The Milwaukee Brewers left Wrigley Field for Pittsburgh after a very frustrating series. Full of highs and plenty of lows, but there is no need to panic, yet. Just like the last few years, the Brewers are right back with the same problems. Games where the offense disappears as well as questions about the starting rotation.
Hendricks dominates in opener
The Milwaukee Brewers offense was almost nowhere to be found on Opening Day. Christian Yelich went 0-4, but it is hard to be tough on him or the Crew. Kyle Hendricks pitched one of the best games I’ve ever seen. His change up was ridiculous, and it was just one of those days where the Brewers couldn’t do anything unless your name was Orlando Arcia.
Kyle Hendricks pitched a complete game shutout with 3 hits and 9 strikeouts. In his debut game as Cubs manager, when David Ross came out in the ninth inning to talk to Hendricks, even I said to myself “Don’t you dare pull him right now”. I hated myself for saying it, trust me.
You can’t really say the Opening Day starting pitcher curse continued for the Brewers. Brandon Woodruff pitched great and had one mistake. Unfortunately, that one mistake was a two run blast from Ian Happ. Woodruff went 5 innings stong and 85 pitches, with only 4 hits and 5 Ks.
The Cubs scored their third and final run off of Wisconsin native J.P.Feyereisen when Anthony Rizzo went yard.
It was all weird to watch. The dugout seemed like everyone was asleep. There were no fans or atmosphere. It almost didn’t feel like a real game. There was no team spark or fun that helps Milwaukee thrive and win. With some of the pitches he was getting, Christian Yelich could have easily had 2 home runs if he was in normal season form. Definitely not the way Milwaukee had envisioned their delayed start.
The Brewers lost 3-0 to open the 2020 Season.
Positive signs for the Brewers
Orlando Arcia. He went 3 for 3 and recorded every hit for Milwaukee on Opening Day. With plenty of people thinking Luis Urias will secure the shortstop position before the end of this season, Arcia is a player who thrives when presented with competition. Let’s hope it continues.
Crew Bounces Back in Game 2
After a devastating loss on Friday, Milwaukee came back and played exactly how the Brewers succeed. Their bats came alive, the pitching was solid, thanks you Brent Suter, and the team was having fun again. Even the creepy virtual fans couldn’t ruin the game.
Corbin Burnes had great stuff. If it wasn’t for a high pitch count, he could have easily gotten a win. He only pitched 3.1 innings, but it didn’t seem that way. He gave up only 2 hits, 1 run, had 6 Ks, and 3 walks. Brent “Raptor” Suter relieved him for 2.2 innings, which consisted of 3 strikeouts. He did give up a 2 run dinger, but the Brewers offense came alive to help him get the win.
The Brewers continued to take Yu Darvish to task. Darvish only went 4 innings, giving up 3 runs but did walk away with 5 Ks. The Cubs bullpen didn’t help him either, giving up 5 additional runs during the game. It was nice to see 6 different Brewers have RBIs, including Eric Sogard. Sogard got on base three times with 2 walks and an RBI hit.
Did we almost get to see our first dugout fight of the 2020 Season? Yes we did. After Burnes struck out Contreras, Burnes pounded his glove in celebration. That didn’t sit very well with the Cubs, and lots of words were exchanged. Both dugouts started to clear, including a sweet over-the-railing jump by Yelich. It was like something out of the WWE. Cooler heads prevailed, but it did make it seem like baseball season was back.
The Brewers get their first win with a final of 8-3.
Positive Signs for the Brewers
Christian Yelich hit his first home run of the season with a 2 run shot after the Brewers got to the Cubs’ bullpen. It was the highlight of the series for Yelich, who isn’t in prime form yet. However, no one should be freaking out even if social media says so.
Lorenzo Cain went 3-4, Justin Smoak got his first home run of the season, and the Brewers bullpen of Suter, David Phelps, Devin Williams, and Eric Yardley were quite impressive. Suter and Yardley stood out for me, and I am excited to see how Yardley continues.
The Lorenzo Cain/Ben Gamel base-running moment was perfect as well. It reminded everyone of the almost exact same moment in 2018. That play almost single-handedly turned the Brewers season around.
Disastrous 4th Dooms Brewers in Series Finale
The first three innings seemed like a breeze in Sunday’s contest. Freddy Peralta got the start and was pitching just solid. The Brewers weren’t getting any hits, but they were hitting the ball hard and just couldn’t catch a break early on.
However, then the 4th inning hit. After giving up a walk, a double, and then another walk immediately after, Peralta’s solid start came to a sudden end. Corey Knebel had a rough outing as well and the Brewers ended the fourth inning down 5-0 with Eric Lauer having to take over before the inning finally ended.
Tyler Chatwood had an impressive debut as a starter. He pitched 6 innings, had 8 strikeouts, and only gave up one run. The Brewers had plenty of chances to come back, but several rallies came up short as the Chicago bullpen helped close the door on Milwaukee.
Christian Yelich went 0-4 again with 3 strikeouts. Keston Hiura, Eric Sogard, Logan Morrison, and Lorenzo Cain all went hitless as well. It was one of those losses that sticks with you and hopefully motivates the team.
The Brewers bullpen was also less than impressive, allowing the Cubs to score nine total runs.
Milwaukee loses the series finale by the score of 9-1.
Positive Signs for the Brewers
Eric Lauer. After being re-instated from the injured list, Lauer pitched 2.2 innings with 1 hit, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts. There is reason to believe that Freddy Peralta might get another start next week. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lauer was plugged into the starting rotation. But who knows what Counsell has in mind. I thought Brett Anderson would have pitched this game originally.
Series Final Thoughts
There is no need to panic yet. Yes, there are 60 games instead of 162, but, the Milwaukee Brewers usually are better after the first few games or series. I am not worried about Yelich or the offense. I know the starting rotation needs to get figured out. There will always be games like these first three, an absolute roller coaster. But baseball is back, and we are all glad to be here. Milwaukee should sweep the Pirates and be back on their feet. Yes, I said should.