WP: Leonel Campos (1-0)
LP: Chris Capuano (1-1)
SV: Carlos Villanueva (1)
HR: Wil Myers (7), Matt Kemp (9), Derek Norris (3), Melvin Upton (5), Jonathan Lucroy (4)
Full disclosure: I was at the game last night. I stayed for the whole game and part of the Andy Grammer concert that followed. By the time I got back to my apartment in Madison, it was 1:45 am. I wanted to write a recap then but was way too tired, so it's coming this morning.
Let's start from the beginning. Wily Peralta came out and we could tell from the first inning that it wasn't going to be a good night for him. He walked leadoff batter Travis Jankowski to start the game, then after a steal and a groundout, Matt Kemp drove him home to make it 1-0. Peralta followed that up with a strikeout of Brett Wallace, and Melvin Upton followed that up with a double to drive in Kemp and make it 2-0 before the Brewers came to bat.
The Brewers would not let that lead last long, though. Jonathan Villar led off the bottom of the first with a single, then after a Scooter Gennett fielder's choice erased Villar from the bases. Gennett stole second and Jonathan Lucroy walked, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis drove them both in with a two-out double to tie the game at 2.
Peralta settled down in the second a little, allowing a double to Hector Sanchez but nothing else. In the Brewers half of the inning, the Brewers loaded the bases with a Martin Maldonado walk, Jonathan Villar single, and catcher's interference from Scooter Gennett's at bat (the first of four Padres errors on the night). However, Lucroy struck out to end the threat.
Peralta would give up the lead again in the third, when Wil Myers and Matt Kemp hit back-to-back doubles to give the Padres a 3-2 lead. Kemp would then score when Alexei Ramirez singled and made it 4-2. Chris Capuano was warming up at this point, but Martin Maldonado ended the inning by catching Ramirez stealing to keep it at 4-2.
Once again, in the Brewers half of their inning, they got runners into scoring position with Doming Santana getting hit by a pitch and then a single from Nieuwenhuis. The Padres went to their bullpen here and brought in Brand Hand, who went 1-2-3 with the batters he saw to keep it there.
The fourth inning was pretty quiet for both teams. Peralta had a 1-2-3 inning, while the Brewers did get a runner on a Villar single, but it was erased by a double play from Gennett. Then came the fifth inning. Myers and Kemp hit back-to-back home runs, increasing the lead to 6-2 and starting the boos from the crowd. After Upton walked, Craig Counsell made the switch and brought in Carlos Torres. He would get Ramirez out to end the inning, but the Padres lead was up to 6-2.
It would quiet down after that until the top of the sixth, when the Brewers once again had two baserunners with no outs, this time on an Aaron Hill single and an Alex Presley walk. Maldonado and pinch-hitter Hernan Perez struck out, then Jonathan Villar walked to load the bases. Once again, the Brewers couldn't do anything with it, and Gennett grounded out to leave the bases loaded.
Going on to the seventh, the Brewers finally cut down the Padres lead against reliever Kevin Quackenbush. Lucroy flew out to start the inning, then Santana walked to get a baserunner for Nieuwenhuis. He didn't disappoint, hitting a double to score Santana and make it 6-3. Hill walked to follow that, and the Padres made a pitching change, bringing in Ryan Buchter. Presley walked to load the bases, and Craig Counsell went for the kill. He pinch-hit Chris Carter for Maldonado, who nearly sent the crowd into a frenzy as he hit a ball deep. However, it was just short of going out, but more than enough to drive in Niuewenhuis and make it 6-4. Colin Walsh pinch hit next and drew a walk (what he does best), reloading the bases for Villar. Unfortunately, the bases would be left loaded again as Villar struck out to end the inning.
Carter remained in the game at first while Lucroy shifted to behind the plate as Michael Blazek worked the eighth. He allowed just a single and kept the Padres in check. In the bottom of the eighth, the Brewers had two baserunners again with one out (Notice a pattern yet?). Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a deep fly out that allowed the runners to advance, and then Aaron Hill grounded out to end the inning...except the inning didn't end. Hector Sanchez was called for catcher's interference again, allowing Hill to reach and loading the bases. Alex Presley came up with the bases loaded, and the Padres comedy of errors continued. Presley hit a ball towards first that Wil Myers couldn't handle. Jose Pirela backed him up and tried to get the out at first, but the throw was way too high and Myers couldn't handle it. The sequence allowed both Lucroy and Santana to score, tying the game at 6-6. Chris Carter followed that up with a massive hit that once again nearly sent the crowd into a frenzy, but it fell just short and ended the inning.
