The Brewers have seen plenty of September success the last two years, but the 2020 version has thus far delivered mixed results.
Trying to keep pace in the NL Central, the Brewers dropped two of three to the Indians. It was a bit of a missed opportunity, as the two teams the Brewers are chasing, the Cubs and Cardinals, are facing off this weekend.
Despite a nice offensive showing in Friday’s opener, the losses on Saturday and Sunday resulted from the same woeful hitting with runners in scoring position that have plagued them the majority of the season.
The pair of losses drops the Brewers to 18-21 on the season, but they are still only four games behind the Cubs for 1st place.
Hiura Powers Offense in Game One
Keston Hiura hit an RBI double and a two-run homer to back a fantastic outing from Corbin Burnes in a 7-1 Brewers win.
Burnes earned his 2nd win of the season, pitching six terrific innings, striking out seven batters in the process. He lowered his ERA to 2.35 and has arguably been the Brewers’ best starter this year.
The Brewers’ offense took a while to get going, scoring only one run on Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco.
But Milwaukee worked quickly in the 7th inning off Indians’ reliever Phil Maton. Luis Urias led off with a walk and Ben Gamel singled two batters later before Hiura doubled to score Urias and break a 1-1 tie.
The Brewers added three more runs on a two-run error and an RBI single by Ryan Braun.
Brewers Fall in Walk-Off Fashion
Cesar Hernandez drove in Oscar Mercado with an RBI single off Josh Hader in the 9th, as Hader gave up his first two hits of the year and was dealt his first loss of the season.
Brandon Woodruff got the start for the Brewers and gave up three runs in just 4.1 innings pitched.
The Brewers were forced to come from behind after Woodruff departed but got solo homers from Hiura and Orlando Arcia to tie the game going into the 9th.
Hiura has struggled to regain the consistency that he had during his rookie season last year, but he still leads the team with 11 home runs.
The Brewers had their fair share of opportunities to put runs on the board. They left runners in scoring position in five different innings, including stranding the bases loaded in both the 7th and 8th innings.
Offense Can’t Capitalize on Bieber’s Short Start
The Brewers chased Indians’ ace Shane Bieber after just five innings but were still unable to come away with a win, falling 4-1 in the finale.
The five inning outing was Bieber’s shortest of the season, yet he still managed to score his 7th win of the season. He struck out 10 and only surrendered an RBI single to Jacob Nottingham in the 5th.
The Brewers loaded the bases following Nottingham’s hit, but Bieber struck out Hiura and Christian Yelich to escape the jam.
Brett Anderson got the start for the Brewers and gave up four runs over five innings. He pitched well to start the game but was unable to get out of the 6th.
Lindblom Pitches from Bullpen
With another off-day on the schedule Monday, Craig Counsell opted to skip Josh Lindblom’s spot in the rotation and instead used him in relief on Sunday.
Lindblom has struggled in his return to the majors but delivered a clean inning of work with two strikeouts.
Though his strikeout rate is high this season, he has failed to avoid giving up solid contact. Through eight appearances, he is allowing 1.7 home runs per nine innings, highest among Brewers’ starters. His 6.25 ERA is also the highest.
The Brewers are back at it Tuesday when they visit Detroit for a quick two-game series versus the Tigers. The two teams split a two-game series at Miller Park last week. Adrian Houser (1-3, 4.97 ERA) is scheduled to take the bump for the Brewers in the opener, facing off against Spencer Turnbull (3-2. 3.89 ERA) for the Tigers.