Brewers hammer Philadelphia again in 12-3 victory

The Milwaukee Brewers have found their offense in Philadelphia.

After scoring 12 runs in a win on Friday night, the Crew matched that number with a 12-3 victory Saturday afternoon against the Phillies.

Milwaukee trailed 3-2 in the sixth inning when pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi drilled an opposite field grand slam to take the lead. It was the first pinch-hit home run of his career and his first ever grand slam.

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Though the grand slam came off of Luis Garcia, the runs scored were charged to former Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta. His final line included four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings, the most runs allowed in a home start for him this season. In fact, before Saturday he hadn’t allowed a run at home since April 25.

The Brewers added four more runs in the seventh, including a 2-run homer from second baseman Jonathan Villa. Pinch-hitter Hernan Pérez capped the scoring with a run-scoring single in the ninth.

The offensive explosion marked the first time since May 13 and 14 of last season that Milwaukee scored a double-digit number of runs in back-to-back games. And it comes after the club had scored just 12 runs total in its previous five game combined.

Brent Suter got the win to move to 6-4 on the year. He went 5 innings, giving up three runs on four hits and striking out five. Pitching for the first time in a week, Josh Hader threw a scoreless sixth, including one strikeout.

With the win, Milwaukee moved to 3-4 on its current road trip. The Brewers will go for the sweep of Philadelphia on Sunday.

Brewers’ offense comes alive in beatdown of Philadelphia

The Milwaukee offense came to life Friday night in Philadelphia, as the Brewers crushed the Phillies 12-4.

After managing just four runs in their last three games combined, the Crew had five before the second inning was over. Left fielder Ryan Braun got it started with a 3-run homer in the first, one of his two long balls on the night, and he finished with five RBIs. Phillies starter Vince Velasquez lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up 10 runs on nine hits. Four of those runs were driven in by center fielder Lorenzo Cain and first baseman Jesus Aguilar.

The outburst led to Milwaukee putting up its most runs since a 12-3 victory over Miami on April 19.

Starter Jhoulys Chacin picked up the win, going 6 1/3 innings, giving up four runs and striking out seven. It moved him to 5-1 on the season, with that one loss coming back in early April.

The win pushed Milwaukee back in front of Chicago by a 1/2 game in the NL Central, and it gave the Brewers the best record in the NL once again.

It’ll be the same two teams tomorrow in Philadelphia, with first pitch coming at 12:05 p.m.

Last strikes: Indians 3, Brewers 1

CLEVELAND – Seventeen last strikes from Milwaukee’s 3-1 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday afternoon at Progressive Field.

1. For the second time in less than 24 hours the Milwaukee Brewers had to square off against an Cy Young-caliber pitchers. The second attempt went very similarly to the first.

2. The Brewers struggled to generate any meaningful offense, with their only run of the game coming in the third inning on an RBI single by third baseman Travis Shaw to right field. That was the only damage Milwaukee could inflict upon Carrasco, similar to only scratching out one run against Corey Kluber the night prior.

3. “We’ve lost a couple games. We just lost two games – 3-1 and 3-2 – to Kluber and Carrasco,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said after the game. “Tough games, they pitched well. It’s on to the next city.”

4. Counsell is right. When Carrasco has his stuff working, as he did Wednesday, he’s one of the tougher pitchers in baseball to beat. It’s a tough draw for the Brewers as in each two-game series Milwaukee had to face both Kluber and Carrasco. Finishing with one win in four tries doesn’t exactly feel like an accomplishment, but it certainly could have been worse.

5. Hitting the ball wasn’t the issue, per say, as the Crew finished with nine hits and out-hit the Indians in the quick two-game set 17-14. What Milwaukee failed to do was operate with men on base. It was an issue in Tuesday’s loss and it was a struggle again Wednesday as the Brewers left seven men on base.

6. When opportunities arise against pitchers the caliber of Kluber or Carrasco they need to be taken advantage of, and the Brewers failed to do so this in this series.

