Bucks announce date, uniforms for “Return to the MECCA” game

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks fell to the Boston Celtics in the 1974 NBA Finals. They’ll get their chance at a do-over when the two teams meet for a throwback game on Oct. 26.

The contest has been dubbed the “Return to the MECCA,” with the game being played at the UW Milwaukee Panther Arena, the original home of the Bucks franchise. Milwaukee will also wear a Nike version of the team’s original uniforms, in rotation from 1968-69 to 1971-72.

Bucks legend Jon McGlocklin announced the upcoming matchup in a press conference Tuesday morning. The Oct. 26 contest will air at 6 p.m. on TNT.

The Bucks recently released their 2017-18 season schedule, though the “Return to the MECCA” date was previously unlisted.

Brewers win 3-2 to hand Dodgers rare series loss

LOS ANGELES — The Milwaukee Brewers accomplished a rare feat Sunday afternoon, handing the Los Angeles Dodgers a 3-2 loss at Dodger Stadium and a series loss for the first time since June 5-7.

Left fielder Hernan Pérez gave the Brewers a solo home run in the third inning to give run support to Jimmy Nelson, who didn’t allow a hit through his first five innings. He finished with 6.2 innings of work, giving up two runs on four hits.

The day before, Milwaukee had beaten Los Angeles 3-0 behind a solid performance from Zach Davies. Nelson says the Dodgers series puts the Brewers back on track after a disappointing series loss last week to San Francisco.

“We proved to ourselves that we’re right there with the best teams,” Nelson said.

Though idle on Monday, the Brewers had climbed back to 2.0 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central standings with 31 games to play.

Sunday’s win was a chance for Milwaukee to show it was still a contender in the division with the season winding down. In the seventh inning, Eric Sogard made a defensive play which spoke to that mindset. With two outs and a runner on first, Yasiel Puig drove a liner up the middle which was stopped with a diving effort from Sogard, who then quickly got up and scorched a throw to Neil Walker for the out.

“It was great to kill that rally,” Sogard said. “He’s a good runner, and so I just tried to get my feet under me as quick as I could and get enough on the throw, and it worked out great.”

Corey Knebel came to the mound for Milwaukee for the final inning, notching his 29th save of the season.

The Joe & Ebo Experience: Money be damned

The Brewers looked to close out the Giants series with a win, while expectations in Green Bay are sky high. Which second-tier player scores the most fantasy points? These topics and more were discussed on today’s show.

0:00 — Evaluating the Brewers playoff odds
10:39 — Joe needs help.  He’s back on the Brewers bets
13:15 — Breaking down the Packers’ second-tier fantasy playmakers
26:05 — NBC15 Sports Director Mike Jacques pledges to lead his newscast with the Brewers
34:50 — Making the case to cut Randall Cobb and/or Davante Adams
40:26 — Comparing Matt Garza to Nick Perry

Duration: 47:33

Brewers rally in 7th for 4-3 win over Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — The Milwaukee Brewers used a combination of defense and small ball to produce a seventh-inning rally to top the San Francisco Giants 4-3 Tuesday night at AT&T Park.

Down 3-2 in the seventh, Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw delivered his 81st RBI of the season to put Milwaukee on top for good. It started with a Neil Walker double that put Eric Thames on first base, finished off with a Ryan Braun sacrifice fly. Shaw’s liner resulted in a double and another run across the plate.

“We didn’t do it with a homer tonight. But you string together hits,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That got the job done. You have to string together consecutive at-bats, I think, in this park. Four guys put together good at-bats.”

Milwaukee has hit 184 home runs this season while opponents have totaled 154 long balls against the Crew.

Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson had a respectable outing, but was pulled after 5.0 innings after walking three batters. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits while striking out six.

“I think [Nelson] had good stuff tonight,” Counsell recalled. “There were some times he lost some pitches, kind of gave them some free pitches…It certainly was a night where Jimmy had to battle through things.”

Milwaukee and San Francisco finish off the series Wednesday afternoon at 2:45 p.m. CT.

The Joe & Ebo Experience: The value of Wisconsin teams

Our listeners’ fandom was put to the test today, as Joe and Eric debated whether University of Wisconsin was still considered an underdog, how much Brett Hundley would fetch in a trade, and where Joe wanted to place his bets in Major League Baseball.

0:00 — OJ Mayo back in Milwaukee?
6:10 — Joe is frustrated by the Brewers
14:21 — The Action Zone and #NoMoreBrewersBets
16:51 — Debating UW sports as an underdog
28:47 — Obligatory Floyd Mayweather / Conor McGregor analysis
36:30 — What is Brett Hundley’s value in a potential trade?

Duration: 44:06

Davies’ start goes to waste in 2-0 loss to Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Starting pitcher Zach Davies allowed zero earned runs, but the Milwaukee Brewers offense stalled in a 2-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants Monday night.

