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Brewers 5, Rays 1: Back in First

Win: Zack Greinke (7-2)
Loss: Jeremy Hellickson (7-6)

HR: Betancourt (4)

MVP: Greinke (.322)
LVP: Caveman (-.076)

Fangraphs Win Expectancy Graph

You really can't expect Zack Greinke to do much more than he did tonight, as he was truly on his game.  The man who refuses to go by Donald gave up a mere one run in seven innings.  He allowed just four hits.

And struck out ten Tampa Bay hitters.

And didn't walk a single one.

I mean, my goodness!  How great is it to have Zack Greinke on this team, and pitching like that?  There are plenty of cliches about a good pitching performance being a work of art but you know what?  That's exactly what this was.  Greinke was masterful as he just completely flustered the Rays at the plate.  Tampa Bay couldn't even get on the board until the seventh inning.  Today is just proof positive that Greinke is one of the best pitchers in the game today.  As if that's not quite good enough, consider that Greinke has now struck out 80 hitters in 60.1 innings while walking just nine.  For those counting at home, that is a 11.93 K/9, a 1.34 BB/9, and a 8.88 K/BB.  His FIP, already at 2.50, should be moving even lower after today and with just the one run given up, his ERA is heading on down, too.

The Brewers offense wasn't at it's best, but it was more than good enough.  Jonathan Lucroy was the star offensively as he had three of the team's seven hits.  Prince Fielder also reached base three times thanks to two walks, and Ryan Braun reached twice with a walk and a hit.  The Brewers scored all the runs they needed in the first couple innings as Casey McGehee sacrificed home Rickie Weeks in the opening frame and the very next inning featured the elusive Yuniesky Betancourt homerun. 

After the Rays scored their lone run to make the score 2-1, the Brewers laid it on in the seventh, just in case.  Jonathan Lucroy, Craig Counsell and Josh Wilson loaded the bases before Ryan Braun singled in a couple runs, and Prince Fielder immediately proceeded to smash a hanging slider to left field for an RBI single. 

With the Cardinals losing to the Phillies 10-2, the Brewers are back in first place again, which is slightly less exciting than when they took first last week, but still plenty exciting nonetheless!