Travis Shaw’s 2-run walk-off HR pushes the Brewers past Chicago

Faced with the same extra innings situation they had been in the last two nights, the Milwaukee Brewers were determined to change the outcome on Saturday — and they did.

After watching the Chicago Cubs score in the top of the 10th inning in each of the last two games and go on to win, manager Craig Counsell’s club once again faced a deficit when they came to the plate at Miller Park in the 10th. But instead of just accepting a fourth straight loss, the Brewers kept their playoff hopes alive thanks to a 2-run, walk-off homer by Travis Shaw for a 4-3 win.

It was a 1-1 game until the top of the eighth inning when Kris Bryant drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and it stayed that way heading to the bottom of the ninth.

Two things were going against the Brewers at that point — closer Wade Davis hadn’t blown a save in 2017 and Milwaukee hadn’t won a game when trailing after eight innings all year. Shortstop Orlando Arcia took care of the first part with a solo homer, and then, after Chicago got an RBI single from Jon Jay in the 10th inning, Shaw took care of the second part following up a Ryan Braun double with his 31st homer of the year and the win.

The victory guaranteed the Brewers would have a winning record, the first time since 2014. It also kept them in the race for the second wild card in the National League, as they pulled even with St. Louis, sitting 1 1/2 games behind Colorado. Both of those teams had yet to play Saturday.

Milwaukee will try to get the split of its four-game series with the Cubs on Sunday afternoon.

Milwaukee blows late lead, loses 5-3 in 10 innings to Chicago

For a second straight night the Milwaukee Brewers lost in agonizing fashion, this time a 5-3 setback to the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs.

Manager Craig Counsell’s club took a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning against the defending World Series champions, only to see shortstop Javy Baez drive in the tying run off of Jeremy Jeffress with two strikes and two down.

“(Jeffress) did a great job. He did exactly what he was supposed to do,” Counsell said. “He threw a ball on the last pitch (to Baez), that looked to me like it was just off the ground, and (Baez) just rolled a ball up the middle.”

Milwaukee loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning, but couldn’t get a run across. In the 10th, Chicago’s Kris Bryant drilled what proved to be the game-winning 2-run homer off of Oliver Drake.

The loss came a night after the Brewers blew a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning to Pittsburgh, who went on to win the game 6-4.

“Two tough games,” Counsell said of the missed opportunities. “We’re still sitting, to me, in a pretty good spot, where we can play well for the last nine days and still do something good. Every loss is going to be incredibly tough right now.”

Chicago pushed its lead in the NL Central to 4 ½ games on the second-place Brewers, and while it seems a bit much to ask to catch the Cubs, Milwaukee is still, like Counsell said, in good shape playoff-wise. That’s thanks to Colorado, which has lost three straight and still holds just a one-game lead on the Brewers, with St. Louis a ½ game back of them.

“Having multiple options to get into the playoffs is nice, but (this) is a big series regardless of that wild card issue,” pitcher Zach Davies said. “We’ve got three games left (with the Cubs). We’ll take it to them the next three.”

Milwaukee and Chicago will play game No. 2 of the four-game series at Miller Park on Friday night with first pitch coming at 6:35 p.m.

Brewers beat Pittsburgh 1-0, move to within a game of Colorado in wild card race

The Milwaukee Brewers continued their push towards the postseason Tuesday night with a 1-0 shutout victory over Pittsburgh.

Chase Anderson threw six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts to pick up his 11th win of the year, though it didn’t come easy. In the sixth inning, Pittsburgh managed to get a runner to third with no outs. Anderson had an answer though, getting Andrew McCutchen to strike out and then a pair of fly balls to get out of the inning.

With Anderson’s night done, the duo of Anthony Swarzak and Corey Knebel came on to finish things off, with the latter picking up his 37th save. It was Milwaukee’s 12th shutout this year and the fourth in the month of September alone.

The only offense Milwaukee got – or needed – came courtesy of a solo home run in the fourth inning from Domingo Santana, his 26th long ball of the year.

Thanks to a walk-off win by San Francisco over Colorado, the Brewers moved to within one game of the Rockies in the race for the final wild card spot in the National League. The Crew remained 3 ½ games back of Chicago in the NL Central after the Cubs won their seventh straight game.

Milwaukee will finish off its series with the Pirates tonight before coming home for four games against the Cubs at Miller Park.

Brewers beat Pittsburgh, gain ground in playoff chase

The Milwaukee Brewers are within two games of the Colorado Rockies and the final wild-card spot in the National League. That’s after manager Craig Counsell’s crew went on the road Monday night and got a 3-0 shutout win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“We don’t have a lot of margin for error,” Counsell said of his team’s push for the postseason. “Another win adds a little more pressure to the teams were are chasing and it puts us in a good spot.”

Milwaukee’s pitching staff was the story on Monday, as Brent Suter threw five scoreless innings to get the win. The bullpen took care of things from there, including Corey Knebel coming on to close out the ninth inning for his 36th save on the year.

The Brewers took the lead in the fourth inning thanks to a Ryan Braun solo homer, his 17th on the year. Second baseman Neil Walker drove in a run against his old team in the sixth inning, before a Travis Shaw RBI single in the eighth capped the scoring.

With the win, Milwaukee is now 10 games over .500 for the first time since July 16, and it allowed for the Brewers to gain a 1/2 game on the idle Rockies, leaving them just two games back in the wild card race with 12 to go. They are also 3 1/2 games back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

It’ll be the Brewers and Pirates again on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.

Brewers-Marlins series moved to Milwaukee

Each major league team is scheduled to play 81 home games and 81 away games during the season. For the Milwaukee Brewers it will be 84 and 78, respectively, this year.

