Brewers victorious in Miami

Milwaukee outfielder Christian Yelich spent the first five seasons of his major league career in Miami with the Marlins. On Tuesday night he looked right at home.

Yelich went 3-for-5 at the plate with a pair of doubles and four runs driven in during Milwaukee’s 8-4 win over Miami. His two-run double in the top of the ninth inning gave the Brewers some extra insurance as they closed out the Marlins in the bottom half of the frame.

Milwaukee starter Jhoulys Chacin was credited with the win on the night. He pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out three. Reliever Corbin Burnes made his MLB debut by pitching two perfect innings with a strikeout. He earned the first save of his career.

Miami starter Pablo Lopez was roughed up early on as he allowed five runs in six innings on the mound. All five runs were earned and given up within the first two innings of the game. Lopez allowed five hits and struck out six on the night.

Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw also had a pair of runs batted in one Tuesday. He had a solo home run in the eighth inning that pushed Milwaukee’s lead to 6-4.

Milwaukee and Miami close out the three-game series on Wednesday night at Marlins Park. Freddy Peralta (4-1, 2.14 ERA) will start for the Brewers while Dan Straily (3-4, 4.55 ERA) will take the mound for the Marlins. First pitch is set for 6:10 p.m. CT.

Brewers drop series opener to Marlins

Things normally go well for the Milwaukee Brewers when star reliever Josh Hader is on the mound. Monday night against the Miami Marlins wasn’t the case.

With the Brewers leading 2-1 in the seventh inning Hader was on the hill for Milwaukee with Miami’s Starlin Castro at the plate. Castro fouled off five pitches with two strikes before hitting a home run on the 11th pitch of the at-bat to tie the game at two.

Hader’s very next pitch also cleared the fence, this one off the bat of Miami outfielder Brian Anderson. Just like that the Brewers’ 2-1 lead flipped to a 3-2 deficit.

The Brewers ultimately tied the game in the top half of the eighth inning on a Travis Shaw RBI-single, but fell in the tenth as Bryan Holaday hit a walk-off single off of Milwaukee closer Corey Knebel.

Chase Anderson started on the mound for the Brewers. He pitched 4 2/3 innings allowing one unearned run on eight hits while walking a pair and striking out four.

A day after being left off of the National League All-Star team, first baseman Jesús Aguilar hit his league-leading 23rd home run of the year in the fourth inning. Aguilar is up for the final vote for the last spot on the NL All-Star team.

The Brewers and Marlins will play the second game of the three-game series on Tuesday night. Jhoulys Chacin (7-3, 3.63 ERA) will be on the hill for Milwaukee while Miami will send Pablo Lopez (1-0, 5.73 ERA) to the mound. First pitch from Marlins Park in Miami is at 6:10 p.m. CT.

Brewers drop final two of series with Cardinals

After winning the first two games of the series on Thursday and Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals, the weekend wasn’t kind to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Milwaukee fell to the Cardinals 3-2 on Saturday afternoon at Miller Park as St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina hit a pair of home runs. That included a 2-run blast in the sixth inning off of Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress to give St. Louis the lead.

The Brewers struggled to put runs on the board in Sunday’s 8-2 loss as well.

Jhoulys Chacin was handed the loss after allowing eight runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. He falls to 6-2 on the season.

The Brewers did receive some help from the Cincinnati Reds, as they knocked off the Chicago Cubs in four straight games, keeping Milwaukee’s divisional lead at two games.

Things did tighten up in the division however, as the St. Louis Cardinals inched closer to the Cubs for second place. They’re 4.5 games behind the Brewers for first place.

Milwaukee has Monday off before resuming play on Tuesday evening at home against Kansas City. Freddy Peralta (2-0, 2.30 ERA) is set to make his Miller Park debut on the mound for the Brewers while Jakob Junis (5-8, 4.43 ERA) starts for the Royals.

Brewers walk-off against Cardinals 2-1

When a team carries a no-hitter into the seventh inning or deeper, things typically work out well that night.

Friday was not one of those instances for the St. Louis Cardinals.

St. Louis pitcher Jack Flaherty had yet to allow a hit when Brewers first baseman Jesús Aguilar stepped to the plate with one out in the seventh inning. Aguilar swung and missed at a first pitch slider from Flaherty. The second pitch was also a slider, but this one caught a bit more of the plate and ended up over the left field wall.

Gone was Flaherty’s no-hitter and shutout, as well as St. Louis’ lead.

Aguilar’s next at-bat was another one that the Cardinals would like to forget. With the game tied at one in the ninth, Aguilar deposited an 0-2 fastball from Bud Norris over the wall in right field to give the Brewers the walk-off victory.

