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.
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.
Cincinnati used a five-run seventh inning to break open a close game on its way to a 9-3 win over Milwaukee Tuesday night.
It was a night of missed opportunities for the Brewers. They loaded the bases in the fourth inning with no outs and managed to not score a single run thanks to three straight strikeouts. Then, while trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, Milwaukee got the tying run to third with one out but was unable to bring him in. For the night, the Brewers drew 10 walks but went just 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
The issues weren’t confined to the offense. After Zach Davies went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits, the bullpen fell apart. The trio of Jacob Barnes, Wei Chung Wang and Carlos Torres proceeded to allow seven runs in two innings, including serving up a three-run homer to former Milwaukee second baseman Scooter Gennett.
For the Brewers, the loss was their third in the last four games and it dropped them 2 ½ games back of the Rockies for the second wild card spot in the National League. They missed an opportunity to gain ground on Chicago, which has lost its last two games as well.
Milwaukee will look to avoid the three-game sweep in Cincinnati Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is at 12:35 p.m.
A walk-off home run from Billy Hamilton ruined the start of Milwaukee’s important six-game road trip as the Brewers fell 5-4 to Cincinnati on Monday.
Milwaukee fought back from an early 4-0 deficit thanks to a pair of home runs in the seventh inning — a solo shot by Ryan Braun and a three-run blast by Orlando Arcia. The Brewers had opportunities to add to its tally but were unable to capitalize and paid for it.
Hamilton, well known for his speed and base running, only had to jog around diamond after crushing the ball to deep left center off of Josh Hader for his first career walk-off homer. It was another shaky outing for Hader, who gave up a pair of runs in a 3-2 loss to Washington his last time out.
The Brewers were facing the big deficit thanks in part to Chase Anderson misplacing his command. The starter walked three, including two when the bases were loaded, allowing a pair of runs to cross. He ended up making it 5 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits.
Homer Bailey retired 14 batters straight at one point for the Reds, before he faltered in the seventh inning.
The loss did some damage to the Brewers playoff hopes, as Colorado got a walk-off win of its own against San Francisco. It allowed the Rockies to move 1.5 games up on Milwaukee. As for the NL Central, the Crew remained 3.5 games back of Chicago.
Milwaukee and Cincinnati will face off once again Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park.
In a rare occurrence in the second half of the season, the Milwaukee offense and its pitching showed up in the same game, helping the Brewers to a 7-2 win over Washington on Sunday at Miller Park.
The offense was powered by Domingo Santana, who had a solo home run in the first inning and followed that with a two-run blast in the fourth. The right fielder drew a pair of walks in his other at-bats and finished the day with three runs scored. Left fielder Ryan Braun and first baseman Neil Walker each had a pair of hits.
As for the pitching, it was a group effort. Brent Suter got the start, going three innings and giving up two hits. Three relievers — Jeremy Jeffress, Jacob Barnes and Andrew Zwarzak – kept the shutout going, not allowing a hit in a combined five innings of work. Former starter Junior Guerra, who spent time in Triple-A the last month, allowed a two-run homer in the 9th, the only runs Washington managed for the afternoon.
Milwaukee ended up taking three of four from the NL East-leading Nationals and completed its six-game home stand 4-2.
With the win, the Brewers moved to within one game of Colorado in the push for the second wild card spot in the National League, and could be within a ½ game depending on the outcome of the Rockies contest with Arizona that was ongoing.
Now, the Brewers hit the road for six important games, first with a stop in Cincinnati and then in Chicago against the NL Central-leading Cubs.
Josh Hader gave up a pair of runs in the eighth inning as Milwaukee fell 3-2 to Washington Saturday night at Miller Park.
The Brewers led 2-1 when Michael Taylor took Hader deep for solo home run. After a batter reached on a bunt single, Trea Turner delivered the go-ahead double.
“He’s got thirty-some innings in and he’s dominated hitters,” manager Craig Counsell said in defense of Hader, who had given up just five runs on the year coming in. “He’s going to be a big part of this going forward. He’s going to be a very important guy for us. Tonight just wasn’t his night.”
The loss wasted what was a great outing from starter Brandon Woodruff. He went seven innings, giving up just one run on two hits and struckout eight.
On the other side, Max Scherzer held the Brewers lineup in check, allowing just one run on two hits over five innings of work. A crew of five relievers came on to help the Nationals get the win.
Offensively for Milwaukee, first baseman Eric Thames had an RBI double in the fourth inning, and catcher Stephen Vogt had a double in the sixth inning that scored second baseman Neil Walker.
Despite losing, Milwaukee didn’t lose any ground in the wild card race. That’s thanks to Colorado losing to Arizona, meaning the Brewers are still just 1 1/2 games back of the Rockies.
