HR: Lucroy (14), Weeks (10)
MVP: Yovani Gallardo (.203 WPA)
LVP: Juan Francisco (-.079 WPA)
That's the Yovani Gallardo we have been privileged to see for most of his career. The Brewers (former? de facto? struggling) ace went 6.1 strong shutout innings today, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out five Miami hitters. The Marlins may not be the best team in the MLB--they might even be the worst team--but it's still encouraging to see.
Meanwhile the Brewers bats handed Nathan Eovaldi his first non-quality start in six outings, pinning six earned runs on the young pitcher over four innings of work. That included two home runs, one of which Giancarlos Stanton helped out with, and not in the usual way. Known more for hitting home runs, Stanton accidentally knocked a deep Jonathan Lucroy fly ball over the outfield wall while trying to make a play.
The Brewers started scoring early, with two runs in the first inning in the first three batters. Norichika Aoki and Jean Segura led off the frame with consecutive singles. With that kind of speed on the basepaths, it would almost be hard for the two not to score when Ryan Braun hit perhaps his last double ever.
Lucroy's homer came in the third inning. To pile on even further, Milwaukee tagged on three more runs in the fourth, starting with a Rickie Weeks leadoff home run. Jeff Bianchi then doubled, and promptly came home to score on an Aoki single. After Segura singled to move Aoki to second and Braun struck out, Lucroy hit his second ball over the outfield wall on a bounce. This time, it hit the ground rather than a defender, resulting in a ground-rule double and bringing home Aoki. Carlos Gomez struck out to end the inning.
Overall, Lucroy had a 4-4 day today. Carlos Gomez did not fare so well, reaching base just once on a walk, but otherwise going 0-3 with three strikeouts.
Brandon Kintzler pitched 1.2 solid innings in relief before Donovan Hand, Michael Gonzalez, and Burke Badenhop secured one out apiece in the ninth inning. Not sure what that was all about. A 6-0 lead seems secure enough to just let one guy who was never in much trouble pitch a full inning, but to each his own.
The Marlins try to vanquish the mighty Brewers at least one time tomorrow as the two squads go at it again. Wily Peralta and Henderson Alvarez go toe-to-toe, eye-to-eye with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 CT.