseman Eric Thames.

“We’re going to score by home runs,” manager Craig Counsell said afterwords. “A big chunk of our runs will come via the home run.”

It seems as though the Brewers will be able to win games in a variety of ways — they showed that against the Padres — but the long ball is an equalizer and quick way back into a game. With Cain, Yelich, Ryan Braun, Travis Shaw and Thames all capable of going deep, expect more games like Monday as opposed to what we saw in the first series of the year.

Time to get to work

The first week of the season is full of pomp and circumstance. The Brewers went through it out in San Diego when the Padres had their opener last Thursday, and then they went through it again on Monday, this time in front of their fans. And while it’s fun to see all the excitement around the team and to get the season started, it’s also nice to put it behind you and get into a normal schedule.

“I’m glad it’s over, as far as the introductions and everything,” Cain told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Next time we do it, hopefully it’s in the playoffs.”

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