7. Not only did the Brewers face a terrific outing against them for the second straight day, they also received a solid outing from their own starter.

8. Chase Anderson didn’t pitch quite as well as Junior Guerra did on Tuesday night, but he went 4.1 innings while allowing three runs on four hits while striking out four. Anderson left the game in the fifth after Cleveland’s Michael Brantley knocked an RBI-single through the left side of the infield to tie the game at one.

9. Reliever Jeremy Jeffress entered the game to take over for Anderson. Jeffress hadn’t allowed an inherited runner to score since the end of April and had only allowed two total on the year.

10. The first batter he faced was Jose Ramírez who laced a double into the right field corner scoring Francisco Lindor. Retiring Ramírez in that spot is a tough ask. Ramírez is one of the best third basemen in baseball and is second in the game in Wins Above Replacement (WAR), behind only Mike Trout of the Angels.

11. “It’s a tough spot,” Counsell said. “Jose Ramírez is one of the better hitters. He’s in the top of the league as far as offensive players right now. It’s a tough spot for anybody.”

12. Jeffress ended the day allowing both runners he inherited to score. After Ramírez’s double he walked both Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso to force in another run and set the game’s final score at 3-1.

13. Days like this are going to happen for Jeffress and other members of the bullpen. His ERA still is a stellar 0.60 on the season. There are going to be times during the year when he struggles in an outing or two. That’s just how baseball works. The same thing is going to happen to everybody in that bullpen, no one is immune.

14. Counsell didn’t get to see the end of the game as he was tossed in the top of the eighth inning after arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott. There was no motion from Wolcott announcing the ejection which led to a very confused press box, but there certainly was an uptick in the intensity of the discussion between the two at a point.

15. “There was nothing brewing all day. It was a benign ejection for me. I don’t know what I said. There was no profanity used, I don’t know. Once he ejected me there was some words exchanged, but I’m not sure. It wasn’t my intention to get ejected by any means. I didn’t really understand it.”

16. There are times when managers will get ejected purposefully over a little call in a game which the team isn’t performing well or during a stretch of baseball that isn’t up to par. This certainly didn’t seem like that was the case today.

17. The Brewers have Thursday off before heading to Philadelphia, Pa. to take on the Phillies in a three-game weekend set.

Last strikes: Indians 3, Brewers 2

CLEVELAND – Seventeen last strikes for the 17 pitches thrown by Milwaukee reliever Dan Jennings in the Brewers’ 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.

1. There’s a reason that Cleveland’s Corey Kluber is the owner of a pair of American League Cy Young Awards.

2. Kluber has been fantastic in nearly every start this year for the Indians, with one of the exceptions being in early May against the Brewers. Milwaukee knocked off Cleveland that day 3-2 behind a home run from reliever Brent Suter who entered the game for an injured Wade Miley in the first inning.

3. Tuesday in Cleveland was a bit different.

4. Kluber pitched seven innings against the Brewers allowing just one run on seven hits and striking out seven batters.

5. Milwaukee scored in the third inning on an RBI-single by outfielder Lorenzo Cain after Manny Piña doubled and Jonathan Villar legged out an infield single before Cain stepped to the plate.

6. “We really had that one good opportunity [in the third]. Christian [Yelich] hit that one ball right on the screws and ended up lining out,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said about Kluber’s performance. “I thought we did a decent job against him. We hit some other balls pretty good and kind of right at some guys. We had some baserunners and just couldn’t get the next hit to make it another rally.”

7. Kluber allowed only three baserunners after Milwaukee scored in the third inning. No one made it into scoring position, either.

8. “It’s both side of the plate, that’s the tough part,” third baseman Travis Shaw said about Kluber. “He commands his fastball and his breaking ball to both sides of the plate. With a lot of guys you can – I don’t want to say eliminate certain zones of the plate – but with him you can’t. It’s just strike after strike after strike. If you don’t go up there ready to go you’re going to be behind and then you’re at his will.”

