The Milwaukee Brewers’ offense came alive on Sunday to escape a series sweep against the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park. A main take away from the series is, Christian Yelich will be just fine. It was a comeback weekend for the former MVP, the Brewers’ bats, and the team’s solid pitching roster. The Brewers next opponent is the Minnesota Twins at Miller Park.
Second Inning Dooms Brewers Friday
The Reds scored six runs in the second inning to spoil Eric Lauer’s first start for the Brewers. Lauer was not getting any calls or control at the corners, and it lead to him leaving after three innings of work. After the game, Lauer had some refreshingly honest words:
Eric Lauer: "I think I was a little cutter-heavy, and that’s not necessarily a pitch that I practice all that often, so I think that was kind of a little miscommunication and I need to be better about communicating with our catchers and making sure that we’re on the same page."
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) August 8, 2020
Logan Morrison and Christian Yelich both homered in the game, but it wasn’t enough to get the offense going as the Brewers lost a forgettable performance by a score of 8-3. Trevor Bauer is a very good pitcher. He punched out 12 Brewers’ batters in six innings of work.
Saturday Also Forgettable
The Brewers continued to struggle on Saturday. A costly error by Keston Hiura led to a three-run home run before the top of the first inning was complete.
Brett Anderson only pitched 3 and 2/3 innings, but Corbin Burnes pitched electric out of the bullpen. He did give up one run, but he helped the Crew get out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth to prevent a disaster for the Brewers.
Burnes pitched the rest of the game, going 5 and 1/3 innings, giving up one hit, one run and struck out eight. The Corbin Burnes comeback year is in full swing, and it is yet to be determined if he will have a spot in the rotation or not.
Milwaukee had four hits on the night and scored only one run. They lost 4-1 and left many Brewers fans wondering if the struggling offense could lead to a collapse in 2020.
Sunday Brings the Brewers Back to Life
Sunday’s matchup of Brandon Woodruff and Sonny Gray is what any baseball fan would like to see. It was built as a pitching duel, and ended as a possible turning point of the season for Milwaukee.
After losing two-in-a-row and starting to drop further from .500, it started to appear that losing Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun was just too much for the Brewers. Then, the sixth inning happened.
Brandon Woodruff pitched only four innings after not appearing comfortable on the mound and running into a high pitch count. It wasn’t his best performance of the year, but he only gave up three hits and two earned runs.
Sonny Gray lasted until the sixth, but quickly got into trouble and left with the game tied 2-2 with runners on base. Michael Lorenzen came in and immediately gave up a walk, an RBI single to Keston Hiura and two more walks. The score was 5-2 and the offense wasn’t done.
Reds’ reliever Cody Reed came and recorded an out, but gave up a two-run hit to Justin Smoak, who had a breakout game.
Brent Suter relieved Woodruff and got the win with two scoreless innings.
Christian Yelich and Keston Hiura both hit monster home runs in the seventh as well, and the Brewers took the series finale by a score of 9-3.
Takeaways From the Series
Christian Yelich is no longer in a slump. In the last seven games, he has three home runs, six RBIs and eight walks. He did have 11 strikeouts, but he’s definitely feeling more comfortable at the plate and has four home runs this year.
Justin Smoak’s bat could be coming alive. He went 3 for 5 with two RBIs and was hitting the ball well the entire series. Smoak has to work on the Ks as well, but Sunday’s game shut a lot of critical people up about the Brewers first baseman.
The Rise of Mike Mathias. Mathias is continuing to impress in the outfield and with his bat. He is batting .333 with two RBIs through 15 at-bats so far. He is one to keep an eye on. Also, Twitter, please verify him at @markmathias_12.
Plenty of season left. The Brewers are now 6-7 with a tough week of games ahead. But, if they can maintain their current win-lose rate with their pitching continuing to surprise and a possible rise of their offense, the Brewers can definitely be postseason bound.
The Brewers and Reds will meet again on August 24.