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Rays 5, Brewers 1: 14 strikeouts for the Crew

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The offense stunk and so did the bullpen.

Brian Blanco

W: Alex Cobb, 7-6

L: Will Smith, 1-3

HR: Zobrist (9)

Fangraphs Win Probability

Box

The Brewers got very little going against Alex Cobb, especially in the early innings. He was perfect through 3 and faced the minimum through 4 when Ryan Braun erased Jonathan Lucroy's off-the-wall single with a double play grounder to short. They finally got a run in the 5th when Aramis Ramirez and Khris Davis led off the frame with a single and a walk. Mark Reynolds apparently attempted to catch the infield off guard by bunting, but was thrown out, advancing the runners on a sacrifice to 2nd and 3rd. Scooter Gennett drove in Ramirez to score the first run of the game.

The Brewers could not get anything else going against Cobb, who struck out 12 Brewers and gave up only 3 hits and 2 walks in 8 innings. Matt Garza, meanwhile, turned in another good outing. He went 7 innings and gave up 5 hits and 2 walks, but with only 2 strikeouts. The only damage came on a long Ben Zobrist home run down the right field line (despite Garza's best efforts to will it foul from the mound). He led off his final inning, the 7th, with a walk but got back to back ground balls to get out of the inning.

The bullpen melted down in the 8th inning to cost the Brewers a better shot in the 9th. Will Smith took over in the bottom of the 8th for the Brewers. A walk, sacrifice bunt, and wild pitch put a runner on 3rd with 1 out for Zobrist, who hammered a hanging slider down the left field line for a double (from the opposite side of the plate he hit the home run from). Pinch-hitter Logan Forsythe then hit a long fly ball to left-center that hit off of the top of the wall to score Zobrist. Then came an intentional walk to Evan Longoria followed by another unintentional one to James Loney.

Marco Estrada came on to attempt to mop up the mess and ceded a run on an infield single. Yunel Escobar was strangely thrown out of the game on the first pitch of his at-bat against Estrada for arguing a strike, and his replacement Cole Figueroa hit a sacrifice fly to score another run but ended the inning when Longoria was tagged out.

Our old friend Grant Balfour pitched the 9th for the Rays. Carlos Gomez led off with his 4th strikeout of the night, Lucroy struck out for the 14th Brewer K overall, and Braun grounded out to end the game.