Brewers 6, Twins 5: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers avoided the two game sweep beating the Minnesota Twins 6-5 on Wednesday afternoon.

Trent Grisham

Rookie Trent Grisham had his best moment of his young career so far. He hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to put the Brewers ahead 6-5. Milwaukee trailed 5-3 when Grisham came to the plate.

Ryan Braun reached first on an error and Hernan Perez singled to give Grisham a few ducks on the pond. Grisham smacked a 2-2 fastball into right-field.

“We were always within a swing,” Grisham said. “Just heady baseball playing, taking dirtball reads, going long at-bats, grinding [Twins pitchers] down. You just felt like something good had to happen.”

The Brewers were 3-14 with runners in scoring position before Grisham’s tater. It was his second home run of the season and first at Miller Park.

No Hader

Manager Craig Counsell said he wasn’t going to Josh Hader Wednesday afternoon.

“I didn’t want to use him today,” Counsell said. “He’ll be ready to go on Friday.”

Clinging to a one-run lead in the ninth, Alex Claudio got the call from the bullpen. After recording the first out of the inning, Matt Albers came in to try and seal the victory.

Albers recorded the second out before walking three straight batters. The, with the bases loaded and two outs, Albers got C.J. Cron to fly out recording his fourth save of the year.

What’s next?

The Brewers (63-58) are off Thursday before beginning a three-game set on the road against the Washington Nationals.

Brewers to open 2020 season against Cubs

On Monday, Major League Baseball released its schedule for the 2020 season. The Milwaukee Brewers will meet a familiar foe in their first series. On Thursday March 26th, the Chicago Cubs will come to Miller Park.

It will be a three game series with both teams taking Friday off and resuming play on the weekend. The St. Louis Cardinals will come to town for three games completing the Brewers’ six-game home stand to open the year.

One thing that is interesting however is the lack of NL Central matchups late in the year. The Brewers will play their last game against the Cubs on Aug. 9. Also, they’ll only play the Cardinals six times over the last two months of the season.

Milwaukee will see plenty of the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets in the opening month. They’ll finish the season series with both clubs in just over a few weeks.

The interleague schedule will put the Brewers up against the AL East. The New York Yankees will come to town from May 19-21, the Toronto Blue Jays form June 22-24 and the Tampa Bay Rays from July 7-8. Milwaukee will travel to Tampa Bay from May 30-31, to Boston from June 5-7, and to Baltimore from Sept. 11-13.

You can check out the full schedule on the Brewers website here.

Brewers 3, Rangers 2: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers took down the Texas Rangers 3-2 at Miller Park on Saturday night. The Crew pulled within 1.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

Right-handed hurler throws up a victory

Things got off to a rough start for Adrian Houser as he got sick on the mound in the first inning.

“I think it’s one of those things where he gets amped up at the start of the game,” manager Craig Counsell said. “You know, you’ve got energy, you’ve got some nerves, you’ve got butterflies. And it all came out at once.”

He was cool the rest of his outing though. Houser mowed through the Rangers’ lineup in his six innings of work. He gave up just one run on three hits while striking out a career-high 10 batters on 96 pitches.

His one mistake came in the sixth inning on a solo home-run by Danny Santana. Houser was able to get through the inning striking out the last hitter he faced, Nomar Mazara.

Rookies doing work

Keston Hiura continues to be a weapon in the Brewers’ lineup. He hit a solo home run in the third inning to put Milwaukee up 2-0. It was Hiura’s third homer in the past three games.

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Trent Grisham got the assignment to bat leadoff and he didn’t let it go to waste. Grisham reached base on all four of his plate appearances hitting three singles and walking once. Could he be the new leadoff hitter for the Crew?

What a double play!

Drew Pomeranz found trouble when he entered the game in the eighth inning. He allowed a home run to Shin-Soo Choo which made the score 3-2. Then, Pomeranz walked Santana and Elvis Andrus.

With one out and a 3-2 count the runners attempted a double steal. Pomeranz struck out the batter, Rougned Odor and Yasmani Grandal threw out Andrus at second to complete the double play.

