An injury to the Brewers’ starting pitcher and a poor showing from the defense and bullpen prompt the Brewers’ 8-6 loss on Tuesday night. The Brewers fall below .500 with a 2-3 record through the first five games of the season.
Cramps Lead to Early Exit
Josh Lindblom’s Brewers’ debut did not go as some may have hoped. Tonight, he made his first appearance in the MLB since 2017, and his first start since 2014. Unfortunately, Lindblom was pulled early with back cramps suffered from dehydration, according to the team via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt. He would go three and 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits, with three walks and five strikeouts. Both of his runs came in the bottom of the fourth inning which he gave up a two-RBI single to Pirates’ outfielder Guillermo Heredia.
Following Lindblom, manager Craig Counsell would go to four relievers: Eric Yardley, Brent Suter, Corey Knebel, and Bobby Wahl. Together, they combined to allow six of the team’s eight runs allowed, six hits, and four strikeouts.
The Seventh Inning
In an ugly inning, the teams combined for 17 batters, six walks, and an error, the Brewers took a commanding four-run lead, and squandered it quickly. The inning started with four walks in-a-row from Pirates reliever Miguel Del Pozo. Orlando Arcia followed with a two-run double to right field, nearly hitting it out for a grand slam. Following a Lorenzo Cain intentional walk and a pitching change, Keston Hiura hit a sacrifice fly, scoring catcher Manny Piña.
The bottom half of the seventh got ugly for the Brewers, as well. Two singles and a hit batter from Suter started the inning, followed by a walk to shortstop Kevin Newman. Suter’s walk scored Newman. The damage would not stop there, though, as a grounder to Justin Smoak led to a throwing error while trying to get a force out at second, resulting in two more runs. Suter was then pulled, but the Pirates were not done just yet. Third baseman Phillip Evans hit a double to center field, scoring another run. Just like that, the game went from 2-2, to 6-2, then 6-6, all in the span of one inning.
Early Struggles Continue for Yelich
Despite the offensive output from the Brewers’ lineup, outfielder Christian Yelich continued his slump in Pittsburgh tonight. Yelich went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, bringing his season average to .045 through 22 at-bats. He remains to not have any other hits outside of his two-run home run against the Cubs last Saturday.
As for the rest of the offense, Keston Hiura hit his first home run of the season in the top of the sixth inning, scoring Lorenzo Cain. That would be his only hit on the night, finishing 1-for-2 with three RBIs. Orlando Arcia was another main source of offense tonight, going 1-for-3 with a two-RBI double in the grisly seventh inning.
Following tonight’s loss, the Brewers and Pirates will play the final game of the series tomorrow. First pitch is slated for 6:05 PM CDT. Tomorrow’s pitching matchup features each team’s opening day starters, Brandon Woodruff and Joe Musgrove. In his first outing, Musgrove allowed five hits over 5 and 2/3 innings, giving up three runs, walking three, and striking out seven in the loss to St. Louis. As for Woodruff, he’ll look to find more run support after striking out five over five innings, while allowing two runs in a 3-0 loss to the Cubs.
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