Brewers playoff hopes take a hit in 6-0 loss to Cincinnati

The Milwaukee Brewers playoff chances are on life support. That’s after veteran Homer Bailey pitched seven scoreless innings for the Cincinnati Reds in a 6-0 win at Miller Park on Wednesday night.

“You got to earn these wins,” manager Craig Counsell said. “Tonight we didn’t do much on both sides — starting pitching (wise) and offensively we didn’t do well enough to give ourselves a chance.”

The game got away from Milwaukee in the third inning, as the Reds roughed up Brandon Woodruff by posting five runs, including a solo homer from catcher Tucker Barhart. Woodruff lasted just 2 1/3 innings and dropped to 2-3 on the year.

Bailey, meanwhile, scattered four hits over his outing and Milwaukee never managed an extra base hit in the game as the Brewers lost to the Reds for a fourth time in five games.

For Milwaukee, the loss dropped the Crew 2 ½ games back of Colorado for the final wild card spot in the National League with just four games to play.

The Brewers and Reds will close out their series Thursday afternoon at Miller Park.

Travis Shaw’s 2-run walk-off HR pushes the Brewers past Chicago

Faced with the same extra innings situation they had been in the last two nights, the Milwaukee Brewers were determined to change the outcome on Saturday — and they did.

After watching the Chicago Cubs score in the top of the 10th inning in each of the last two games and go on to win, manager Craig Counsell’s club once again faced a deficit when they came to the plate at Miller Park in the 10th. But instead of just accepting a fourth straight loss, the Brewers kept their playoff hopes alive thanks to a 2-run, walk-off homer by Travis Shaw for a 4-3 win.

It was a 1-1 game until the top of the eighth inning when Kris Bryant drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and it stayed that way heading to the bottom of the ninth.

Two things were going against the Brewers at that point — closer Wade Davis hadn’t blown a save in 2017 and Milwaukee hadn’t won a game when trailing after eight innings all year. Shortstop Orlando Arcia took care of the first part with a solo homer, and then, after Chicago got an RBI single from Jon Jay in the 10th inning, Shaw took care of the second part following up a Ryan Braun double with his 31st homer of the year and the win.

The victory guaranteed the Brewers would have a winning record, the first time since 2014. It also kept them in the race for the second wild card in the National League, as they pulled even with St. Louis, sitting 1 1/2 games behind Colorado. Both of those teams had yet to play Saturday.

Milwaukee will try to get the split of its four-game series with the Cubs on Sunday afternoon.

Milwaukee blows late lead, loses 5-3 in 10 innings to Chicago

For a second straight night the Milwaukee Brewers lost in agonizing fashion, this time a 5-3 setback to the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs.

Manager Craig Counsell’s club took a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning against the defending World Series champions, only to see shortstop Javy Baez drive in the tying run off of Jeremy Jeffress with two strikes and two down.

“(Jeffress) did a great job. He did exactly what he was supposed to do,” Counsell said. “He threw a ball on the last pitch (to Baez), that looked to me like it was just off the ground, and (Baez) just rolled a ball up the middle.”

Milwaukee loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning, but couldn’t get a run across. In the 10th, Chicago’s Kris Bryant drilled what proved to be the game-winning 2-run homer off of Oliver Drake.

The loss came a night after the Brewers blew a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning to Pittsburgh, who went on to win the game 6-4.

“Two tough games,” Counsell said of the missed opportunities. “We’re still sitting, to me, in a pretty good spot, where we can play well for the last nine days and still do something good. Every loss is going to be incredibly tough right now.”

Chicago pushed its lead in the NL Central to 4 ½ games on the second-place Brewers, and while it seems a bit much to ask to catch the Cubs, Milwaukee is still, like Counsell said, in good shape playoff-wise. That’s thanks to Colorado, which has lost three straight and still holds just a one-game lead on the Brewers, with St. Louis a ½ game back of them.

“Having multiple options to get into the playoffs is nice, but (this) is a big series regardless of that wild card issue,” pitcher Zach Davies said. “We’ve got three games left (with the Cubs). We’ll take it to them the next three.”

Milwaukee and Chicago will play game No. 2 of the four-game series at Miller Park on Friday night with first pitch coming at 6:35 p.m.