Matt Albers was able to get the final three outs in the ninth inning. He has now not allowed a run in 11 of his last 12 games.

“He’s just doing a tremendous job,” Counsell said. “He’s been awesome against right-handed hitters. I’m happy for him. Last year was a struggle for him but he has bounced back in a huge way.”

What’s next?

The Brewers (62-56) will look for the series sweep of the Rangers (58-58) Sunday afternoon. Jordan Lyles (7|74.97 ERA95 SO) will get the start for the Crew opposite of Mike Minor (10|63.06 ERA, 148 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10pm.

Brewers offense struggles, fall to Cubs 4-1

The Milwaukee Brewers are battling to stay in the race for the NL Central. They lost more ground Saturday afternoon falling in game two of their three-game set with the Chicago Cubs 3-1. The Brewers now trail the Cardinals and Cubs by three games in the division.

Gio Gonzalez was effective in his start. He pitched 4.1 innings allowing just one run on five hits while striking out four. But like many times before, the bullpen struggled to hold the Cubs.

Albert Almora Jr. lined a solo home run off reliever Junior Guerra to give the Cubs the lead 2-1 in the seventh inning. Then in the eighth, the Cubs tacked on two more runs off Freddy Peralta. Javier Baez hit an RBI-single and Almora followed with a sacrifice fly to give Chicago a 4-1 lead.

The only score for the Brewers came in the sixth inning on a Ryan Braun single.

Next up, the Brewers (57-55) will look to avoid the sweep against the Cubs (59-51) on Sunday. Adrian Houser (4|43.99 ERA60 SO) will get the start opposite of Yu Darvish (3|54.46 ERA, 141 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 1:20pm.

Cubs 11, Brewers 4: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers failed to complete the sweep of the Chicago Cubs with an 11-4 blowout loss on Sunday. The loss set the Brewers one game back of first place in the NL Central.

Schwarber bombs

Kyle Schwarber nearly single-handedly won the game for the Cubs. He had seven RBIs courtesy of a grand-slam and a three-run homer. Schwarber was a nightmare for Brewers starter Zach Davies all afternoon.

In the second inning, with one out, Javier Baéz and Jayson Heyward hit back-to-back singles. Then, Ian Happ drew a walk to load the bases. Schwarber launched a first-pitch fastball to deep right-field for the longest (473 ft) home run at Miller Park this season.

Davies walked two more batters in the fourth inning before Schwarber made him pay again with a three-run homer putting the Cubs up 7-0.

“The walks to Happ killed us today,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “No question about it. We did a poor job on him.”

Brewers offense shows some life in the fifth

Cubs starter Jose Quintana has been historically dominant against the Brewers in his career. The first four innings proved that notion as he cruised through Milwaukee’s lineup. However, he found some trouble in the fifth inning as the Brewers offense finally showed some life.

Yasmani Grandal led off the frame with a walk. Next, Jesus Aguilar singled and Orlando Arcia followed with a walk to load the bases. Quintana struck out Tyler Saladino before allowing an RBI-single to Manny Pina. Lorenzo Cain hit a sacrifice fly and Christian Yelich knocked one more run in with a double to trim the deficit to 7-3.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon decided to go to his bullpen. Reliever Brad Birch came in for Quintana and was able to get Ryan Braun to ground out to third.

Hey, it’s still a series win

It’s way too early to say these games were on “must-win” level but they were definitely important. It was huge for the Brewers to take two out of three games against the Cubs as the trade deadline approaches.

Milwaukee is trending up, having won eight of their last 12 games and three out of their last four series.

There is uncertainty though regarding the starting rotation moving forward. Expect Adrian Houser to get one of the starts against the Oakland Athletics this week. But who starts the other games? The Brewers don’t have an answer for that yet.

What’s next?

The Brewers (56-51) are off Monday before starting a nine-game road-trip beginning in Oakland against the Athletics (59-47) Tuesday night.

Brewers 3, Cubs 2: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers took game one of a three-game set from the Chicago Cubs 3-2 Friday night.

