MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 12: Yovani Gallardo #49 of the Milwaukee Brewers arrives at second base with a double in the bottom of the 5th inning scoring Travis Ishikawa against the Atlanta Braves at Miller Park on September 12, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
WP: Yovani Gallardo (15-8)
LP: Paul Maholm (12-10)
MVP: Rickie Weeks (+.310)
LVP: Ryan Braun (-.035)
Before I start the recap tonight, I just want to take a minute and reflect on what the Brewers have done lately.
- They have not only won their last three home series; they swept all three of them.
- They have also swept five of their last six home series.
- Since losing a series at home to Washington, the Brewers are 17-2 at home. They are also 22-7 at home since the All-Star break and 33-15 at home since the start of June.
- Gallardo has not lost a decision since July 26 against the Nationals (7 Wins, 2 No Decisions), and the Brewers have not lost any of those games.
- The Brewers are above .500 for the first time since April 12, when they were 4-3.
So, let's start off the recap by answering the question that you all are desperately looking for an answer for. What did the Brewers give Chipper Jones as a gift for his final appearance at Miller Park? The answer: a grill with tools and a year's supply of sausage. I hope Chipper has a big freezer at home. The Brewers fans treated him well, giving him a standing ovation during his final at-bat at Miller Park.
Let's not forget that the Brewers played a game tonight. It didn't start out well, as the Braves got a 2-0 lead early. They got on the board right away in the top of the first thanks to a Jason Heyward home run, and extended it to 2-0 when Dan Uggla grounded into a double play, allowing Chipper Jones to score from third.
However, the big inning was the Brewers friend again today. Jeff Bianchi reached on an error and Yovani Gallardo bunted him over. Norichika Aoki followed him with a single, then Rickie Weeks hit a three-run home run to give the Brewers the lead at 3-2. The Brewers would not stop there, as Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez got on base after that. Jonathan Lucroy had an RBI single to make it 4-2, then Logan Schafer (who came on after Carlos Gomez got injured) walked to load the bases. Travis Ishikawa scored them all with an RBI double, and then scored himself thanks to an RBI double from Yovani Gallardo. After the inning was done, thirteen batters had come to the play and the Brewers were up 8-2. That was where the score would stay.
Yovani Gallardo had some trouble early but, once again, gave the Brewers what they needed. He allowed two runs over seven innings, allowing four hits and three walks but striking out six. Jose Veras pitched a clean eighth inning, and Kameron Loe allowed a couple of baserunners but pitched a scoreless inning as well. Meanwhile, Paul Maholm's struggles against the Brewers continued. He had allowed ten runs in eight innings against the Brewers this year, and allowed another eight runs in 4.1 innings tonight (that's a 13.14 ERA).
It's hard to believe, but the Brewers are only three games back in race for the second Wild Card. Today, the Cardinals lost to the Padres 3-2, and the Pirates lost to the Reds 2-1. The Phillies did defeat the Marlins 3-1 to remain tied with the Brewers, and the Dodgers are currently leading against the Diamondbacks 2-1.