Brewers beat Pittsburgh, gain ground in playoff chase

The Milwaukee Brewers are within two games of the Colorado Rockies and the final wild-card spot in the National League. That’s after manager Craig Counsell’s crew went on the road Monday night and got a 3-0 shutout win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“We don’t have a lot of margin for error,” Counsell said of his team’s push for the postseason. “Another win adds a little more pressure to the teams were are chasing and it puts us in a good spot.”

Milwaukee’s pitching staff was the story on Monday, as Brent Suter threw five scoreless innings to get the win. The bullpen took care of things from there, including Corey Knebel coming on to close out the ninth inning for his 36th save on the year.

The Brewers took the lead in the fourth inning thanks to a Ryan Braun solo homer, his 17th on the year. Second baseman Neil Walker drove in a run against his old team in the sixth inning, before a Travis Shaw RBI single in the eighth capped the scoring.

With the win, Milwaukee is now 10 games over .500 for the first time since July 16, and it allowed for the Brewers to gain a 1/2 game on the idle Rockies, leaving them just two games back in the wild card race with 12 to go. They are also 3 1/2 games back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

It’ll be the Brewers and Pirates again on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.

Milwaukee’s struggles with sub-.500 teams continues with a 7-0 loss to Pittsburgh

The Milwaukee Brewers have established a pattern, and it’s one that is unlikely to get them into the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

Coming off a sweep of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, manager Craig Counsell’s team returned home Monday night and promptly lost 7-0 to the Pittsburgh Pirates, a squad that came in 10 games below .500.

The Pirates stymied the Milwaukee offense, with Steven Brault throwing six scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the year. Four relievers kept the Brewers at bay and the game was never really in doubt. In fact, Milwaukee didn’t manage to get a run into scoring position all night.

Unlike other recent outings in which the Brewers struggled offensively, the pitching staff wasn’t too good either. Brandon Woodruff gave up six runs over five innings of work, including home runs to Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte to fall to 1-2 on the season.

The loss continued a startling trend. Since Aug. 18, the Brewers are 1-5 against teams under .500, while owning an 11-4 record against the teams they are battling in the race for a playoff spot. And it’s left them in third place in the NL Central, a .5 game back of St. Louis and 2.5 games behind Chicago.

It’ll be the Pirates and Brewers again on Tuesday night at Miller Park.

Brewers announce Jimmy Nelson will miss the rest of the season

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell wasn’t worried after Friday night’s game about the injury pitcher Jimmy Nelson sustained in the fifth inning. It turns out he should have been.

The Brewers announced Saturday afternoon that Nelson would miss the rest of the season with a right rotator cuff strain and a partial anterior labrum tear.

It’s a significant hit to Milwaukee’s playoff chances, as Nelson was having a career year in 2017. He’d already set personal bests with 12 wins and 199 strikeouts, while posting the lowest ERA of his career at 3.49 ERA.

Nelson is just the latest of the Brewers starters to end up on the disabled list this season, joining Junior Guerra, Matt Garza and Chase Anderson as those that have missed time.

Heading into Saturday’s game in Chicago, Milwaukee was tied with St. Louis for second in the NL Central, four games back of the Cubs, while also being three games behind Colorado for the second wild card spot in the National League.

Cincinnati finishes off a sweep of the Brewers with a 7-1 win

The Milwaukee Brewers playoff chances are fading fast.

Manager Craig Counsell’s club started its vital six-game road trip in very good spirits, having taken three of four from Washington at Miller Park, and were headed to Cinicnnati, the last-place team in the NL Central. Three days later and the mood couldn’t be more different. Not after the Brewers were swept by the Reds, punctuated by a 7-1 loss on Wednesday.

“They outplayed us,” Counsell said afterwards. “We didn’t have a good series.”

The last game was particularly painful, as the meltdown of Matt Garza continued. He got lit up, making it just 2 2/3rds innings, giving up five runs on six hits as he watched his ERA balloon to 5.06 and saw his record drop to 6-9 on the year.

Meanwhile, on the other side, Luis Castillo won just his third game of the year, limiting the Brewers to just one run over eight innings of work and striking out 10.

