Winning pitcher: Casey Fien
Losing pitcher: Will Smith
Shitty umpire: Andy Fletcher
SV: Glen Perkins
The Brewers hopped over to Minnesota tonight to begin/continue their interleague series with the Twins. Aramis Ramirez was activated from the DL and batted fifth. Encouragingly, Ron Roenicke decided to continue the experiment with the top of the lineup that I'm going to be calling the "Fierce Four," because I can. Also of note, Rickie Weeks got the start against the right hander Ricky Nolasco. It was just his second start against a right-handed starter this year. It paid off too.
The Brewers scored first in the top of the second inning. With two outs Weeks scorched a ball down the third base line for a double. Mark Reynolds followed with a liner to right center, driving in Weeks. That would give the the Brewers a 1-0 lead.
Marco Estrada gave up a base hit to Brian Dozier in the first inning and then retired the next 8 batters before allowing a walk to Brian Dozier in the fourth inning. In the first inning Dozier reached third base with 1 out but did not score. In the fourth inning Dozier reached third base with one out. This time he would score as Oswaldo Arcia hit a three run home run to give the Twins a 3-1 lead.
In the fifth inning Estrada allowed a hit to Arcia, hit Dozier, and walked Joe Mauer to load the bases for Jeff Willingham with one out. The home plate umpire decided the down/away corner of the strike zone no longer existed and gifted the RBI walk to the Twins. It was close, but it should have been strike 3. It was not the first time the umpire made a questionable call this night. The next batter grounded to first and Overbay threw to home getting the force out there. Trevor Plouffe then grounded into final out of the inning, but thanks to the home plate umpire the Twins took a 4-1 lead.
Estrada came back out to pitch a scoreless sixth inning, which would be his last. He struggled again and allowed yet another home run. It's got to be a real concern going forward. If the bullpen weren't already so full, I might start advocating calling Nelson up and converting Estrada back to relief. Don't get me wrong, I love Estrada. But his already fringe average fastball has seen a decline in velocity the last couple of years. His changeup isn't working this year. I don't know if that's because batters see it coming or Estrada is just struggling with command right now. I don't want to get rid of the guy, but next year I think he probably shouldn't be starting and Nelson should anyway. A change soon might be warranted.
Sorry about that aside. Have some good news. In the bottom of the sixth Jonathan Lucroy, Carlos Gomez, and Aramis Ramirez got consecutive hits. That's not the good news. The good news is that Ramirez's hit, his first since being activated, was just a little THREE RUN HOME RUN!!! He tied the game and even though I don't care about these things, he took Estrada off the hook for a loss.
Rob Wooten entered in the seventh inning retiring two batters before allowing a double to Willingham. Will Smith came in to face the lefty Arcia but things did not go as planned. Two base hits later the Twins regained the lead, this time by two runs.
It was quiet after that and the Brewers would go on to lose 6-4. Tomorrow night pits Wily Peralta against Kevin "Somehow Still Has a Job Starting Games" Correia. It should be a better night. Start time is 7:10 pm CT.
The Twins used a replay in the first inning. I missed it, but apparently Brian Dozier attempted to steal third base and was called out. Upon replay, that call was reversed. He did not score.
In the fourth inning the home plate umpire called Lucroy out on a foul tip. The broadcast showed it actually bounced and he should not have been called out. It was frustrating. Ron Roenicke came out to argue and looked like he was seconds away from getting ejected. Obviously that was not the only time the two had words...