MLB announced Wednesday afternoon that Milwaukee’s series with the Miami Marlins had been moved to Miller Park after Hurricane Irma rolled through South Florida over the weekend. It means games originally intended to be play this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Marlins Park will be played in Milwaukee.

Miami officials said MLB approached them about moving the series, and though they felt they were in a position to host as scheduled, they agreed to move so as not to put any more strain on emergency services in the area.

“The change of venue was made at the request of Major League Baseball and the Marlins, due to the conditions caused by Hurricane Irma,” Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger said in team statement. “We will be ready to host this weekend and are working to put all of the logistics in order.”

The games at home, including having a day off on Thursday instead of traveling, could prove to be an advantage for Milwaukee as the Brewers chase their first playoff berth since 2011. They enter Wednesday night’s tilt with Pittsburgh a 1/2 game back of St. Louis and 2 1/2 games behind Chicago in the NL Central, while also being four games back of Colorado for the second wild-card spot in the National League.

Thames, Santana help the Brewers to a 5-2 win over Pittsburgh

Milwaukee took care of Pittsburgh 7-2 on Tuesday night, but the Brewers failed to gain any ground in their push for a playoff spot.

Brent Suter gave up two runs in three innings of work before turning things over to six relievers to go the rest of the way. Jeremy Jeffress got the win thanks to 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, while Corey Knebel picked up his 35th save of the season.

The Brewers were paced offensively by first baseman Eric Thames and right fielder Domingo Santana, as the duo combined for four of the team’s five RBIs, including the 29th homer of the season for Thames.

Unfortunately for the Brewers, all the teams they are chasing in the National League also won, meaning they are a ½ game back of St. Louis and 2 ½ games back of Chicago in the NL Central, and four games off Colorado’s pace for the second wild-card spot.

Milwaukee will close out its series with the Pirates on Wednesday night at Miller Park.

Milwaukee’s struggles with sub-.500 teams continues with a 7-0 loss to Pittsburgh

The Milwaukee Brewers have established a pattern, and it’s one that is unlikely to get them into the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

Coming off a sweep of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, manager Craig Counsell’s team returned home Monday night and promptly lost 7-0 to the Pittsburgh Pirates, a squad that came in 10 games below .500.

The Pirates stymied the Milwaukee offense, with Steven Brault throwing six scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the year. Four relievers kept the Brewers at bay and the game was never really in doubt. In fact, Milwaukee didn’t manage to get a run into scoring position all night.

Unlike other recent outings in which the Brewers struggled offensively, the pitching staff wasn’t too good either. Brandon Woodruff gave up six runs over five innings of work, including home runs to Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte to fall to 1-2 on the season.

The loss continued a startling trend. Since Aug. 18, the Brewers are 1-5 against teams under .500, while owning an 11-4 record against the teams they are battling in the race for a playoff spot. And it’s left them in third place in the NL Central, a .5 game back of St. Louis and 2.5 games behind Chicago.

It’ll be the Pirates and Brewers again on Tuesday night at Miller Park.

Milwaukee rolls to a 15-2 win over the Cubs

Get swept by the last-place Cincinnati Reds and sweep the team in first place on the same road trip. That’s the position the Milwaukee Brewers are in after they crushed Chicago 15-2 at Wrigley Field on Saturday.

Manager Craig Counsell’s club blew the game open in the third inning, scoring eight runs, including a two-run double by Travis Shaw. They added three more runs each in the fifth and sixth innings, with a 3-run homer from Hernan Perez being the big shot. He finished with five RBIs, while Orlando Arcia had three.

Saturday proved to be a walk in the park for Chase Anderson. The Brewers starter worked five scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and striking out five to earn his ninth win of the year.

The win moved Milwaukee to within three games of the Cubs in the NL Central, with a chance to complete the sweep Sunday afternoon in Chicago.

Brewers announce Jimmy Nelson will miss the rest of the season

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell wasn’t worried after Friday night’s game about the injury pitcher Jimmy Nelson sustained in the fifth inning. It turns out he should have been.

The Brewers announced Saturday afternoon that Nelson would miss the rest of the season with a right rotator cuff strain and a partial anterior labrum tear.

It’s a significant hit to Milwaukee’s playoff chances, as Nelson was having a career year in 2017. He’d already set personal bests with 12 wins and 199 strikeouts, while posting the lowest ERA of his career at 3.49 ERA.

Nelson is just the latest of the Brewers starters to end up on the disabled list this season, joining Junior Guerra, Matt Garza and Chase Anderson as those that have missed time.

Heading into Saturday’s game in Chicago, Milwaukee was tied with St. Louis for second in the NL Central, four games back of the Cubs, while also being three games behind Colorado for the second wild card spot in the National League.

Cincinnati finishes off a sweep of the Brewers with a 7-1 win

The Milwaukee Brewers playoff chances are fading fast.

Manager Craig Counsell’s club started its vital six-game road trip in very good spirits, having taken three of four from Washington at Miller Park, and were headed to Cinicnnati, the last-place team in the NL Central. Three days later and the mood couldn’t be more different. Not after the Brewers were swept by the Reds, punctuated by a 7-1 loss on Wednesday.

“They outplayed us,” Counsell said afterwards. “We didn’t have a good series.”

The last game was particularly painful, as the meltdown of Matt Garza continued. He got lit up, making it just 2 2/3rds innings, giving up five runs on six hits as he watched his ERA balloon to 5.06 and saw his record drop to 6-9 on the year.

Meanwhile, on the other side, Luis Castillo won just his third game of the year, limiting the Brewers to just one run over eight innings of work and striking out 10.

The loss dropped Milwaukee into third place in the NL Central, a .5 game back of St. Louis and 4.5 games behind Chicago. They are also now 2.5 games out of the second wild card spot currently held by Colorado.

The Crew will open a make-or-break series against the Cubs on Friday night at Wrigley Field.