Win: Zach Duke (1-0)
Loss: Jeanmar Gomez (0-1)
Save: Francisco Rodriguez (7)
HR: Neil Walker (6), Mark Reynolds (5), Ryan Braun (6), Khris Davis (1)
Khris Davis has had a rough go of it the past week and a half:
April 11: 0-3, two strikeouts
April 12: 0-4, one strikeout
April 15: 0-2, two strikeouts
April 16: 0-3
April 17: 1-4
April 18: 0-3, one strikeout
April 19: 1-5, one strikeout
I would now like to bid adieu to that Khris Davis and welcome unslumping, godlike Khris Davis back into the fold. He may still have struck out twice today, but Davis went 3-6 and won the game in extra innings for the Brewers.
The Pirates looked like they would escape this series with a split as they entered the ninth inning up 2-1. With closer Jason Grilli coming in, Pittsburgh was in a good spot. Unfortunately for the Pirates, Ryan Braun was due up in the top of the ninth. Braun entered the game with five home runs on the year, all of which have come against teams located in Pennsylvania. He hit number six to tie it all up and send the game to extras.
That set Davis up for late-game heroics five innings later as he took an 0-1 slider deep into left field for a solo home run against Jeanmar Gomez. Francisco Rodriguez allowed a hit in the bottom of the 14th, but two strikeouts allowed him to escape with the save.
Of course, if not for an earlier incident, Braun's homer may have been the winner. In the third innings, Carlos Gomez hit a two-out triple deep into center field. He thought it was a home run off the bat and admired it a bit, preventing him from having what likely would have been an inside the park home run, otherwise.
After the play, Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole said something that did not sit right with Gomez, leading to an exchange of words that then evolved into a full-scale benches-clearing brawl. Actual punches were thrown and Gomez, bench coach Jerry Narron, and Pirates' outfielder Travis Snider were all ejected from the game.
It would not be surprising to see Gomez (and Martin Maldonado, who got a hard punch in on someone) end up with a short suspension. If that does come to pass, hopefully Gomez can appeal it until Logan Schafer is able to play again, otherwise the team will have to rely on Elian Herrera in center field. After an 0-4 day, Herrera is now hitless in six at-bats with three strikeouts.
Marco Estrada lasted six innings with one run allowed on six hits. He struck out four and walked none. But it was the Brewers' bullpen that was the story of the day pitching-wise. Six relievers combined to throw eight innings, allowing one run on seven hits with six strikeouts and one walk. Jim Henderson was tabbed with the only earned run. He got the first two outs of the innings, but allowed Ike Davis on base with a single and was pulled in favor of Will Smith. Two singles later and Davis came around to score.
The Brewers had just tied the game on a Mark Reynolds solo home run, but fortunately Braun and Davis were able to pick up the slack and bring the game back into the fold.
Milwaukee has now won six of seven games against the Pirates this season. The two teams will play another series beginning May 13. I'm going to venture a guess and say Pittsburgh may not be looking forward to that one.
The Brewers are now 14-5, have the best record in the MLB, and are three games ahead of the Cardinals in the NL Central. The other three teams in the division are all under .500. I don't know, I'm thinking the 2014 season really just gets me, y'know?
Next up, the Brewers head back to Miller Park for a three game series against the Padres. First pitch tomorrow is at 7:10 CT.