Brewers 6, Twins 5: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers avoided the two game sweep beating the Minnesota Twins 6-5 on Wednesday afternoon.

Trent Grisham

Rookie Trent Grisham had his best moment of his young career so far. He hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to put the Brewers ahead 6-5. Milwaukee trailed 5-3 when Grisham came to the plate.

Ryan Braun reached first on an error and Hernan Perez singled to give Grisham a few ducks on the pond. Grisham smacked a 2-2 fastball into right-field.

“We were always within a swing,” Grisham said. “Just heady baseball playing, taking dirtball reads, going long at-bats, grinding [Twins pitchers] down. You just felt like something good had to happen.”

The Brewers were 3-14 with runners in scoring position before Grisham’s tater. It was his second home run of the season and first at Miller Park.

No Hader

Manager Craig Counsell said he wasn’t going to Josh Hader Wednesday afternoon.

“I didn’t want to use him today,” Counsell said. “He’ll be ready to go on Friday.”

Clinging to a one-run lead in the ninth, Alex Claudio got the call from the bullpen. After recording the first out of the inning, Matt Albers came in to try and seal the victory.

Albers recorded the second out before walking three straight batters. The, with the bases loaded and two outs, Albers got C.J. Cron to fly out recording his fourth save of the year.

What’s next?

The Brewers (63-58) are off Thursday before beginning a three-game set on the road against the Washington Nationals.

Giants claim Burch Smith from Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers have been trying to figure out their pitching staff all season long. They lost an arm as right-hander Burch Smith was claimed by the San Francisco Giants on a waiver claim.

Smith was designated for assignment on August 9th to create space for Hernan Perez.

Milwaukee signed Smith to a minor-league contract back in January and he began his season in Triple-A. The 29-year old posted a 2.33 ERA across 15 starts and 77.1 innings while striking out 85 and walking 37.

The Brewers used Smith as a reliever during his time with the big league club. He allowed 11 earned runs in his 12.2 innings of work this season.

Brewers to open 2020 season against Cubs

On Monday, Major League Baseball released its schedule for the 2020 season. The Milwaukee Brewers will meet a familiar foe in their first series. On Thursday March 26th, the Chicago Cubs will come to Miller Park.

It will be a three game series with both teams taking Friday off and resuming play on the weekend. The St. Louis Cardinals will come to town for three games completing the Brewers’ six-game home stand to open the year.

One thing that is interesting however is the lack of NL Central matchups late in the year. The Brewers will play their last game against the Cubs on Aug. 9. Also, they’ll only play the Cardinals six times over the last two months of the season.

Milwaukee will see plenty of the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets in the opening month. They’ll finish the season series with both clubs in just over a few weeks.

The interleague schedule will put the Brewers up against the AL East. The New York Yankees will come to town from May 19-21, the Toronto Blue Jays form June 22-24 and the Tampa Bay Rays from July 7-8. Milwaukee will travel to Tampa Bay from May 30-31, to Boston from June 5-7, and to Baltimore from Sept. 11-13.

You can check out the full schedule on the Brewers website here.

Brewers 3, Rangers 2: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers took down the Texas Rangers 3-2 at Miller Park on Saturday night. The Crew pulled within 1.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

Right-handed hurler throws up a victory

Things got off to a rough start for Adrian Houser as he got sick on the mound in the first inning.

“I think it’s one of those things where he gets amped up at the start of the game,” manager Craig Counsell said. “You know, you’ve got energy, you’ve got some nerves, you’ve got butterflies. And it all came out at once.”

He was cool the rest of his outing though. Houser mowed through the Rangers’ lineup in his six innings of work. He gave up just one run on three hits while striking out a career-high 10 batters on 96 pitches.

His one mistake came in the sixth inning on a solo home-run by Danny Santana. Houser was able to get through the inning striking out the last hitter he faced, Nomar Mazara.

Rookies doing work

Keston Hiura continues to be a weapon in the Brewers’ lineup. He hit a solo home run in the third inning to put Milwaukee up 2-0. It was Hiura’s third homer in the past three games.

https://twitter.com/fswisconsin/status/1160343530016927744

Trent Grisham got the assignment to bat leadoff and he didn’t let it go to waste. Grisham reached base on all four of his plate appearances hitting three singles and walking once. Could he be the new leadoff hitter for the Crew?

What a double play!

