How much baseball would have been played this week without Miller Park's retractable roof? Not much, and it would have been miserable when they did play. Yay foresight!
The Brewers pulled out a tough 3-2 win in a game that could have been easier...but could have been tougher, too. The Brewers stranded 9 in their 8 innings, but the Astros made three outs on the bases. Martin Maldanado threw out George Springer attempting a first inning steal, and then picked off Jose Altuve at second in the third, after Altuve had stolen second. Jimmy Nelson picked off Carlos Correa in the 4th.
Altuve hit Nelson's first pitch deep into the leftfield bleachers to open the game, but Nelson settled in, allowing only one more run on a 4th inning homer by Preston Tucker in 6 plus innings of work. Nelson walked 4 and struck out 9. Tyler Thornburg pitched a strong 7th, fanning two, and Michael Blazek pitched around his own two base throwing error in the 8th to hold the Brewers 3-2 lead by enticing Correa to roll harmlessly to short with two down.
Jeremy Jeffress earned his third save with a 1-2-3 9th, stabbing Tucker's liner to end the game.
The Brewers had baserunners galore against Astro ace Dallas Keuchel, with 6 hits and 6 walks in 5 2/3 innings, but could only produce 3 runs. After three first inning walks, two runs scored on an Aaron Hill single. The Brewers reloaded the bases on a walk to Martin Maldanado but Keuchel fanned Yadiel Rivera and Nelson. Rivera doubled in the 4th but stayed at second on a bizarre single by Nelson - after showing bunt, Nelson pulled the bat back and swung, hitting a one-hopper to third. Nobody covered first, and Nelson was awarded the hit. Domingo Santana doubled Rivera home, but Jimmy Nelson had to be held at third due to a transmission problem...never got out of second gear.
The slide rule came into effect again, with Maldanado getting flagged on a slide into third in the 5th. Maldy reached on an error by firstbaseman Tyler White, and ended up on second when Rivera walked. Nelson bunted right in front of the plate and Jason Castro's throw easily beat Maldy to third. The throw to first appeared to just nip Nelso for a DP, but it was a moot point as Maldy was called out for (you choose) grabbing thirdbaseman Marwin Gonzalez's foot or not maintaining contact with the base. Guys! It's the rule, and it will be called! Just slide into the base!
On to St. Louis and a chance to get over .500 against our less-than-favorite team.
Monday, April 11 - 3:15 pm CT: Taylor Jungmann vs Michael Wacha