While Flaherty’s effort gained much of the attention Friday night, Milwaukee’s pitching staff was nearly just as good. Junior Guerra got the start for the Brewers and pitched five innings, allowing one run on three hits. The Milwaukee bullpen then combined for four no-hit innings before Corey Knebel earned the win, thanks to Aguilar.

The Brewers and Cardinals play the third game of this four-game series on Saturday afternoon at Miller Park. Chase Anderson (5-6, 4.54 ERA) takes the hill for the Brewers while Miles Mikolas (7-2, 2.69 ERA) starts for St. Louis. First pitch is at 3:10 p.m. CT.

Brewers get past Pirates

Jesús Aguilar provided the offense and Freddy Peralta provided the pitching as the Brewers defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2.

Aguilar led of the scoring in the top of the first inning with a two-run home run to right center field. He also provided a run scoring double in the third inning scoring Lorenzo Cain from first.

Peralta’s outing on the mound was arguably his best in the big leagues. He pitched six shutout innings while striking out seven, allowing two hits, and not walking a batter.

The Pirates got on the board in the seventh inning as Jordy Mercer knocked an RBI-double to left center field. The double came off of reliever Jeremy Jeffress but the run was charged to Dan Jennings. Jeffress later allowed a solo home run to Starling Marte in the eighth inning.

The ninth inning was quiet as closer Corey Knebel got through the frame striking out a pair and only allowing a walk.

The Brewers and Pirates close out this three game series on Wednesday night at PNC Park. Brent Suter (7-4, 4.30 ERA) is on the hill for the Brewers and Chad Kuhl (5-4, 3.76 ERA) gets the start for the Pirates. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. CT.

Last strikes: Phillies 4, Brewers 1

MILWAUKEE – Seventeen last strikes for the 17 strikes thrown by reliever Jacob Barnes in Saturday’s 4-1 loss at home to the Philadelphia Phillies.

1. The Brewers bullpen has been very good for the better part of the 2018 campaign. The weight has been carried mostly by Josh Hader, Corey Knebel and Jeremy Jeffress. Dan Jennings, Taylor Williams, and Jacob Barnes have been good as well, mostly in lower-leverage situations.

2. Boone Logan has not been part of the success of that group. Logan entered Saturday’s contest with an ERA north of 5.00 and it only climbed from there as he allowed a run in 1/3 of an inning against Philadelphia. Logan also allowed an inherited runner to score in the sixth.

3. “It’s left-hander, switch-hitter who you want hitting right handed, pitcher’s spot and left-hander,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said of the situation that Logan was inserted into. “That’s a spot where we’re down one in the game and that’s a spot Boone’s got to be able to get outs in.”

4. Logan has appeared in 16 games this season and has allowed seven runs in 10.2IP. He hasn’t been an effective pitcher at the major league level since 2016 in Colorado. Logan spent last season in Cleveland allowing 13 runs in 21 innings before tearing his lat muscle on July 19 and spending the remainder of the season on the 60-day DL.

5. “He’s got 10 innings, so we don’t have a big sample, but these are the outs that we need him to get there’s no question,” Counsell said. “This is his job and it has to be his role to get these outs.”

6. The position that he holds in the bullpen isn’t one of the utmost importance, but if his struggles continue it would be logical for the Brewers to move on from him. Financially, he’s owed $1.8MM this season and has a team option worth $2.12MM for 2019. If his option is not picked up the Brewers would owe him $625k.

7. Junior Guerra started the game on the hill for the Crew Saturday and took the loss. He wasn’t bad but wasn’t the pitcher the Brewers had become accustomed to watching take the ball every five days, either.

8. “I thought he pitched well,” Counsell said. “A couple home runs got him. He was a little bit cruising. I thought the last couple innings there was a tad bit of fatigue in him, but he gave us a chance.”

9. In general, the pitching for the Brewers wasn’t great Saturday. Milwaukee walked a season-high 10 batters while allowing four earned runs on nine hits.

10. Guerra went five and 1/3 innings Saturday allowing three runs on four hits. He also walked three which led to more traffic on the base paths than Milwaukee would like. The right hander also gave up two home runs, including a 431-foot blast to Rhys Hoskins of Philadelphia that might still be going had it not collided with the Stadium Club in left field.

11. Hoskins also hit a foul ball in this area on Friday night. It was to the left of the foul pole but was a sight to behold nonetheless. He kept the ball fair on Saturday and it was one of the more impressive home runs that Miller Park has seen this season, also the longest home run hit to straight-away left field in the venue this season.

12. Despite all this, and the lack of offensive production for most of the game, the Brewers had a chance to tie things up late. In the eighth inning Hernán Pérez doubled down the left field line and Eric Sogard was hit by a pitch to bring the tying run to the plate with one out.