Defensive battle

There wasn’t a run scored from either team through the first five innings. Gio Gonzalez and Kyle Hendricks showcased a classic pitcher duel with excellent defense behind them. Both defenses put on a highlight reel of great plays early on.

In the first inning, Lorenzo Cain made a sliding catch on a liner from Anthony Rizzo and doubled Kris Bryant off first.

Ian Happ told Cain to “Hold my Beer” in the bottom half of the frame with a beautiful sliding grab into the wall robbing Mike Moustakas.

In the second inning, Gonzalez showed off his reflexes snagging a line drive that came right back at him.

One batter later, Eric Thames showed he isn’t just a power hitter.

Brewers starting rotation takes another hit

Gonzalez pitched a gem, going 6 1/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits, while striking out nine. However, he had to leave the game with left shoulder tightness. It was his best start of the season and his second start since returning from nearly a two-month stint on the IL.

“With Gio, we’re kind of day to day,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He really just stiffened up is what we’ve got right now. We’ll see how he is tomorrow and the next day; we’re not ruling him out for his next start. He got stiff. That was a long inning. He felt like he couldn’t get loose through that inning and there was some stiffness there with that warmup pitch that he threw, so we stopped it.”

The Brewers had to place Brandon Woodruff and Jhoulys Chacin on the IL this week alone. Already down two other starters, the Brewers can’t afford to lose a third.

“It kind of stiffened up, it kind of grabbed a little bit so we all just kind of played it safe by backing off a little bit,” Gonzalez said. “I think I’ll be alright. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the seventh inning so I was just hanging in there.”

It appears Gonzalez is going to be okay and won’t be ruled out from his next start, at least for now. He is scheduled to pitch Thursday against the Oakland Athletics. If Gonzalez can’t go in his next scheduled the start, Milwaukee will only have two healthy starters | Zach Davies and Chase Anderson.

Gamel comes up clutch

Milwaukee found some life in the eighth inning beginning with rookie Keston Hiura drawing a one-out walk off Brandon Kintzler. Then, Kintzler hit Eric Thames putting two men on base.

Pedro Strop came into replace Kintzler and hit pinch-hitter Ryan Braun on his first pitch to load the bases. Next, Jesus Aguilar popped out, bringing up Ben Gamel.

Gamel came through for the Brewers in the eighth inning with a two-out single to put Milwaukee in front 3-2.

This has to be looked at as the biggest win of the season so far for the Brewers. It was a fun game to watch and had multiple big time moments. The fans brought it as well making a playoff-type atmosphere. Still, there’s more work to be done for Milwaukee. A win on Saturday will go a long way as they try to work their way up in the NL Central standings.

What’s next?

The Brewers (55-50) will look to take the weekend series over the Cubs (55-48) Saturday night. Chase Anderson (5|23.90 ERA81 SO) will get the start opposite of Jon Lester (9|63.87 ERA, 105 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 6:10pm.

Brewers 5, Braves 4: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers took the series from the Atlanta Braves two games to one with a 5-4 victory on Sunday.

Pineapples are better with bat flips

Manny Pina got the Brewers offense going in the second inning. After, Jesus Aguilar reached base on an error, Pina blasted a two-run homer to deep left field. Of his 15 hits this season, five have been home runs.

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Yelich + Braun + Hiura = Production

With one out in the fifth inning, Christian Yelich helped the Brewers extend the lead with a solo home run. It was his 34th homer of the season and it came a day after his first grand slam of the year. He hit No. 34 during his 2018 MVP season on September 28th (Game 160).

Yelich struck out in his first two at bats and he was asked what was different the third time up. “I finally didn’t swing over the sinker. He’s got a good one,” Yelich said. “It’s a tough lefty-lefty at-bat just because of that. I was just trying to find a way to get that ball in the air, get it off of you a little bit, and kind of finally got one and was able to not miss it.”

Following Yelich, Ryan Braun blasted a shot to right field and was able to stretch it into a triple. Then, rookie phenom Keston Hiura doubled scoring Braun.

“Jeez, he’s one of those young kids I’ve seen in this league that they’re making busts for the Hall of Fame,” Braves manager Brian Snitker. “My gosh, that kid can really hit.”

