The 2021 MLB season has already been quite a rollercoaster for the Milwaukee Brewers. After starting things off with a walk-off win, the offense slumped and things weren’t all pretty. However, in the past few games, it seems that the Brew Crew may have found their groove. The bats are alive and the pitching is shining like never before. This week’s games vs. the Chicago Cubs showed a lot of promise, and it will most definitely be a series to remember (for multiple reasons.)
Game One- (4/12/21) Brewers 6, Cubs 3
In the series’ first matchup, the excelling Freddy Peralta matched up against Cubs starter Adbert Alzolay. These two had already met this season on April 6, in which Freddy gave up just one hit. Like before, Peralta continued to shine in this game. He was able to put up 10 strikeouts in 6 innings of work, with only 1 earned run. Despite having an impressive performance, Freddy did not receive any run support until late in the game. It seemed a bit like the Brewers’ offense would waste another gem, but this all changed in the bottom of the 6th inning. Omar Narvaez began with a leadoff single, and Billy McKinney followed up with a single. After walking Daniel Robertson, Alzolay was taken out and replaced with Andrew Chafin. However, this move backfired. A slumping Luis Urias slapped a bases-clearing double to left field. This hit snapped Urias’ dreadful 1 for 21 stretch and scored three runners.
Jackie Bradley Jr. and Keston Hiura did not waste time either. Bradley Jr. found himself an RBI triple, and Hiura came up with an RBI single. In total, the Brewers scored 6 runs in the inning, putting Peralta in line for the win. A late-inning rally was attempted by the Cubs, but this was shut down as soon as Josh Hader was brought in to get his first save of the season.
Game Two- (4/13/21) Cubs 3, Brewers 2
During the second game of the series, the Brewers faced their old foe Alec Mills. Thankfully, went better than the last time they faced Mills. Luis Urias was able to take him deep in the 2nd inning and quickly put the Brewers up 2-0. Brandon Woodruff got his third start of the year and had a brilliant outing. He only gave up one run over the course of six innings and handed out 6 strikeouts. The atmosphere got tense in the 6th inning, when it seemed as if Ryan Tepera attempted to intentionally hit Woodruff. Woodruff was able to keep his cool, but it was clear that tempers were on edge for both teams.
Milwaukee was cruising until things went downhill in the 8th. After bringing in Brent Suter to pitch the 7th and 8th inning, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras homered and gave the Cubs their first lead of the game. Contreras put his finger to his lips and shushed the Brewers as he rounded the bases. This gesture came in response to Contreras being hit multiple times during the series. The Brewers were not able to make a comeback and surrendered to Chicago after Craig Kimbrel closed the game out.
Game Three- (4/14/21) Brewers 7, Cubs 0
Even though they had lost the day before, Milwaukee ended the series with a bang. The Brewers were able to take advantage of Chicago starter Jake Arrieta swiftly and put up two runs in the first inning. These runs came via a Travis Shaw single and an Omar Narvaez sacrifice fly. Corbin Burnes got the start for the Brewers and impressed (as always.) Burnes gave up 0 runs and struck out 11 batters in 6 innings of work. His performance set MLB records, as he became the first pitcher since 1901 to have 30 strikeouts and 0 walks in his first 3 starts.
The Brewers continued to pile on runs as the game continued. Travis Shaw remained hot and sent his 4th homer of the season deep to left field during the 4th. The real meltdown did not occur until the 7th, though. Cubs pitcher Shelby Miller loaded the bases quickly and did not record an out beforehand. He walked both Urias and McKinney, bringing in two runs. He also surrendered a hit to Corbin Burnes, who was credited with two RBIs. The Brewers were able to end the series on a high note by having both offense and pitching excel.
Overall, the Brewers played well during these few games. It’s possible that the offense has finally figured everything out. If pitching continues to dominate, the Brewers could become very dangerous. Seeing the team play through injuries that left their stars sidelined was extremely promising. Hopefully, Milwaukee continues to stay hot when they play Pittsburgh beginning this Friday.
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