Win: Marco Estrada (5-7)
Loss: Dallas Keuchel (3-8)
Near bullpen meltdown of the night: Livan "Soon to be Retiree" Hernandez
HR: Ramirez (27), Hart 2 (29, 30), Martinez (4), Bogusevic (7), Greene (11)
MVP: Corey Hart (.141 WPA)
LVP: Rickie Weeks (-.026 WPA)
Fangraphs Win Expectancy Chart
Marco Estrada should absolutely be in the Milwaukee Brewers rotation at the beginning of 2013. After his worst start of the season five days ago against the Nationals, Estrada came back with a resiliency that resulted in perhaps his best start of the season. He went eight shutout innings, his longest outing of the year, and gave up just four hits and a walk. He also struck out 11 batters.
Estrada and the Brewers offense were so good, that even future not-baseball player Livan Hernandez couldn't screw up this game. He sure as hell tried, though, giving up three home runs and five earned runs while securing just two outs in the ninth inning. Jose Veras came on to secure the final out, a fly ball by Brandon Barnes.
Thankfully, the Brewers got Estrada plenty of run support today. As the site tagline goes, they probably needed insurance runs. Both Norichika Aoki and Aramis Ramirez picked up three hits and each scored two runs and drove in two runs. Ryan Braun went 2-3 with a walk and a run scored (MVP! MVP!), while Corey Hart powered the offense. Hart hit two home runs on the day, one a solo shot and the other a three run bomb. This is Hart's second 30 home-run season of his career. He has a chance to set a new personal best as his previous career high was 31, set in 2010.
The Brewers still have a slim glimmer of hope remaining. After coming back against the Nationals, the Cardinals fell in the tenth inning. There's still a chance. Not a good one. But a chance. And we can all hang on to that while it lasts, hopefully right on into the playoffs.
The Brewers and Astros will play one more game while Houston is still in the National League. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 as future AL West slayer Jordan Lyles and future NL Central slayer Mike Fiers face off.