Next, Pina added another RBI to his line with a single allowing Hiura to score giving the Brewers a 5-0 lead.

Chase adds another terrific outing from the starters

Chase Anderson was phenomenal through 5 2/3 innings of work allowing just one hit, while striking out three. Milwaukee’s starters entered Wednesday’s contest with a 2.77 ERA over their last 16 games, which ranked third in the Major Leagues.

With all the questions surrounding pitching and what the Brewers should do at the trade deadline, the starters have stepped up. With the announcement of Gio Gonzalez’s return to the rotation on Saturday, the expectation should be the staff will only get stronger. Plus, Adrian Houser will return to the bullpen where he’s been great this season.

What’s next?

The Brewers (50-47) will begin a four-game set on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks (48-47) on Thursday. Zach Davies (7-2, 2.89 ERA, 68 SO) will get the start opposite of Merrill Kelly (7-9, 3.93 ERA, 86 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 8:40pm.

Brewers 13, Braves 1: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers deserve a round of ap-paws for their 13-1 win over the Atlanta Braves on “Bark at the Park” night. Their offense came unleashed tying a season-high 13 runs.

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Near paw-fect offense makes it a ruff night for the Braves

Had a bad day? Just pug-get about it. That’s what the Brewers’ offense did Tuesday night after struggling in Monday’s loss. Keston Hiura put Milwaukee on the board early with a solo home run in his first at bat giving the Brewers a 1-0 lead. Hiura continues to get the upper-hound against opposing pitchers. He’s now batting .359 with a .915 OPS.

Then, in the third inning, with two outs Lorenzo Cain aggressively stretched a sure single into a double to get into scoring position. After a Christian Yelich walk, Yasmani Grandal singled scoring Cain to give the Crew a 2-0 lead. Mike Moustakas tacked on one more run with a double scoring Yelich making it 3-0.

Milwaukee added more in the fifth thanks to a wild pitch by Braves starter Bryse Wilson allowing Yelich to sniff out home giving the Brewers a 4-0 lead.

“You’ve just got to go right off the bat,” Yelich said. “You’ve got to trust your instincts and your initial read. You can’t hesitate on something like that. I actually thought he was going to get me. In a split second, I passed him.”

Cain added to his night with a solo shot in the sixth inning giving the Brewers a 5-1 lead. It seems like his thumb is feeling better and this could be a turnaround game for the leadoff man.

Milwaukee’s offense wasn’t done yet. They plated seven more runs including the first grand-slam of the season for the team thanks to Yelich. When the reigning MVP is at the plate and the bases are loaded, you’re asking fur trouble.

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“The good thing is, as bad as we’ve played the last 3-4 weeks, we’re still right there,” Yelich said. “We really are. We’ve been fortunate to where we’re right in the middle of the race, not in a terrible spot.”

Dominant performance from Wood-RUFF

The “Ace” of Milwaukee’s pitching staff came through again. Brandon Woodruff went 6 2/3 innings allowing one run on five hits, while striking out seven. He threw 101 pitches.

Woodruff found some trouble in the top of the fifth, but with outstanding defense behind him was able to get out of the inning allowing only one run. The inning began with a Tyler Flowers home run. Then, with one out and a runner on second, Dansby Swanson hit a laser right at Moustakas at third base. Moustakas made an incredible play to get Swanson out while making sure Ronald Acuna Jr. stayed on second.

The next batter, Freddie Freeman ripped a ground-ball left of second base that looked like would get through. Shortstop Tyler Saladino showed off his range and fired it over to first to end the inning.

In 19 starts this season for Woodruff, the Brewers are an outstanding 15-4.

Moose makes history

Moustakas entered Tuesday’s game needing two hits to reach 1,000 hits in his Major League career. A double in the third inning got him one hit closer and he reached the milestone with a single in the seventh.

“The most important thing was getting the ‘W,’” Moustakas said. “Every one counts right now. We haven’t been playing our best baseball but the boys came out and played phenomenally today.”

What’s next?

