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Brewers win a strange one; MIL 4, MIA 2

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There's an old (supposedly Chinese but probably English) curse. It goes: May you live in interesting times. This was an interesting game.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Winning Pitcher: Mike Fiers

Losing Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

SV: Francisco Rodriguez (41)

HR: Ryan Braun (19), Matt Clark (2), Marcell Ozuna (23)

Win Expectancy Chart

Boxscore

For avid readers of the site, and for my twitter companions, it's well known that I've been screaming for the Brewers to bench Ryan Braun. So of course, the first run of the game comes via a second inning lead off, opposite field home run by none other than the beleaguered Braun. Maybe a short rest really was all he needed. I think that's probably not the case, but I'll most certainly and happily celebrate my being wrong, should that turn out to be the case.

The second run of the night also belonged to the Brewers. After Mike Fiers struck out, Carlos Gomez his second hit of the night for a double. Scooter Gennett advanced him to third on a ground out. Jonathan Lucroy drew a walk to put runners at the corners for Aramis Ramirez who sent a fly ball over the left fielder's head for a ground rule double. Had the ball the stayed in play Lucroy probably scores as well, but instead the inning would end on a Braun grounder. But hey, that's baseball. The Brewers left the third inning with a 2-0 lead and that's nothing to complain about.

Mike Fiers cruised through 3 innings before running into trouble in the fourth. He walked Donovan Solano and then Giancarlo Stanton lined a double putting runners at second and third for Casey McGehee. After falling behind 2-0 in the count, Fiers came back to get the strike out. Then he struck out Marcell Ozuna (who had homered in all 3 games of the series prior to this one) on 3 pitches. Garret Jones was able to draw a walk to load the bases for Adeiny Hecchavarria. One-two-three pitches. It was Mike Fiers 7th strikeout of the night and certainly his biggest. Brewers 2-0 lead remained intact.

That 2-0 lead wouldn't last much longer though. Matt Clark hit his second home run in as many games in the bottom half of the fourth. This time it was a no-doubter to left center. Jean Segura lined a single and advanced on a bunt from Fiers. Gomez drew a walk and then Scooter Gennett lined one through the middle of the infield to drive in Segura. The inning ended after that and the Brewers found themselves with a 4-0 lead after four.

Fiers ran into some more trouble in the fifth inning. Once again the first two batters reached. The first out came on a fly ball. The runners stayed put. The second out came on a grounder. Segura grabbed the ball and raced the runner to second. On the replay footage it looked as though they both touched the bag at the same time. The call on the field was out and after a look, Marlins manager Mike Redmond chose not to challenge. Then something truly horrific happened.

Giancarlo Stanton was batting and took a fastball flush in the face. The ball appeared to to hit him on the left cheek an inch or two below the eye, but it's possible it hit his nose too. It was obviously an accident and Mike Fiers looked visibly upset. I won't go into graphic detail but it was really horrible to see live. Stanton never appeared to lose consciousness but he was carted off the field on a stretcher. Head trauma is nothing to take lightly, so he went to a hospital to be check out. As of writing the only update was that he suffered a laceration to the face and was undergoing further tests.

Somewhat surprisingly, the umpires did not give the batter the base. It was ruled that Stanton had swung through and so it was not a hit-by-pitch. Then it got really crazy. Reed Johnson came to the plate to pinch hit for Stanton. Fiers threw up and in again and once again the batter was hit. That's not the crazy thing. The crazy thing is that this too was ruled as a strike because the batter swung at the pitch. Casey McGehee understandably enraged started yelling at the umpire. Fiers started yelling too. I'm just guessing here but I think he thought McGehee, or someone else, was suggesting he did it on purpose. Then the benches cleared. After everything settled down it became apparent the inning had somehow ended. It turns out the pitch that hit Reed and was ruled a strike, was strike 3. I've never seen anything this insane in baseball before.

Casey McGehee was thrown out of the game. So was the Marlins' manager Mike Redmond. Ed Lucas took over at third base and Reed Johnson stayed in the game in right field. Anthony DeSclafani took the mound for the Marlins in the bottom of the fifth. I have to tip my cap to the Marlins here for not retaliating. DeSclafani did not hit a single batter he faced.

After everything that happened Ron Roenicke understandably took Mike Fiers out of the game. Jeremy Jeffress took over in the sixth. He got through the inning unscathed.

After the whole benches clearing incident. both teams were warned. In the bottom of the sixth inning DeScalfani hit Carlos Gomez on his left elbow pad. I for one do not think it was intentional, but the home plate umpire either didn't feel the same way or didn't want to take any chances. DeScalfani was thrown out (along with bench coach Rob Leary) and Dan Jennings replaced him and ended the inning with a strikeout.

Will Smith pitching in the top of the 8th induced a grounder to the first hit. He fielded it cleanly and threw a good throw to first baseman Matt Clark who just dropped it. Smith got the next two batters out before giving up a 2-run home run to Marcell Ozuna. Smith then got out of the inning the a strike out. The Marlins cut the Brewers lead in half. Going into the bottom of the eighth they'd have just a 4-2 lead.

They'd take that lead to the top of the ninth for Francisco Rodriguez. Ground out, fly out, strike out. Game over. Brewers won 4-2.

The Cincinnati Reds come to town for a three game series this weekend. First game starts tomorrow at 7:10 pm CT as Kyle Lohse takes on Mat Latos.

Other notes:

  • The Cardinals were shut out by the Reds today. That makes 3 losses in a row to Cincinnati. That drops their division lead over the Pirates to 2.5 and the Brewers to 4. They go back to St. Louis now for a 9 game home stand. First up is a 3 game weekend series with the Rockies. They face the Brewers next week for 3 games (last 3 games the two teams will meet in the regular season).
  • The Giants beat the Diamondbacks to hold onto their 4 game lead on the second wild card spot.
  • The Pirates beat the Phillies to remain 1.5 games up on the Brewers for the second wild card spot.
  • The Braves did not play today so they drop a half game back of the Brewers.
  • Ryan Braun's second inning home run was the 230th of his career tying him for 2nd in franchise history with Prince Fielder.