The loss dropped Milwaukee into third place in the NL Central, a .5 game back of St. Louis and 4.5 games behind Chicago. They are also now 2.5 games out of the second wild card spot currently held by Colorado.

The Crew will open a make-or-break series against the Cubs on Friday night at Wrigley Field.

Brewers falter late, lose 3-2 to Washington

Josh Hader gave up a pair of runs in the eighth inning as Milwaukee fell 3-2 to Washington Saturday night at Miller Park.

The Brewers led 2-1 when Michael Taylor took Hader deep for solo home run. After a batter reached on a bunt single, Trea Turner delivered the go-ahead double.

“He’s got thirty-some innings in and he’s dominated hitters,” manager Craig Counsell said in defense of Hader, who had given up just five runs on the year coming in. “He’s going to be a big part of this going forward. He’s going to be a very important guy for us. Tonight just wasn’t his night.”

The loss wasted what was a great outing from starter Brandon Woodruff. He went seven innings, giving up just one run on two hits and struckout eight.

On the other side, Max Scherzer held the Brewers lineup in check, allowing just one run on two hits over five innings of work. A crew of five relievers came on to help the Nationals get the win.

Offensively for Milwaukee, first baseman Eric Thames had an RBI double in the fourth inning, and catcher Stephen Vogt had a double in the sixth inning that scored second baseman Neil Walker.

Despite losing, Milwaukee didn’t lose any ground in the wild card race. That’s thanks to Colorado losing to Arizona, meaning the Brewers are still just 1 1/2 games back of the Rockies.

Milwaukee will go for the series win over Washington Sunday afternoon. First pitch is at 1:10 p.m.

(WATCH) Keon Broxton saves the day for Milwaukee in a 6-5 win over St. Louis

It appeared as if Milwaukee had just given up a two-run homer in the top of the ninth that would have given St. Louis the lead. But centerfielder Keon Broxton had different ideas, robbing Randal Grichuk at the wall with a leaping catch to give the Brewers a 6-5 win Wednesday afternoon.

“Sometimes it takes a great play to win a game,” manager Craig Counsell said afterwards. “We got a great play from Broxton.”

The play was made more remarkable by the fact Broxton had just come into the game, replacing Hernan Perez, who joked with Counsell that he would have made the play as well.

“He’s got a couple this year and none bigger than that one,” Counsell said of Broxton’s catch.

The play was a lifesaver for the Crew, seeing as without it they would have blown a three-run lead after the seventh inning. Instead, it gave starter Chase Anderson his eighth win of the year, as he went six innings, giving up three runs, all of which came via the long ball. Closer Corey Knebel picked up his 30th save of the season.

The Brewers offense did its job after coming up empty in a 10-2 loss on Tuesday. They scored three runs each in the second and sixth innings, including home runs by Domingo Santana and Jonathan Villar. Shortstop Eric Sogard and Perez each had a pair of hits.

With the victory, Milwaukee moved within three games of the Chicago Cubs in the race for the NL Central.

The Brewers will open a series against the Washington Nationals Thursday night at Miller Park.

Milwaukee falls 3-1 to the Dodgers in LA

Milwaukee’s offense remained virtually non-existent Friday night as the Brewers fell for a third time in four games, this one a 3-1 setback to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Starter Kenta Maeda had a very good night for LA, going six innings and allowing just one hit – a solo homer from Domingo Santana – while striking out seven to move to 12-5 on the year. It marked the fourth straight game the Brewers had failed to score more than three runs.

“We’ve got to score more runs. It’s simple,” manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re facing good pitching and good teams, for sure, and that makes it really challenging.

“We’ve obviously got to create more opportunities.”

The struggles offensively overshadowed a strong start from Chase Anderson. He made it five innings, giving up two runs on six hits and striking out six, but ended up taking the loss to fall to 7-3.

Despite losing, Milwaukee remained three games back of Chicago in the NL Central and 3 ½ games back of Colorado for the final wild-card spot in the National League.

The Brewers and Dodgers will play again Saturday night in LA. Zach Davies gets the ball for Milwaukee, while Los Angeles will send Ross Stripling to the mound. First pitch is set for 8:10 p.m.