The Brewers finished off a sweep this afternoon in San Diego. Despite a huge number of Padres reaching base throughout the game, the pitching staff managed to hold it to only the two runs given up by Adrian Houser in his 4.2 innings of work. Both Jace Peterson and Omar Narvaez drove in two runs, and that was all that was needed in this one. Let’s take a deeper look at the game.
Jackie Bradley Jr led off the game with an infield single, setting up an early opportunity for the Brewers. Unfortunately, Dinelson Lamet, San Diego’s starter, quickly settled in after that opening at-bat. He struck out the side – Daniel Vogelbach, Avi Garcia, and Travis Shaw – in a pretty good showcase of his stuff. Houser came on for the bottom half of the first, and he picked up where Lamet went off. The only difference was that Houser got the first three Padres through outs on balls put into play rather than strikeouts.
Despite a deep fly ball from Narvaez, the Brewers went down relatively quietly in the top of the second. Daniel Robertson provided the only on-base action with a four-pitch walk and a move to second on a wild pitch. The Padres went down in similar fashion, with Tommy Pham’s single being the only action in their half of the inning.
Craig Stammen came on for the Padres to start the third. This was Lamet’s first appearance of the season, and there had been pre-game talk of his day ending early. Vogelbach singled with two down, but that was all the Brewers were able to do. The Padres made their first real noise of the day in the bottom of the third. Victor Caratini led off with a double to right, and he moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Stammen. That brought the top of the order up with one out, and Trent Grishman sent a single to left to make it 1-0. A few minutes later, the Padres had two on for Manny Machado after a Grisham steal and a walk from Fernando Tatis Jr. Luckily, Houser stepped up, and he got both Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer to keep it 0-1.
Narvaez made it to first with one down in the top of the fourth, but it appeared that would be the only thing to happen before Robertson worked his second walk of the game with two down. That led to a Padres pitching change, with Tim Hill coming on to face Peterson (who had homered off of Stammen the night before). Peterson made the pitching change work for him with a single to left that brought Narvaez home. That tied things up at one run apiece before Hill got Houser to end the inning.
Houser got himself in trouble again in the bottom half of the inning. Jurickson Profar led off with a double before Pham walked. Both advanced on a little dribbler to short, and Profar ended up scoring on another weak grounder, this one going down the first base line. That made it 2-1 San Diego, and Houser was able to keep it there by getting another grounder to end the inning.
Pierce Johnson came on to pitch the fifth for San Diego, and it started well for him with an opening strikeout of Bradley Jr. Things continued going well for Johnson with a Vogelbach flyout and a Garcia strikeout. Grisham got to Houser again in the bottom half, leading off with a single to left. He was eliminated on a fielder’s choice grounder from Tatis Jr, who moved to second on a passed ball. Machado came up next, and Houser got him to fly to left, where Billy McKinney made a nice running catch. That was it for Houser, and Brent Suter came on to finish the inning off, which he did with little drama.
It was Keone Kela’s turn out of the bullpen in the sixth, and he didn’t keep the good vibes going. Kela walked Shaw to start things off, and Narvaez put the Crew ahead 3-2 with a two-run homer. Peterson got himself on the board for the second night in a row later in the inning with another solo shot. That made it 4-2 before Suter went down to end the inning. Suter rebounded from his unsuccessful at-bat with a dominant half inning that saw him strike out the side.
Emilio Pagan came on for the seventh, and he only gave up a walk to Vogelbach in a relatively quick inning. Devin Williams took over for Suter in the bottom half, and he also worked around a walk to deliver a quality inning. It was a good sign for Williams, who has struggled so far.
Drew Pomeranz appeared for the second time in the series in the eighth. Tyrone Taylor singled and stole second in a pinch-hit appearance, and Jace Peterson reached base on a four-pitch walk. That brought up Manny Pina, who drew a walk of his own, loading the bases. Unfortunately, Bradley Jr struck out looking, ending the Brewers’ half. Brad Boxberger then came on to set-up the ninth, and the Padres followed the Brewers’ lead in loading the bases. The difference was that they did it with no one out, setting up a very dangerous situation. Boxberger got Pham looking in the next at-bat, and that was it for him. JP Feyereisen came on to deal with the rest of the inning, and he did his job in style with two strikeouts.
The Brewers went down quietly in the ninth, setting up a save opportunity for Josh Hader, who took advantage for the second time in this series despite a little bit of drama. 4-2 Brewers. Ballgame.
1. The Brewers are good
It’s not easy to sweep any road series. It’s especially hard when it’s in San Diego, home of one of the better teams in baseball. It’s even harder than that when four-ninths of your Opening Day lineup is out due to injury. Cain, Yelich, and Wong played a combined zero games in this series. The Brewers still went 3-0. There’s simply no denying that Milwaukee is home to – so far – one of the best teams in baseball. Buckle up. It’s going to be a wild summer and fall.
2. The offense is fine
We all know how good the starting pitchers have been, and even if this type of form is unsustainable day in and day out, the pitchers were supposed to be the strength of this team. The wild card was – and is – the offense, and it’s been looking a lot better since a really rough start. On the season, the Brewers are now in the top ten in runs, home runs, RBIs, and, potentially, walks (they’re either in there or right outside depending on today’s results). The batting average is still relatively ugly, and this is an offense that will likely continue to strike out with frequency. That doesn’t mean that they’re not producing what they need to. There’s always room for improvement, but this team is in a good spot offensively right now.
3. Just wait until Yelich, Wong, and Cain return
This series showed that there are a lot of guys on this roster that can contribute. Billy McKinney, Tyrone Taylor, Daniel Robertson, and Jace Peterson all made valuable contributions from the bottom half of the order over the last few days. When the big boys come back, it will be nice to know there are some guys we can trust behind them.
After an off day tomorrow (Thursday), the Brewers will be back at Wrigley for another series with the Cubs. By Sunday night, we’ll be twenty-one games into the season. Nine, or almost 43%, of those games will have come against the Cubs. The good guys are up 4-2 in the season series so far. Next week, the Brewers will host the Marlins and the Dodgers, the latter for four games.
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