9. The offense struggling on Tuesday night should not come as a surprise. Kluber has yet to allow more than three runs in a start all season and has only allowed three earned runs in the five starts since the Brewers beat him on May 8.

10. Kluber’s performance out shadowed a terrific outing by Milwaukee’s Junior Guerra. He went six innings allowing seven hits and three runs while striking out five. Most nights, that’s a good enough effort to win. Tuesday it wasn’t.

11. “After the homer to Ramirez [Guerra] was really good,” Counsell said. “I thought he locked in and started elevating a little bit and made some nice pitches to a tough lineup.”

12. Prior to the game Shaw was spotted on the field prior to the game wearing the jersey of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James. Shaw is an Ohio native and fan of both the Cavaliers and Cleveland Browns.

13. Following one of the games against the New York Mets a couple weekends ago Shaw had told me that he was going to attempt to attend Game 3 of the NBA Finals should the Cavs make it. He did say prior to Tuesday night’s game that he was unable to work something out to be able to go on Wednesday night.

14. Shaw did have something to smile about, as he crushed a home run in the ninth inning to bring the Brewers within one. The blast went an estimated 407 feet while clanging off the right field foul pole.

15. Tuesday night also happened to be a night in which the Cleveland Indians were honoring former Wisconsin All-American and Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas. Both Thomas and former NFL wide receiver Andrew Hawkins threw out first pitches prior to the game.

16. Thomas also sat down with me prior to the game. That conversation can be read here.

17. The Brewers and Indians will wrap up this quick two game set on Wednesday afternoon. Chase Anderson (4-3, 4.22 ERA) will be on the hill for the Brewers and Carlos Carrasco (6-4, 4.50) is slated to start for the Indians. First pitch is set for 12:10 p.m. CT.

Milwaukee Brewers wrap up day one of draft

The Milwaukee Brewers made three selections on the first day of the 2018 MLB Draft Monday evening.

The Brewers went the prep route for the first pick by selecting shortstop Brice Turang out of Santiago High School in California. More on that selection here.

The second selection of the night for the Brewers was also a player out of high school. The Crew selected outfielder Joe Gray 60th overall from Hattiesburg High School in Hattiesburg, Ms. Gray signed with the University of Mississippi and it is unclear whether or not his selection by the Brewers will change his plans.

Gray has been graded out by scouts as having an above-average arm as well as power.

The third and final selection of the night for Milwaukee came at No. 73 overall in the competitive balance round B.

Milwaukee selected Micah Bello, an outfielder from Hilo High School in Hawaii. Bello, the team’s third selection from a high school of the night, is regarded as a prospect with extremely quick hands and a tremendous athlete.

The 2018 MLB Draft continues on Tuesday with rounds three through 10 and can be viewed on MLB.com.

Brewers take prep SS with first-round pick

The Milwaukee Brewers decided to add to the middle of the infield with their first pick of the 2018 MLB Draft.

Just before 8:30 p.m. Monday night, general manager David Stearns grabbed shortstop Brice Turang with the No. 21 selection of the first round.

A left-handed batter that throws right, the Corona, Calif., high schooler is the son of former MLB player Brian Turang. Thought of as a potential No. 1 overall pick at this time last year, the 6-foot-1, 161-pound Turang fell to the Brewers, who took a shortstop in the first round for the first time since 2014 and just the second time since 2005.

Committed to play college ball at LSU, it’s unclear if Turang’s slide to Milwaukee will impact his decision. If he decides to go to school, he’ll have to play three years before being eligible for the draft again.

The approximate value for the 21st draft slot is $3 million, according to MLB.com.

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper has more on Turang and how big of a steal he could be for the Brewers.

White Sox hand the Brewers their first series loss since mid-May

The Milwaukee Brewers came into Chicago on Friday to face the hapless White Sox winners of six straight series and playing some of the best baseball of anyone in the majors. They leave the Windy City losers of two of three to a team that had the worst record in baseball coming in.

Milwaukee lost on Friday night, straightened things out on Saturday before once again on Sunday looking like anything but the team everyone saw in May when it won a franchise-record 19 games.

