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Brewers bullpen dodges a bullet, offense explodes late: Brewers win 9-3

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It was a wild ride but the ending made it worth all my fretting.

Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Winning Pitcher: Jeremy Jeffress

Losing Pitcher: Brandon League

HR: Adrian Gonzalez (16), Rickie Weeks (4)

Win Expectancy Chart

Boxscore

Lohse got through the first inning without giving up a run despite allowing a double and a walk. The Brewers offense made more noise. Gomez flew out but Gerardo Parra dropped a single into the sweet spot in shallow center. Ryan Braun followed up with a liner to center. Parra advanced to third and Braun got to second on the throw from Yasiel Puig. Aramis Ramirez drove in the first run of the night on a liner to left. Scooter Gennett drove in the second run on a sac fly to center.

Adrian Gonzalez terrorized Lohse. In the first inning he almost knocked one over the left field fence, but had to settle for a double. His next time up Lohse walked him on 4 pitches. Then in the 6th inning Gonzalez gave the Dodgers their first run on a solo shot to right. Things were pretty dicey that inning. Matt Kemp made it all the way to third base and with Juan Uribe batting with 2 outs Lohse hit him in the face...but just barely. It seemed to ever so slightly graze his lips. He wasn't hurt at all and trotted to first base. Thankfully Drew Butera grounded into the last out.

That was the end of the night for Lohse. He threw a ton of pitches the first two innings and exited with over 100 pitches in 6 innings. He walked 2, struck out 2, and allowed 6 hits. It wasn't his best night but he still held the Dodgers to 1 run in those 6 innings which is totally solid.

Somewhat strangely, Don Mattingly removed Roberto Hernandez for a pinch hitter to lead off the seventh inning. It was strange because he had only thrown 65 pitches and had retired 17 batters in a row.

Rob Wooten came on in relief to pitch the seventh inning for the Brewers. He gave up a single and was promptly removed so Ron Roenicke could play match-ups. I wonder why he didn't just go with Zach Duke in the first place if he knew he was going to remove Wooten so quickly.

Duke was able to get Dee Gordon to to ground into a fielder's choice, but a wild pitch allowed Gordon to advance to second base with one out. Yasiel Puig drew a walk and Adrian Gonzalez stepped to the plate with runners at first and second. To this point Gonzalez had yet to be retired. He wasn't retired this at bat either. He lined in a run to tie the game. That would end Duke's night.

Jeremy Jeffress relieved Duke with 1 out and runners at the corners. The Dodgers' took the lead on an infield hit that drove in a run. The Brewers were given a swift reprieve when Matt Kemp lined a ball right into Elian Herrera's glove who was able to toss it to second in time for the double play. Still, the Brewers found themselves down 3-2.

With 1 out, Rickie Weeks hit for Scooter Gennett. He drew a walk and made it all the way to third base on a grounder from Mark Reynolds up the middle that was booted into the outfield. Martin Maldonado tied the game on a squeeze play that scored Weeks. Justin Turner had a chance to end the inning but bobbled a grounder up the middle for the second time of the inning instead. Bases were loaded with two outs for Carlos Gomez. This just wasn't Justin Turner's night. Another grounder to short. This time he was able to glove the ball, but Gomez's speed helped forced a poor throw from Turner resulting in another run scored for the Brewers. Gerardo Parra didn't waste much time lining a hit to center. Two more runs came in. Unfortunately Gomez was caught between second and third bases and tagged out to end the inning. The Brewers scored 4 runs that inning and took a 6-3 lead.

Ron's Eighth Inning Guy Will Smith did indeed pitch the 8th inning. The first out came on a strikeout that got away from Martin Maldonado. He had to throw to first in order to secure the out which he did but tip your cap to Mark Reynolds for catching an uncharacteristically poor throw from Maldonado. The second out was an easy grounder to first. The third out was a lazy fly to center. It was a much needed shutdown inning for Smith (and if I'm being honest, more so for me because I was getting pretty frustrated at the continue bullpen woes).

The Brewers weren't done rocking the Dodger's bullpen. Two consecutive batters reached in front of Rickie Weeks who showed a glimpse of his old self with a big time 3-run home run to deep left center. The Brewers would head to the 9th inning with a 9-3 lead.

With a six run lead the Brewers sent out Brandon Kintzler for 9th inning mop up duties. He retired all three batters in order on grounders.

Brewers will send Mike Fiers to the mound tomorrow to face Zack Greinke and the Dodgers. Start time is 6:10 pm CT.

Other notes:

  • Because of all the errors by Justin Turner, the losing pitcher tonight, Brandon League, didn't allow an earned run. I think it's funny that he get's a loss while putting up a 0.00 ERA for his appearance. Speaks to the limitations and/or outright stupidity of both those statistics.
  • Hanley Ramirez left the game after batting in the first inning. He's been dealing with a number of health issues this year. If he misses either of the next two games that's a big bat out of the Dodgers' lineup.
  • The Pirates won 2-1 against the Padres. They remain 1.5 games back of the Brewers.
  • The Cardinals were routed 12-2 by my new favorite American League team the Orioles who hit 6 home runs in that game. Cards fall to 2 games back of the Brewers
  • The Reds lost the Marlins and find themselves 5 games back of the Brewers.
  • The Cubs lost too but who cares?