Drew Pomeranz found trouble when he entered the game in the eighth inning. He allowed a home run to Shin-Soo Choo which made the score 3-2. Then, Pomeranz walked Santana and Elvis Andrus.

With one out and a 3-2 count the runners attempted a double steal. Pomeranz struck out the batter, Rougned Odor and Yasmani Grandal threw out Andrus at second to complete the double play.

Matt Albers was able to get the final three outs in the ninth inning. He has now not allowed a run in 11 of his last 12 games.

“He’s just doing a tremendous job,” Counsell said. “He’s been awesome against right-handed hitters. I’m happy for him. Last year was a struggle for him but he has bounced back in a huge way.”

What’s next?

The Brewers (62-56) will look for the series sweep of the Rangers (58-58) Sunday afternoon. Jordan Lyles (7|74.97 ERA95 SO) will get the start for the Crew opposite of Mike Minor (10|63.06 ERA, 148 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10pm.

Brewers offense struggles, fall to Cubs 4-1

The Milwaukee Brewers are battling to stay in the race for the NL Central. They lost more ground Saturday afternoon falling in game two of their three-game set with the Chicago Cubs 3-1. The Brewers now trail the Cardinals and Cubs by three games in the division.

Gio Gonzalez was effective in his start. He pitched 4.1 innings allowing just one run on five hits while striking out four. But like many times before, the bullpen struggled to hold the Cubs.

Albert Almora Jr. lined a solo home run off reliever Junior Guerra to give the Cubs the lead 2-1 in the seventh inning. Then in the eighth, the Cubs tacked on two more runs off Freddy Peralta. Javier Baez hit an RBI-single and Almora followed with a sacrifice fly to give Chicago a 4-1 lead.

The only score for the Brewers came in the sixth inning on a Ryan Braun single.

Next up, the Brewers (57-55) will look to avoid the sweep against the Cubs (59-51) on Sunday. Adrian Houser (4|43.99 ERA60 SO) will get the start opposite of Yu Darvish (3|54.46 ERA, 141 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 1:20pm.

Brewers recall RHP Aaron Wilkerson, option RHP Jay Jackson

The Milwaukee Brewers continue to tinker with their bullpen. Aaron Wilkerson has been recalled from Triple-A San Antonio and Jay Jackson has been optioned.

Wilkerson has been effective as a starter in Triple-A. In 14 starts, he’s gone 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA. However, he hasn’t found the same success in the big leagues. In five relief appearances, Wilkerson has allowed earned runs each time out.

According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, Wilkerson will be the go-to guy if Gio Gonzalez shows any sign of shoulder struggle in his start on Saturday.

Jackson has made 10 appearances with the Brewers posting a 5.79 ERA across 14 innings.

Could Brewers deal Moustakas or Grandal for an arm?

The Milwaukee Brewers need help in their starting rotation and their bullpen. It will be difficult for them to move prospects for a solid arm though as their farm system isn’t as good as it was just a few years ago.

The Brewers are looking to their big-league roster for trade pieces to improve their pitching.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, they are considering trading one of their all-stars, Mike Moustakas or Yasmani Grandal, for a starting pitcher.

Moustakas is hitting .261/.333/.532 with 26 home runs and 60 RBIs and Grandal has hit 19 homers and driven in 54 runs. Both players are set to be free agents after the season.

Currently, Milwaukee is one game behind the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. Also, they are one game out of the second wild-card spot.

Starters Brandon Woodruff and Jhoulys Chacin are both set to miss a significant amount of time. GM David Stearns will need to figure out how to get another arm to Milwaukee.

Losing either Moustakas or Grandal would hurt the offense. Both players have been huge to the success of the bats this season. They each have plenty of postseason experience as well which can’t be understated.

Cubs 11, Brewers 4: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers failed to complete the sweep of the Chicago Cubs with an 11-4 blowout loss on Sunday. The loss set the Brewers one game back of first place in the NL Central.

Schwarber bombs

Kyle Schwarber nearly single-handedly won the game for the Cubs. He had seven RBIs courtesy of a grand-slam and a three-run homer. Schwarber was a nightmare for Brewers starter Zach Davies all afternoon.

In the second inning, with one out, Javier Baéz and Jayson Heyward hit back-to-back singles. Then, Ian Happ drew a walk to load the bases. Schwarber launched a first-pitch fastball to deep right-field for the longest (473 ft) home run at Miller Park this season.