13. The Brewers squandered the opportunity as both Eric Thames and Christian Yelich struck out swinging to end the threat and what would be Milwaukee’s best chance to even things up late.

14. The Brewers entered the day tied for their season-high in games above .500 at 15. Each time the Crew has reached that mark the next game has been a loss. Milwaukee has not been 16 games above .500 since August 19, 2014 when the record was 71-55.

15. Ryan Braun collected two hits on the afternoon and recorded his 200th career stolen base in the fifth inning. Braun becomes the fourth active player to reach at least 200 home runs and 200 steals. He joins Ian Kinsler, Brandon Phillips, and Hanley Ramirez in that group.

16. Braun is also the only active player to amass at least 300 home runs and 20 steals and the 24th all-time. Braun is in third-place all time in Brewers’ history in stolen bases trailing Paul Molitor (412) and Robin Yount (271).

17. This three-game series wraps up on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park. Chase Anderson (5-5, 4.13 ERA) heads to the mound for Milwaukee and Aaron Nola (8-2, 2.27 ERA) will start for Philadelphia. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. CT.

Last strikes: Brewers 13, Phillies 2

MILWAUKEE – Thirteen last strikes for the 13 runs scored by the Milwaukee Brewers in their 13-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night at Miller Park.

1. Brent Suter is a pleasure for the casual baseball fan to watch pitch.

2. This isn’t because Suter has devastating stuff or an overwhelming fastball. Sure, he was fantastic on Friday night against Philadelphia, pitching seven innings while allowing one run on five hits on a career-high 105 pitches. But the reason the casual fan may love to watch Suter is due to the pace he pitches with.

3. Over the past few seasons Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has been pushing for the pace of the game to be hasted. Changes have been made such as shortening the time in-between innings and limiting mound visits in order to move games along quicker.

4. If every pitcher around were like Suter, Manfred would have no such problem. In the seven innings on the mound Friday, the longest amount of time between his first pitch thrown and the last out recorded was seven minutes and 48 seconds.

5. The enhanced microscope on the pace of the game certainly can get annoying. But watching Suter pitch at the pace he does is a very refreshing compromise between those that want the game sped up and those that want it left alone.

6. For Brewers fans, Philadelphia starter Jake Arrieta was also a treat to watch. He allowed eight runs (four earned) on seven hits over three and a third innings. Arrieta certainly wasn’t helped out by his defense either.

7. The Phillies entered the night with the second-most errors in the National League (50) trailing only the San Francisco Giants. By the time the night was over the Phillies had taken the lead from the Giants by committing four errors against the Brewers. Aside from the four miscues, the Phillies also had a wild pitch that scored a run for Milwaukee, as well as multiple other plays that were made despite a bobble or hiccup.

8. Giving any team — especially the one with the best record in the National League – extra outs is a bad idea. It came back to bite the Phillies on Friday night. Aside from that, the Milwaukee bats were scorching. The Brewers totaled 13 runs on 13 hits on the night.

9. Suter was also part of the offensive assault on the Phillies. He went 1-for-2 at the dish with two runs batted in but reached three times. Aside from his single he also got on base via an RBI-hit-by-pitch as well as on of the four Philadelphia errors. Suter became just the third pitcher in franchise history to score and drive in multiple runs in the same game and the first since George Lauzerique did so on April 12, 1970.

10. Lorenzo Cain also stayed hot at the plate, collecting two hits. It was the seventh time in his last nine games that Cain has had multiple hits. In that stretch he’s hit .375 for the Crew.

11. Friday was the sixth time this season that the Brewers scored 10 or more runs in a game, and they’ve now scored 12 runs or more in three of the four meetings with the Phillies this season.

12. It’s hard to equate on-field success to what the players are wearing, but it’s worth noting that the Brewers are now 6-1 on the season in the Friday night pinstriped uniforms. If that’s not a reason to move to this look full-time, it’s hard to guess what would be.

13. This three-game series continues on Saturday afternoon at Miller Park. Junior Guerra (3-4, 2.71 ERA) heads to the mound for Milwaukee and Zach Eflin (3-2, 3.63 ERA) will start for Philadelphia. First pitch is set for 3:10 p.m. CT.

Brewers jump back into first with win over Cubs

The time spent in second place in the NL Central division was short lived for the Milwaukee Brewers.

After Monday’s extra-inning loss put Milwaukee a half-game behind the Chicago Cubs in the division standings, Tuesday’s win over Chicago flipped them back into first-place.

Chase Anderson was Milwaukee’s starter and turned in his best performance of the season. Anderson pitched seven scoreless innings allowing only one hit and struck out six. That hit came on an infield single by Chicago catcher Willson Contreras in the second inning. After that blemish Anderson retired the next 17 batters he faced in order.