The biggest issue was an offense that was barely heard from most of the weekend at Guaranteed Rate Field. Outside of the home run barrage on Saturday, when the Brewers drilled four of them, the bats were largely silent. Over the three games, Milwaukee was 0 for 16 with runners in scoring position.

Despite the series loss, the Brewers still own the best record in the National League, though their lead in the NL Central is down to two games on the Chicago Cubs.

Was losing a series to team like the White Sox a significant development or simply baseball being baseball? Most likely the latter. Milwaukee will have a chance to prove it starting Tuesday night when it opens a series at Cleveland.

Brewers place Zach Davies on the 10-day disabled list

Zach Davies is headed back to the disabled list.

The Milwaukee Brewers placed the starting pitcher on the 10-DL with inflammation in his right rotator cuff. Davies missed multiple starts in May with the same issue.

In his two starts since returning, Davies has struggled. He gave up nine runs in just nine innings of work and watched as his ERA ballooned to 5.23. The 25-year-old complained of some stiffness after his outing against St. Louis on Tuesday, saying he first felt it when he landed hard after being hit by a liner in his previous start.

Because Milwaukee won’t need a fifth starter in the rotation until June 12 against the Chicago Cubs, the Brewers didn’t bring up a pitcher to replace Davies. Instead, the Crew brought back up first baseman Ji-Man Choi, who could see more at-bats with Milwaukee playing in American League ballparks the next five games starting tonight against the White Sox in Chicago.

The team also announced Jett Bandy had been outrighted to Triple-A. The catcher was designated for assignment last week after Milwaukee acquired Erik Kratz from the New York Yankees.

Brewers come from behind to beat St. Louis 3-2

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers finished off the franchise’s best month of May with a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday afternoon at Miller Park, and in doing so earned their sixth-straight series win.

Junior Guerra getting it done

The Brewers got a great outing from Junior Guerra, as he threw six scoreless innings, gave up just four hits and struck out seven. It was his second straight quality start and the third in his last four games. He was able to maneuver out of trouble several times and kept Milwaukee in the game when the offense failed to execute.

Guerra left having thrown 90 pitches, which wasn’t an abnormally high number for him, but considering what the bullpen has been this year, manager Craig Counsell decided to call it day.

“It was a tough decision to take him out,” Counsell said. “We got three innings to go, and we’ve got all those guys sitting down there, and you feel like they’ve done the job so well that [we] went to them.”

The bullpen wasn’t able to hold the 1-0 lead that Guerra left with, so he missed out on getting credited for the win and sits at 3-3. But with the way he’s pitching of late, there should be plenty of opportunities for him to add to his victory total.

“That’s as good as he’s thrown it, I think,” Counsell said of Wednesday’s effort. “For someone that didn’t start the year in the rotation, he’s certainly cemented a spot in it.”

Bullpen falters…kind of

Jeremy Jeffress was eventually going to give up a run and Wednesday was that day. The reliever had gone 23 outings without allowing one, but Harrison Bader took care of that streak with a solo homer to tie the game in the seventh inning. An error by third baseman Travis Shaw allowed for another baserunner, who would eventually come in to score and give the Cardinals the lead.

“We’ve had a bunch of guys down there that have been darn near perfect,” Counsell said of his bullpen. “There’s going to be times they give up runs.”

Milwaukee was able to retake the lead in its half of the seventh and handed the ball to Josh Hader in the eighth inning, where he struck out the side. He added two Ks in the ninth inning, but after Jedd Gyorko reached on an infield single, Counsell went to Corey Knebel for the final out, which he got with a strikeout. Asked afterwards why he made the move, Counsell said it was a gut call.

“You make a lot of those decisions,” Counsell said. “There’s not a formula for everything.”

Welcome back, Orlando Arcia

The Brewers sent Orlando Arcia down to Triple-A last week to work on his swing following a brutal slump at the plate. But due to an injury to Tyler Saladino on Tuesday, Milwaukee was forced to bring Arcia back up before. It ended up working out pretty well, as on the first pitch of his first at-bat of the day, Arcia lined a single to right to give the Brewers a 3-2 lead in the seventh.