Davies walked two more batters in the fourth inning before Schwarber made him pay again with a three-run homer putting the Cubs up 7-0.

“The walks to Happ killed us today,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “No question about it. We did a poor job on him.”

Brewers offense shows some life in the fifth

Cubs starter Jose Quintana has been historically dominant against the Brewers in his career. The first four innings proved that notion as he cruised through Milwaukee’s lineup. However, he found some trouble in the fifth inning as the Brewers offense finally showed some life.

Yasmani Grandal led off the frame with a walk. Next, Jesus Aguilar singled and Orlando Arcia followed with a walk to load the bases. Quintana struck out Tyler Saladino before allowing an RBI-single to Manny Pina. Lorenzo Cain hit a sacrifice fly and Christian Yelich knocked one more run in with a double to trim the deficit to 7-3.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon decided to go to his bullpen. Reliever Brad Birch came in for Quintana and was able to get Ryan Braun to ground out to third.

Hey, it’s still a series win

It’s way too early to say these games were on “must-win” level but they were definitely important. It was huge for the Brewers to take two out of three games against the Cubs as the trade deadline approaches.

Milwaukee is trending up, having won eight of their last 12 games and three out of their last four series.

There is uncertainty though regarding the starting rotation moving forward. Expect Adrian Houser to get one of the starts against the Oakland Athletics this week. But who starts the other games? The Brewers don’t have an answer for that yet.

What’s next?

The Brewers (56-51) are off Monday before starting a nine-game road-trip beginning in Oakland against the Athletics (59-47) Tuesday night.

Brewers 3, Cubs 2: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers took game one of a three-game set from the Chicago Cubs 3-2 Friday night.

Defensive battle

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.

What’s next?

The Brewers (55-50) will look to take the weekend series over the Cubs (55-48) Saturday night. Chase Anderson (5|23.90 ERA81 SO) will get the start opposite of Jon Lester (9|63.87 ERA, 105 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 6:10pm.

Reds 14, Brewers 6: Last takes

MILWAUKEE | Yikes, that’s not what you want to see. The Milwaukee Brewers were blown out by the Cincinnati Reds 14-6 Tuesday night.

Davies puts Brewers in an early hole

The Brewers were down 4-0 before even having an opportunity to bat Tuesday night. After striking out the first batter he faced (Nick Senzel), Zach Davies allowed the next four batters to score.

Joey Votto got the inning started with a double. The, Eugenio Suarez hit his third two-run homer of the series putting the Reds up 2-0. Davies then walked Yasiel Puig and Jesse Winker followed with a two-run dinger of his own increasing the lead to 4-0.

It could’ve been even worse if it wasn’t for a nice 7-4-2 relay to throw Scooter Gennett out at home. Davies settled in nicely after his poor first inning. He threw a scoreless second, third and fourth inning before allowing a run in the fifth and being pulled in favor of Alex Claudio.

Davies has been so solid lately entering the game with the fifth-best ERA (2.79) in MLB. He finished the night with 4+ innings pitched allowing seven runs (six earned) on nine hits. With the recent injury to Brandon Woodruff, the Brewers really need the other guys in the starting rotation to step up if they expect to make any noise during the playoff chase.

Brewers’ pen puts them in a bigger hole

The Reds had another big inning in the fifth scoring five more runs making it a 9-0 game. Senzel led off with a single and Votto reached base on an error by Tyler Saladino. Suarez and Puig each singled before pinch-hitter Phillip Ervin knocked a bases-clearing triple to right field. Ervin came into score thanks to a sacrifice fly from Gennett.

Cincinnati would go on to score two more runs in the sixth and four more runs in the seventh inning. It was just one of those nights for the Crew.

“Who we’re playing doesn’t matter,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “You’ve got to play a good game to win. That’s the big leagues, that’s the National League. And we’re not playing well enough in these games. We didn’t come close to playing well enough tonight.”

There were a few bright spots

Milwaukee got to Reds starter Tanner Roark in the fifth inning on a Lorenzo Cain RBI double and a Christian Yelich RBI single. Then, in the sixth inning, Manny Pina crushed a three-run homer.

Rookie phenom Keston Hiura also returned to the starting lineup and extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

What’s next?

The Brewers (53-50) will look to avoid the sweep by the Reds (46-53) Wednesday afternoon. Jhoulys Chacin (3|105.67 ERA75 SO) will get the start opposite of Lucas Sims (1|03.72 ERA, 12 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10pm.