We then went to the ninth inning. The Padres got a baserunner from a Jeremy Jeffress walk, but that was all. It could have been worse as Jonathan Villar misplayed a ground ball, but barely got the out at second, and was upheld after review. In the bottom of the ninth, pinch hitter Ramon Flores struck out, then Jonathan Villar walked. He reached second on a throwing error by Fernando Rodney (the Padres fourth error of the game).
What happened after that can only be described as a candidate for TOOTBLAN of the year. On a 1-2 count with 1 out, Villar attempted to steal third. Gennett swung at the pitch and struck out, and Villar was caught stealing to end the inning (another call that was upheld on review). It was a horrible decision by Villar to run, though Villar still believes he made the right decision. Not only is very little gained from that stolen base, but it forced Gennett to swing at a bad pitch to attempt to protect Villar. Even if Villar is safe there, it's a runner at third with two outs. That's barely different from a runner at second with two outs. It might have been a little better had Villar attempted it with less than two strikes (as Counsell suggested), but with the game on the line at that point, why even take that risk? It's a massive blemish that ruins what was otherwise a good offensive night for Villar.
Anyway, that brought up extra innings, and Tyler Thornburg started it off by allowing just a single in an inning of work. With the Padres bullpen nearly depleted, they went to Leonel Campos (who started off the night with a 135 ERA, though only in 0.1 innings of work). Santana walked, but that was all the Brewers could manage in the 10th. Chris Capuano came on to start the 11th, and allowed a walk that was erased on a double play. Campos pitched a second inning, walking fellow pitcher Capuano, but nothing else.
In the 12th, the Padres decided to take the game since the Brewers wouldn't take it. Capuano got a fly out and a strike out to start the inning, but back-to-back home runs from Derek Norris and Melvin Upton gave the Padres an 8-6 lead. The Padres brought out their last reliever, Carlos Villanueva, who had pitched two innings the previous night. Lucroy homered to close the gap to 8-7, but that was all the Brewers could do as they lost this game in 12 innings.
At this point, it's uncertain if Wily Peralta will remain in the starting rotation. It was another disaster start for him, allowing six runs on eight hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. After the game, manager Craig Counsell did not give Peralta a vote of confidence, and he will be looking at his options before making a decision on Peralta's fate. Unfortunately, the options for what the Brewers can do aren't great. Jorge Lopez and Taylor Jungmann have been struggling in Triple-A, but that depends on how much stock you put in Colorado Springs numbers. Also, reaching down to Double-A for more than a start isn't a good idea. However, if it will do more harm than good to leave Peralta in the rotation now, the Brewers have to make a change.
On the other hand, give the Brewers bullpen a lot of credit. Carlos Torres, Blaine Boyer, Michael Blazek, Jeremy Jeffress, and Tyler Thornburg combined to allow just three hits and a walk over 5.1 innings. They were some of the unsung heroes of the game, giving the Brewers every chance to win this game (even if they didn't take it). Chris Capuano even had a good first inning before getting hit for those back-to-back home runs in his second inning of work.
Meanwhile, on offense, it was a night of highs and lows. Jonathan Villar did reach base five times (on three hits and two walks), but that TOOTBLAN in the ninth is a massive tarnish on that performance. Jonathan Lucroy had two hits and a walk, Domingo Santana went 0-3 but reached base four times with three walks and a hit by pitch. Kirk Nieuwenhuis may have been the hero of the day with a 3-for-7 performance, driving in three runs. In total, the Brewers had 10 hits and 12 walks in the game, as well as two other baserunners from two occurrences of catcher's interference. However, the offense also went 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 16 men on base as a team. That's another place where the Brewers lost last night.
One other note from this game: Ryan Braun was scratched from the game before it started with right wrist soreness. He was unavailable to pinch hit, which was evident from Capuano's at-bat. There's no word on how long that might keep him out for now.
After all of that action, the Brewers can salvage a split in the series this afternoon against the Padres. Cesar Vargas meets Zach Davies in the finale of the four game series at 1:10 pm today.