WP: Tyler Thornburg (7-5); LP: Adam Ottavino (1-3); Save: Jacob Barnes (1); HR: Mil, Chris Carter (41)
Chris Carter’s two out, two strike homer in the top of the tenth provided the difference tonight in the season’s second to last game, played at Coors Field in Denver. It also ties Carter with the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado for the league lead in homers going into the finale tomorrow afternoon.
The Brewers started slowly tonight, but so did the Rockies...neither team scored in the first four innings, and the Brewers were 11 up and 11 down off of Colorado starter Jeff Hoffman. Ryan Braun grounded a sharp single up the middle for the Crews’ first base runner. Carter followed with his second straight strikeout, so no damage was done.
The Brewers eked out a run in the top of the fifth on a walk to Hernan Perez (yes, Hernan Perez), and a gift from the Rockies. With Perez running Orlando Arcia hit a grounder to shortstop Christhian Adames; rather than take the out at first Adames went to second and Daniel Descalso was unable to handle the throw. The error went to Adames, and Perez went to third. Arcia was on with a fielder’s choice.
Martin Maldonado then topped a groundball down the third base line that Perez read well, scoring easily, and Maldonado reached on an infield single.
Wily Peralta went six shutout innings in Denver and acquitted himself well in his last 2016 appearance. Wily walked none, gave up four hits, and struck out three. The outing dropped his season ERA to 4.86; I didn’t think Wily could come back and be an effective pitcher for the Brewers...I was wrong.
Milwaukee padded their lead in the top of the eighth with Jonathan Villar slapping a single to left and Domingo Santana drawing a walk after Villar had stolen second and gone to third on a passed ball (I don’t care what they ruled it, it was a passed ball). Ryan Braun drilled a double down the leftfield line scoring Villar, but Eddie Sedar windmilled Santana around, and he was out easily. Braun took third on the throw to the plate, and came in to score the third run on an RBI single from Perez.
The Rockies touched up Corey Knebel for two in the bottom of the eighth, with three hits and an error on Scooter Gennett providing grist for the scoring mill. Gennett had a one out single in the top of the ninth, but Manny Pina and Villar fanned to end the frame.
In the bottom of the ninth, Tyler Thornburg blew his second consecutive save chance, allowing the tying run to score but working out of a tough spot (second base, one out) with a strikeout, intentional walk to Charlie Blackmon, and a strikeout of Daniel Descalso.
Five of the last six Brewers hitters struck out, in innings pitched by Matt Carasiti (9th) and Adam Ottavino (10th), and Ottavino looked unhittable while making Santana and Braun look silly for two down in the inning. Then he hung a slider, and Carter did not miss it. It went another mile high and deep into the left field seats. Perez stuck out to end the inning.
Jacob Barnes earned his first major league save despite allowing a one out hit to Carlos Gonzalez. Barnes retired Arenado on strikes leading off the inning, and Dahl swinging for the second out Jordan Pereson flew out right for the games final out.
The Brewers only managed seven hits for the game, but it was just enough. Tomorrow afternoon the Brewers (72-89) try to avoid a ninety loss season with Tyler Cravy starting. Cravy is 0-1 with a 2.39 ERA, and the Rockies (75-86) witll counter with German Marquez (1-1, 6.14). Cravy has been pitching from the pen and isn’t stretched out so probably won’t throw any more than 50 or 60 pitches.