Milwaukee will go for the series win over Washington Sunday afternoon. First pitch is at 1:10 p.m.
Neil Walker drilled a solo home run in the first inning, and it turned out to be all the offense Milwaukee would need Friday night in a 1-0 win over the Washington Nationals.
Starter Jimmy Nelson was masterful in keeping the NL East-leading Nationals off the scoreboard, going seven innings, giving up just three hits and striking out 11. The bullpen backed him up, with Josh Hader and Corey Knebel striking out all six batters they faced. It gave Nelson win No. 11 on the year, tying a career-high for him, while Knebel picked up save No. 32.
On the other side, Washington’s Tanner Roark was nearly as good. Outside of the mistake to Walker, he shut Milwaukee down, going seven innings and allowing five hits while striking out 10. Centerfielder Jonathan Villar was the only Brewers batter to have more than one hit on the night.
Outfielder Ryan Braun was tossed from the game in the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes. It was the sixth time in his career he’s been ejected from a game.
With the win, and a loss by Colorado, Milwaukee moved to within 1 1/2 games of the Rockies for the final wild card spot in the National League. The Crew remains 3 1/2 games back of Chicago in the NL Central.
It’ll be Washington and the Brewers once again Saturday night at Miller Park. First pitch is set for 6:10 p.m.
It’s September, which means baseball rosters can expand, and the Milwaukee Brewers wasted no time in doing so.
The team announced it had recalled outfielder Brett Phillips, along with pitchers Junior Guerra, Wei-Chung Wang and Brandon Woodruff. Those four had been with Milwaukee’s Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs.
Woodruff, who pitched very well in three games last month, will get the start on Saturday against the Washington Nationals.
Also coming to the big leagues is pitcher Taylor Williams, who was in Double-A with the Biloxi Shuckers. It will be Williams’ MLB debut.
Earlier on Friday, Milwaukee announced it had reinstated pitcher Brent Suter and catcher Andrew Susac from the 10-day disabled list.
All the players involved were already on the team’s 40-man roster, meaning they didn’t have to make any further moves to accommodate the new additions.
The Crew is in a tight playoff race as the regular season enters its final full month. As of Friday afternoon, the Brewers were 2 1/2 games back of Colorado for the second wild card spot and 3 1/2 games back of Chicago in the NL Central.
Milwaukee will continue its series with the Nationals Friday at Miller Park. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.
Jonathan Villar continued to swing a hot bat as Milwaukee earned a 6-3 win in the opener of its 4-game set with the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.
The second baseman collected three hits, including a 2-run homer in the fifth inning. It came a night after he had three RBIs and he concluded the month of August batting .364. It was a significant departure from the struggles he’s had much of the season.
“It’s huge,” pitcher Zach Davies said of Villar’s big night. “We know what role he had last year and how big of a part of the team he was. Just him having continued success and getting on a roll himself, it’s huge for the team.”
Davies had a pretty good night himself. He went seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and picked up his 16th win on the year – tied for the most in the majors.
Closer Corey Knebel came on in the ninth to collect his 31st save of the season.
The win allowed Milwaukee to move within 2 ½ games of the Colorado Rockies in the race for the final wildcard spot, and kept them 3 ½ games back of Chicago in the NL Central.
It’ll be Milwaukee and Washington again Friday night at Miller Park. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.
It appeared as if Milwaukee had just given up a two-run homer in the top of the ninth that would have given St. Louis the lead. But centerfielder Keon Broxton had different ideas, robbing Randal Grichuk at the wall with a leaping catch to give the Brewers a 6-5 win Wednesday afternoon.
“Sometimes it takes a great play to win a game,” manager Craig Counsell said afterwards. “We got a great play from Broxton.”
The play was made more remarkable by the fact Broxton had just come into the game, replacing Hernan Perez, who joked with Counsell that he would have made the play as well.
“He’s got a couple this year and none bigger than that one,” Counsell said of Broxton’s catch.
The play was a lifesaver for the Crew, seeing as without it they would have blown a three-run lead after the seventh inning. Instead, it gave starter Chase Anderson his eighth win of the year, as he went six innings, giving up three runs, all of which came via the long ball. Closer Corey Knebel picked up his 30th save of the season.
The Brewers offense did its job after coming up empty in a 10-2 loss on Tuesday. They scored three runs each in the second and sixth innings, including home runs by Domingo Santana and Jonathan Villar. Shortstop Eric Sogard and Perez each had a pair of hits.
With the victory, Milwaukee moved within three games of the Chicago Cubs in the race for the NL Central.
The Brewers will open a series against the Washington Nationals Thursday night at Miller Park.