MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers took game one of a three-game set from the Chicago Cubs 3-2 Friday night.
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.
The Brewers (55-50) will look to take the weekend series over the Cubs (55-48) Saturday night. Chase Anderson (5|2, 3.90 ERA, 81 SO) will get the start opposite of Jon Lester (9|6, 3.87 ERA, 105 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 6:10pm.