Davies struck out five Giants batters, while scattering six hits. He also went 1-for-2 at the plate, one of just four Brewers hits in the game. As Davies took his seventh loss of the season, opposing starter Chris Stratton took an unconventional approach to victory.

In what ended up being San Francisco’s first home shutout of the season, Stratton only fanned a single Milwaukee batter in the win (Keon Broxton). Only three times did Milwaukee get in scoring position against Stratton, while the Giants hurler extended his scoreless streak to 12.2 innings.

Due to the limited number of scoring opportunities Milwaukee found itself in, mistakes were amplified. Stephen Vogt stood on first base with two outs in the fourth inning, then attempted to head home after Orlando Arcia aggressively ran the basepaths after dumping a ball out to right field. Vogt was thrown out at home, killing a scoring chance for the Brewers and failing to provide offense to back Davies’ work on the mound.

“It was a tough battle tonight,” said Davies. “Those games are going to happen and it’s not always going to be perfect. That was my job to try and keep us as close as possible. Hopefully we could have strung a rally together. Unfortunately we didn’t.”

Milwaukee falls 2½ behind the Chicago Cubs for the NL Central lead while trailing the Arizona Diamondbacks by 3½ games for the final wild card spot.

The Joe & Ebo Experience: a total eclipse of expectations

While Ebo begins his well-deserved vacation, Joe once again hits the links. This time he was at Blackhawk Country Club for the Ronald McDonald House fundraiser. In the meantime:

0:00 — The Brewers show their might on the road trip
5:30 — No more “no more Brewers bets”
9:10 — Is Joe or Ebo responsible for Milwaukee’s success?
12:34 — RJ Brachman breaks down expectations from UW football
23:05 — Taysom Hill’s preseason worries Joe
29:58 — News of the Weird: Solar Eclipse Edition
34:04 — Evaluating the Packers’ priorities
41:14 — Ronald McDonald House executive director Kevin Hiddleston
46:52 — Ronald McDonald House board member Jerry Brown
49:53 — Executive director of sales Mike Weber

Bats come alive as Brewers top Rockies 8-4

DENVER — Jesus Aguilar had a pair of home runs in the series finale, giving the Milwaukee Brewers an 8-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies Sunday afternoon.

“It’s all about confidence,” Aguilar said. “Starting the road trip with a series win is a boost of energy for the club and it gives us a lot of confidence. We’re just happy we were able to get it done.”

Aguilar followed up his pinch-hit go-ahead home run on Saturday with two more home runs on Sunday. In total, Milwaukee tallied 12 hits in the game while backing up Chase Anderson, who had just returned from injury to gather the win.

Anderson had just returned from the disabled list after an injury in late June kept him out of the rotation — one of Milwaukee’s more reliable starters to that point in the season. Anderson went 5.0 innings, allowing one earned run on a pair of hits while striking out four.

But after falling in a 6-1 hole heading into the home half of the eighth inning, the Rockies showed why they hadn’t lost a game at Coors Field since June 22nd. Colorado mounted a comeback with Milwaukee looking to close the game out with its late relievers. Former Brewer Mark Reynolds homered in the eighth before driving in Nolan Arenado on a single in the ninth inning. He’d finish the game with three RBI before Milwaukee secured the 8-4 victory with Corey Knebel logging his 26th save.

Milwaukee gained a game in the chase for a Wild Card spot, thanks to the Twins victory over the Diamondbacks. The Brewers remain 2½ games back of the final spot, while 2.0 games back of the Cubs for first place in the National League central.

Aguilar delivers as Brewers top Rockies 6-3

DENVER — After watching an early lead slip away, Jesus Aguilar delivered a three-run homer to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 6-3 win over the Colorado Rockies Saturday night.

An Eric Thames triple, a Ryan Braun sacrifice fly, and a Travis Shaw home run were the only runs Milwaukee had scored until the Aguilar blast, with all three aforementioned runs coming in the third inning. That 3-0 lead disappeared by the seventh inning after Josh Hader allowed RBI singles to Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu.

Hader had come on in the fifth inning to replace Brandon Woodruff, with the goal to pitch him for up to three innings.

“You know, this is how we’ve used Josh [Hader],” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “With what Josh is, this is the best way to deploy him and make him a weapon…This is the way we’re going to use him and we’re going to continue to use him.”

Once Rockies reliever Greg Holland came in to replace Pat Neshek, the opportunities opened up again for Milwaukee. Now with two men on base, the Brewers used Aguilar in a pinch hit role, resulting in the go-ahead three-run shot that would eventually give Milwaukee the win. But Aguilar had to battle through some tough pitches to find something to hit.

“I threw him a few quality pitches at the bottom of the zone that were balls, that he didn’t offer at,” Holland said. “But 3-2 with first base open — I know it’s a tie game, but you can’t throw a hanging slider after he’s already seen five.”

The win, paired with a St. Louis Cardinals loss, puts the Brewers back into second place in the National League Central standings, 2.0 games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs.