Brewers 6, Dodgers 5: Struggling Dodgers Still Can’t Beat NL’s Best Team

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It’s a good day to be a Brewers fan. In one of the best games of the season so far, the Brewers outlasted the Dodgers to take a 3-0 series lead. The Crew is now 17-10, which puts them in a tie with the 16-9 Royals for the best record in baseball. The Dodgers, if anyone was curious, are now 16-12 and losers of ten of their last thirteen. It’s a true shame, and it’s a good thing we don’t have issues like that here in Milwaukee. The Brewers keep chugging along, with or without their preferred starters. Let’s take a more detailed look at how things went down last night.

Game Recap

Early Innings

This one started off with a bang when Mookie Betts took the first pitch to the bleachers. Just like that, it was 1-0 Dodgers. Brewers’ starter Brandon Woodruff quickly settled down, however, putting the next three Dodgers down in order. In the bottom of the first, the Brewers did absolutely nothing against Dodgers’ starter Dustin May, who struck out two in a quick inning.

Woodruff kept it going in the second, only seeing three batters despite a lead-off infield single. He erased that runner with a double play ball to second off the first pitch of the next at-bat. The Brewers tied things up in their half of the inning with a two-out homer from Luis Urias. May had to leave the game with an arm injury after Urias’s solo shot, and the Crew almost added some more runs when Garrett Cleavinger allowed two walks and a single. Unfortunately, the inning ended quietly when Kolten Wong flew out to center.

The Dodgers got to Woodruff again in the third, with a Corey Seager triple bringing in Betts, who had been hit by a pitch. That was the only activity of their half of the frame, and the Brewers made sure to get right back into things with a solo homer from Travis Shaw in the bottom half. Nothing else of note happened, leaving us with a 2-2 score through three innings.

Middle Innings

The fourth went quickly. The Dodgers had one single but two different base runners after a one-out fielder’s choice grounder. The Brewers just had the one single. Former Brewer Jimmy Nelson pitched the fourth for LA.

The Dodgers made some noise in the fifth, with some chaos allowing pinch hitter Sheldon Neuse to reach second before a Mookie Betts single brought him to third. That was all Woodruff allowed though, keeping things tied at two. In the bottom half, the Brewers only got an Avi Garcia walk (and stolen base) against Scott Alexander.

The sixth, Woodruff’s last inning, saw Los Angeles get another runner to third after Matt Beaty walked, advanced to second on a grounder, and then moved to third on a wild pitch. Again, Woody kept things tight outside of that, allowing him to end the night with just the two runs given up. The Brewers put two runners on against Dennis Santana with a walk and a single in the bottom half, and they reached second and third on a one-out grounder to first. They didn’t get anywhere from there, and we went to the final three innings with the same score as we entered the middle three with.

Late Innings

Brent Suter easily handled a one, two, three seventh. Victor Gonzalez came on for the bottom half, and he allowed two singles. Unfortunately, Kolten Wong was caught stealing after the first one, and the Brewers went down relatively quietly.

In the eighth, Devin Williams worked around a one-out walk to pitch a scoreless inning. Kenley Jansen did the exact same thing in his half of the inning.

Josh Hader came on for the ninth. Guess what he did?

He worked around a one-out walk to pitch a scoreless inning.

Blake Treinen pitched the bottom of the ninth, and he had had enough of this whole one-out walk thing, so he put the Brewers down in order. To extras we went.

Extra Innings

This is where the fun began. The Dodgers enjoyed facing Drew Rasmussen in both the tenth and eleventh, but the Brewers always had an answer when they needed it.

In the tenth, Rasmussen allowed a one-out walk and then a single that scored the third run for LA. After an intentional walk to load the bases, he was able to strike out Clayton Kershaw, who hit due to the lack of bench players in the Dodgers’ dugout, before forcing a ground ball to keep the damage to one run. The Brewers jumped on Alex Vesia in the bottom half with both Garcia and Shaw walking to load the bases with zero outs. Urias drove in the tying run with a one out sac fly, but that was all the Crew could get.

In the eleventh, Rasmussen decided to up the ante and give up two runs. After an opening strikeout, he walked Austin Barnes and then gave up a triple to Will Smith, scoring the two baserunners. Betts was intentionally walked to set up a double play opportunity, which he attempted to break up by stealing second. Luke Maile prevented that with the most underrated play of the night, a great high-pressure throw to catch Betts stealing. Rasmussen then ended the inning with another strikeout.

That brought us to the bottom half of the eleventh, and it was quite the half inning. Once again, the Vesia walked the bases loaded with no outs. This time it was Maile and rookie catcher Mario Feliciano, forced into his first career plate appearance with both Omar and Manny out with injuries. Wong then delivered a sac fly to score Billy McKinney, who had started the inning on second, and make it 4-5. After a hard-to-watch strikeout from Keston Hiura, Garcia delivered on his last strike with a grounder that got through to left. Shaw then ended things with a shot to right that allowed Feliciano to come in from second. Ballgame.

Some Takeaways

  • Baseball is fun
  • The Brewers are fun

No elaboration needed here. Enjoy the ride.

  • The Brewers are really dang good

This team is now 17-10 despite a tough opening schedule and a laundry list of injuries. They’ve had as good of a start as anyone in all of baseball. The starting pitching is simply elite. The bullpen, while a little iffy at times, has four very great arms in Suter, Feyereisen, Williams, and Hader. Boxberger has been quite good as the fifth guy as well. The defense, especially in the middle of that infield, has been phenomenal. Then there’s the offense, which has largely delivered when it has needed to in these games despite the clear struggles that they’ve gone through. There’s no question that we could get more out of certain players and the offense in general, but you don’t get to 17-10 unless they’re mostly doing their job too. Things are going well.

I could write more here – something about Hader’s dominance, Woodruff’s continued excellence, Williams’s improved form in recent appearances, or a shoutout to Shaw’s ability to drive in runs (and the team’s ability to get him into plenty of RBI opportunities). But let’s save that for another day. This was one heck of a win in a fantastic baseball game. For now, that’s enough.

What’s Next?

There’s one more game in this series. The Brewers will go for the sweep this afternoon at 1:10 Central. We then embark on a seven game road trip, starting in Philly and ending with three games against the Marlins, who we just saw a few days ago.

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