The Brewers (49-47) will look to take the series from the Braves (58-38) Wednesday afternoon. Chase Anderson (4|24.27 ERA72 SO) will get the start opposite of Dallas Keuchel (3|23.09 ERA, 17 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10pm.

Giants 8, Brewers 3: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers fell to the San Francisco Giants 8-3 Sunday dropping the weekend series.

What’s wrong with the bullpen?

The series opened with the Brewers’ bullpen blowing up costing a loss Friday night. The pen surrendered a late lead in Saturday’s game which could’ve led to another loss if not for Ben Gamel’s walk off double. On Sunday, the bullpen was the main factor in another Milwaukee loss.

Reliever Corbin Burnes allowed four runs in the seventh inning without recording an out. It started with a Donovan Solano double. Then, starting pitcher Tyler Beede picked up his second hit of the day with an RBI single. Brandon Belt followed with a single, then former Brewers’ catcher Stephen Vogt doubled giving the Giants a 4-2 lead.

“We’re not having success,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s not working. The stuff is there but at some point, we’re losing execution, we’re making mistakes, we’re getting ahead in the count and making mistakes. We have to address things with Corbin.”

The Giants tacked on more runs against Matt Albers turning what was a tie into an 8-2 lead. San Francisco sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning.

Chacin puts together a nice outing

“Our starters did a nice job in this series,” Counsell said. “There’s no issue with the length of our starters this series. Our starters did their jobs.”

Jhoulys Chacin added to the nice outings the Brewers have gotten from their starters in this one. He allowed one earned run on four hits in his five innings of work. Chacin probably had more left in the tank to come out for the sixth inning, but the offense needed help so Counsell decided to pinch-hit for him.

“I would have liked to send him back out there but we were trying to score right there because we were losing,” Counsell said. “He certainly would have been able to go back out there but we had to catch up.”

HR #32 for Yelich

One bright spot from the loss on Sunday came from the reigning NL MVP smacking his 32nd home run of the season. Yelich hit his 32nd on September 23rd in 2018.

What’s next?

The Brewers (48-46) turn their sights to the Atlanta Braves (56-37) beginning a three-game set on Monday. Adrian Houser (2|34.01 ERA47 SO) will get the start opposite of Max Fried (9|44.29 ERA, 97 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm.

Brewers 5, Giants 4: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the San Francisco Giants in walk-off fashion Saturday night 5-4.

Davies solid through six innings

Zach Davies came through for Milwaukee getting through six innings on 105 pitches. He allowed an unearned run in the first inning but was lights out after the frame. Giants’ leadoff man Brandon Belt reached first on a Davies error and later came around to score in the inning.

Left too many stranded

The Brewers outhit the Pirates by a wide margin but failed to capitalize on opportunities.

Bullpen struggles

Junior Guerra relieved Davies in the sixth and that’s when the trouble started. After striking out the first two batters he faced, Guerra allowed a single, ending his night. Alex Claudio came in giving up back-to-back singles putting the Giants in front 2-1.

Milwaukee took a 4-2 lead into the ninth, but San Francisco scored two runs off reliever Jeremy Jeffress. It was the second night in a row the Brewers bullpen a late lead.

Offense comes to life in the eighth and ninth

The Brewers trailed 2-1 entering the bottom of the eighth and were 0-9 with runners in scoring position. Mike Moustakas, Jesús Aguilar and Keston Hiura put an end to that hitting back-to-back-to-back doubles putting the Brewers in front 3-2.

Then, after an Eric Thames single and Yasmani Grandal walk, Orlando Arcia knocked a sacrifice fly scoring Hiura.

In the ninth, Ryan Braun led off reaching base on a Brandon Crawford error. Two outs later, Hiura walked setting the stage for Ben Game. Gamel came through for the Brewers with a walk-off double scoring Braun for the winning run.

”It was a big hit,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. ”A two-strike hit. It helps us for tomorrow, but more importantly, it’s a win.”

What’s next?

The Brewers (48-45) will look to take the series from the Giants (42-49) on Sunday afternoon. Jhoulys Chacin (3|95.40 ERA68 SO) will get the start opposite of Tyler Beede (2|35.64 ERA, 43 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10pm.