Offensively for Milwaukee third baseman Travis Shaw provided all of the firepower that the Brewers would need. He had a two-RBI double in the first inning that scored Eric Thames and Lorenzo Cain. Shaw came back to the plate in the third inning and collected another two-RBI double, this time scoring Christian Yelich and Cain.

The victory for the Brewers makes them the first team in the National League to reach the 40-win mark on the season. They now lead the Cubs in the division by a half-game.

These two teams wrap up this three-game series on Wednesday at Miller Park. Jhoulys Chacin (5-1, 3.58 ERA) is slated to start for Milwaukee and Mike Montgomery (2-1, 3.56 ERA) is set to be on the hill for the Cubs. First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. CT.

NL All-Star ballot first return released

Major League Baseball released the first return for voting for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game on Monday. The news was not good for the Milwaukee Brewers. Despite having the second-best record in the National League as of Tuesday, Milwaukee only had two players appear to be in the running for starting spots on the team.

Outfielders Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain were the two Brewers to make the list, coming in at 11th and 15th among National League outfielders, respectively.

Yelich had 163,575 votes as of Monday while Cain had 104,948. Bryce Harper was the leader among outfielders in the National League with 498,189 votes. The top three vote-getters among outfielders are selected as starters in the game. Atlanta’s Nick Markakis is currently second and Matt Kemp of the Dodgers is in third.

The 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game is July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Last strikes: Indians 3, Brewers 2

CLEVELAND – Seventeen last strikes for the 17 pitches thrown by Milwaukee reliever Dan Jennings in the Brewers’ 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.

1. There’s a reason that Cleveland’s Corey Kluber is the owner of a pair of American League Cy Young Awards.

2. Kluber has been fantastic in nearly every start this year for the Indians, with one of the exceptions being in early May against the Brewers. Milwaukee knocked off Cleveland that day 3-2 behind a home run from reliever Brent Suter who entered the game for an injured Wade Miley in the first inning.

3. Tuesday in Cleveland was a bit different.

4. Kluber pitched seven innings against the Brewers allowing just one run on seven hits and striking out seven batters.

5. Milwaukee scored in the third inning on an RBI-single by outfielder Lorenzo Cain after Manny Piña doubled and Jonathan Villar legged out an infield single before Cain stepped to the plate.

6. “We really had that one good opportunity [in the third]. Christian [Yelich] hit that one ball right on the screws and ended up lining out,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said about Kluber’s performance. “I thought we did a decent job against him. We hit some other balls pretty good and kind of right at some guys. We had some baserunners and just couldn’t get the next hit to make it another rally.”

7. Kluber allowed only three baserunners after Milwaukee scored in the third inning. No one made it into scoring position, either.

8. “It’s both side of the plate, that’s the tough part,” third baseman Travis Shaw said about Kluber. “He commands his fastball and his breaking ball to both sides of the plate. With a lot of guys you can – I don’t want to say eliminate certain zones of the plate – but with him you can’t. It’s just strike after strike after strike. If you don’t go up there ready to go you’re going to be behind and then you’re at his will.”

9. The offense struggling on Tuesday night should not come as a surprise. Kluber has yet to allow more than three runs in a start all season and has only allowed three earned runs in the five starts since the Brewers beat him on May 8.

10. Kluber’s performance out shadowed a terrific outing by Milwaukee’s Junior Guerra. He went six innings allowing seven hits and three runs while striking out five. Most nights, that’s a good enough effort to win. Tuesday it wasn’t.

11. “After the homer to Ramirez [Guerra] was really good,” Counsell said. “I thought he locked in and started elevating a little bit and made some nice pitches to a tough lineup.”

12. Prior to the game Shaw was spotted on the field prior to the game wearing the jersey of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James. Shaw is an Ohio native and fan of both the Cavaliers and Cleveland Browns.

13. Following one of the games against the New York Mets a couple weekends ago Shaw had told me that he was going to attempt to attend Game 3 of the NBA Finals should the Cavs make it. He did say prior to Tuesday night’s game that he was unable to work something out to be able to go on Wednesday night.

14. Shaw did have something to smile about, as he crushed a home run in the ninth inning to bring the Brewers within one. The blast went an estimated 407 feet while clanging off the right field foul pole.

15. Tuesday night also happened to be a night in which the Cleveland Indians were honoring former Wisconsin All-American and Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas. Both Thomas and former NFL wide receiver Andrew Hawkins threw out first pitches prior to the game.

16. Thomas also sat down with me prior to the game. That conversation can be read here.

17. The Brewers and Indians will wrap up this quick two game set on Wednesday afternoon. Chase Anderson (4-3, 4.22 ERA) will be on the hill for the Brewers and Carlos Carrasco (6-4, 4.50) is slated to start for the Indians. First pitch is set for 12:10 p.m. CT.