Bats Stall Again as Brewers Drop Houser’s Debut

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Adrian Houser made his first start of the 2021 season in a rubber match against Michael Pineda. Houser pitched five innings, allowing two earned runs and giving up four hits while striking out four. The Brewers still continued to struggle at the plate and couldn’t provide enough offense to overcome less than stellar performances from Drew Rasmussen and Josh Lindblom.

Houser Solid Early

Houser’s first game started off a little stressful. He gave up three hits in the first inning but produced just one run for the visiting Twins. Houser was able to get out of the jam with minimal damage, stranding a runner at third base.

Houser settled in for the most part after the first, making quick work of the second inning that ended in a slick 5-4-3 double play, which was finished off by a solid pick by Keston Hiura.

The Brewers tied up the game after in the bottom of second when Manny Piña drove Jackie Bradley Jr. home on a sacrifice fly. JBJ reached on an error and was moved to third on a double by Luis Urias.

In feed

The third inning was scoreless for both teams and featured Polanco getting caught while attempting to steal second by Piña who sprang up and fired a perfect strike to Urias who applied the tag. The play seemed close and could have possibly been overturned if the Twins hadn’t wasted their challenge earlier in the inning on a routine play at second.

Bullpen Shaky

The fourth inning was another quiet one because of some great pitching and even better defense by both teams.

Houser faltered slightly in the fifth, giving up a solo home to Mitch Garver. Houser then walked Andrelton Simmons but then got opposing pitcher, Michael Pineda, to ground into a double play, which included a nifty glove flip from Urias to Wong who fired it to Hiura to end the inning.

The Brewers made some noise in the fifth starting with Billy McKinney, who pinch hit for Houser and hit a broken bat single. Wong followed with a fantastic at bat, which ended in a walk. A big at bat by Keston Hiura was smoldered after a shot down the base line was ruled a foul ball and his at bat ended unceremoniously with a strike out. Christian Yelich then loaded the bases with a single. Avisail Garcia then came to the plate with two outs but struck out swinging, stranding the bases loaded.

Drew Rasmussen came on in the sixth inning and struggled. The first two runners reached base via walk and error and moved to second and third on a passed ball. Max Kepler scored both runners with a one-out single. Miguel Sano followed with a two-run, line drive homer to right to make it 6-1.

The Brewers half of the sixth started off hot when Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with his first home run as a Brewer to dead center. That would be the only run the Brewers would get in the sixth.

Lindblom Struggles

The seventh inning got extremely hairy. Josh Lindblom came into the game and allowed the first three batters to reach base on a hit and two walks respectively. It looked like the Twins were going to really lay it on but Lindblom worked out of the jam, Getting the next three batters to pop up shallow enough to hold the runners where they were.

The Brewers still couldn’t seem to find their bats and went down in order in their half of the seventh.

The Twins extended their lead in eighth, scoring two more runs off the bats of Nelson Cruz and Luis Arraez, who destroyed the Brewers this series.

Brewer bats continued their struggles and didn’t make any noise in the eighth.

Eric Yardley came on in relief in the ninth inning and was one of the silver linings for the Crew in this game. Yardley pitched a quick inning, getting the Twins out in order with two strikeouts.

The Brewers ended the game in the ninth without any excitement, going down in order to lose the game 8-2.

Conclusion

This was a game to forget if you root for the Crew. The Brewers are still struggling to find consistent bats early on in this season and continue to leave runners on base.

Houser pitched well enough, only giving up two runs. However, Rasmussen and Lindblom struggled making pitches in relief allowing the Twins to break open the game and sealing the win.

There are, however, a couple of silver linings. Luis Urias continues to be a bright spot in the lineup. Urias ended the game going one for two with single and two walks. Jackie Bradley Jr. also made his presence known by blasting his fist home run as a Milwaukee Brewer. Hopefully his first homer will spark something and he can continue to be the player the Brewers are hoping for. The Brewers defense had two double plays, and the combination of Arcia, Urias, and Wong is looking extremely strong.

The Brewers look to bounce back as they travel to Chicago to face the Cubs in a three game series starting Monday.

Follow me on Twitter @SpenGreg  To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here.

 

 

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