Brewers 4, Astros 2: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers picked up a big win Tuesday night over the Houston Astros 4-2 at Miller Park. The Brewers are seven games back in the NL Central race and four games back of the Wild Card.

I don’t want to be a Pirate

Just like Jerry Seinfeld, Jordan Lyles continues to show that he never really wanted to be a Pirate. Since coming over to the Brewers from Pittsburgh, Lyles has been terrific in the starting rotation.

He threw another gem on Tuesday night. In 6.1 innings of work, he allowed just two runs on six hits. Lyles has been a life-saver considering all the problems on the staff this season.

“I think a lot, maybe a majority, has to do with Yas(mani Grandal) and Manny (Piña),” Lyles said. “Just trusting their fingers, just trusting their pitch framing. Putting me in good situations at the right times.”

Eric Thames! Crush that ball! Eric Thames! Homerun! Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

Eric Thames gave the Brewers a huge boost in the third inning to put them up 4-1. With two runners on, Thames blasted a no-doubt homer to right-center for his 20th of the season.

“That’s the hit we’ve been wanting,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’ve been coming in here a lot saying, ‘We’re one hit away’ and tonight we got the big hit; a big two-out hit, a big damage hit.

Bullpen shuts the door

After another strong outing from Lyles, the bullpen for the Brewers finished it off. Drew Pomeranz put together a strong 1.2 inning outing before giving the ball to Josh Hader to close it out.

Hader struck out two in the ninth and retired the side in order picking up his 28th save of the year.

What’s next?

It is the most important series of the year so far for the Brewers (71-67) as they begin a four-game set with the Chicago Cubs (75-63) on Thursday. Chase Anderson (6|44.58 ERA106 SO) will get the start opposite of Jose Quintana (12|83.90 ERA, 137 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 6:10pm.

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Peralta gets roughed up in start, Brewers fall to Astros 10-8

Freddy Peralta continues to struggle as a starter for the Brewers. It didn’t get any better Monday night in Houston. The Astros roughed him up pretty bad as they went on to top the Brewers 10-8.

Peralta was coming off a good start against the Miami Marlins giving up only four hits and one run. That success didn’t carry over to Houston. He allowed eight hits and six runs in four-plus innings including two of the Astros’ four home runs. Peralta went to 3-3 with a 5.81 earned run average in 13 outings.

Yasmani Grandal got the Brewers off to a good start in the first inning with a two-out single that plated a run. Milwaukee had a chance to do more damage with bases loaded but Jesus Aguilar grounded out.

Christian Yelich continued his terrific season smacking a MLB-leading 25th home run. It was his fourth home run over his last nine games.

The Brewers made it interesting in the ninth. They kept battling as Grandal smacked a three-run homer to pull them within two.

Next up, the Brewers (38-29) will try to avoid the two-game sweep against the Astros (46-22). Brandon Woodruff (8|13.87 ERA90 SO) will get the start for Milwaukee opposite of Justin Verlander (9|22.31 ERA, 110 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm.

Here’s why the Brewers should hold on to OF Domingo Santana

With the trade for Christian Yelich and the signing of Lorenzo Cain last week, the Brewers now have a surplus of outfielders. Besides Yelich and Cain, Milwaukee also has Ryan Braun, Keon Broxton, and Brett Phillips, all who primarily play the three outfield positions.

Undoubtedly, the Brewers will have to move some of the outfielders on their roster, but should hold on to Domingo Santana, who had a breakout season in 2017. Santana’s name has come up  in multiple reports as a player the Brewers are currently shopping. Many have speculated that Milwaukee will be likely looking to trade Santana for a high-end starting pitcher.

The Brewers and Santana have been linked to teams and players such as the Tampa Bay Rays with Chris Archer and the Cleveland Indians with most notably Danny Salazar. It makes sense that Milwaukee would look into potential trade partners for Santana, but should at least think about holding on to a player of his caliber.

Since coming to Milwaukee as part of the trade that sent Carlos Gomez to the Houston Astros, Santana’s numbers have shown continued improvement. His batting average, on-base percentage, slugging, and OPS, were all up in each of the last three seasons. Not only has his batting production increased, but his defensive runs saved and adjusted range statistics have also improved. He also has a cannon for an arm out in right field. MLB Network ranked Santana as the 8th best right fielder heading into 2018.

The Brewers have also talked about moving Ryan Braun to first base, which would make sense since he took a step back in the outfield last season, but is still a bat you want in the lineup. Braun used to be an above-average outfielder, but age and injuries have started to take its toll. Of the five outfielders listed above, Braun is the worst outfielder of the group.

Santana’s contract goes right along with both Yelich and Cain’s deals. Cain will be under contract through the 2022 season making an average of $16 million a year. Yelich is under club control through 2022, making an average of just over $7 million per year, while Santana is under contract through 2021 and is eligible for arbitration for the first time in 2019. Overall the outfield of Cain, Yelich, and Santana will be under contract for the next four to five years at a reasonable price.

The Brewers also still have a good enough farm system to trade for a top-end starter. Prior to the Yelich trade, a move in which Milwaukee sent three top 100 prospect to the Marlins, the team’s farm system was ranked eighth by Baseball America. On Monday, the outlet had Milwaukee at No. 11. The Brewers still have three prospects ranked in the top 100 and two more who just narrowly missed the cut. The cupboard definitely isn’t bare in Milwaukee.

Overall, if the Brewers hold on to Santana, they would have one of the most productive outfields in MLB both offensively and defensively. Santana also has a very team-friendly deal and would be under contract for another four years, which would give Milwaukee financial flexibility. The Brewers also have a good enough farm system to go out and acquire top-end talent with the prospects they still have in the minor leagues.