“I think it puts you right back in the middle of it,” Counsell said of throwing Arcia into that spot despite his recent struggles and the fact he didn’t arrive at the stadium until after the game started. “He was going to be a part of [our team] no matter what, but you come in the game in the seventh inning, and you get the biggest hit of the game. That just puts you right back in the middle of it.”

Milwaukee had the ability to send Arcia down because of how well Saladino was playing. With him now on the disabled list for at least 10 days with an ankle injury, the Brewers need Arcia to step up.

“[Saladino’s success] gave us a little leeway to do something like that,” Counsell said of optioning Arcia. “But now, with the injury, it’s on [Arcia], and he’ll do a good job.”

One heck of a May

Milwaukee went all of May without having back-to-back losses and won a franchise-record 19 games in the month. It left them 36-21, including 15-5 over the last 20 contests. Sometimes that success has been driven by just one part of the club and other times everyone is chipping in.

“It’s been different guys every night [and] just trying to pick each other up,” said outfielder Christian Yelich, who drilled a 441-foot home run to tie the game in the seventh. “[We] built off really good at-bats, great starts [from our pitching staff] and our bullpen has been lights out all year for us. Hopefully, we can keep that rolling into June.”

The Brewers will get the June portion of their schedule underway Friday night in Chicago as they take on the White Sox.

Brewers fall 6-1 to St. Louis

Milwaukee had its four-game winning streak snapped Tuesday night in an 6-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park.

Rough inning does in Zach Davies

A four-run second inning was too much for starter Zach Davies to overcome. Some of it was his own fault — he walked in a run with the bases loaded — and some wasn’t — a miscommunication on a ground ball up the middle allowed two runs to score — but the inning allowed the Cardinals to break the game open.

“Yeah, it was tough, but that’s baseball,” Davies said of little going his way. “It’s going to happen.”

It was his second outing since coming off the disabled list, which he was on due to some soreness in his rotator cuff. He told reporters afterwards that he fell on the shoulder in his first outing back and was experiencing soreness again.

“Everything hasn’t felt great the last couple games starting back, but you’re at the top level,” Davies said, “You’ve got to find it some time.”

Davies ended up going five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits while walking three and striking out four. He fell to 2-5 on the year, making him the only starter in the Milwaukee rotation that is currently under .500.

Losing Tyler Saladino

Shortstop Tyler Saladino had been a big bright spot in recent weeks, playing so well that Milwaukee was willing to send every day shortstop Orlando Arcia to the minor leagues to work his way out of a slump. Unfortunately for him and the Brewers, he’s going to be on the shelf for a while after suffering an ankle injury while stepping on second base for the final out of the third inning.

“It’s going to be a (disabled list situation),” manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s unfortunate. Tyler’s getting a chance to play pretty regularly and doing a nice job. It’s just one of those bad luck things.”

Saladino was replaced in the lineup by Eric Sogard on Tuesday. Asked about Arcia coming back up, Counsell said he was among the options.

Michael Wacha silences Milwaukee

St. Louis starter Michael Wacha didn’t give up a hit until the fifth inning, allowed just two on the night and had just the one run allowed in picking up his sixth win of the year.

But that doesn’t mean Brewers didn’t have their chances against the hard throwing righty. He issued four walks and another base runner got aboard due to an error. However, Milwaukee couldn’t find a breakthrough hit, with the closest thing being a Jonathan Villar double in the seventh which scored the only run of the night for the Crew.

“He made some good payoff pitches to us,” Counsell said. “We got to some three ball counts, but he made some good pitches to some guys, I thought. The balls we did hit hard to the outfield, they caught. That kind of led to a tough offensive day.”

What’s next

Milwaukee and St. Louis will finish off the three-game series Wednesday afternoon at Miller Park. First pitch is set for 12:10 p.m.