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Shaw, Sogard shine as Milwaukee Brewers sink Bucs, 4-2

The duo combined for four extra base hits and one insane web gem in series finale

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Another huge day from The Mayor of Ding Dong City -- and another game-saving web gem from a middle infielder -- sent Milwaukee to a series split and a winning home stand as the Brewers slipped past the Pirates, 4-2. Bring me the chart!

Cracking open a Cold One with the boys: Travis Shaw, +.248 WPA (3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI)

Crying into an empty wine bottle on your couch: Orlando Arcia, -.128 WPA (0-for-3)

The Pirates were running at will on Chase Anderson and Manny Pina in the first and it cost the Brewers a run as Pittsburgh struck first. Josh Harrison reached on his league-leading 15th hit by pitch, the subsequently stole second and scored on Josh Bell’s single.

The Brewers answered quickly as Eric Sogard continued his improbable run as one of the best hitters in the National League. He went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, the first leading to the equalizer in the top of the first after Eric Thames drove him in with a single to right, snapping an 0-for-15 streak. After a double play erased the baserunner, the Good Name Haver broke the tie with a long home run to center, his 14th of the season.

Gregory Polanco evened the score with a leadoff clout in the fourth, the final blemish on another nice start for Anderson. He finished with seven strikeouts over six innings, allowing two runs, two hits and two walks. It was Anderson’s sixth consecutive quality start, and he now joins teammate Jimmy Nelson in the top ten in pitching fWAR.

Thames, whose scorching April was fueled by an impressive display of plate discipline, continued to look lost at the plate this afternoon. A day after striking out four times, Thames had a chance to drive in another run in the seventh after Sogard’s second double, but swung wildly at a ball that bounced nearly a foot in front of home plate for strike three.

Two batters latter, Shaw would deliver again, bailing Thames out with what appeared to be his second home run of the game. The ball’s carom fooled Shaw, me, the hometown fans, and most importantly, Domingo Santana, who was thrown out at the plate jogging home for what he thought was his teammate’s three-run dinger. The Brewers settled for just one Badger Mutual after a lengthy review by the umpires confirmed it was a one-run double instead of a three-run dong.

Clinging to a two run lead instead of three or four, the Brewers were saved by a late inning web gem for the second consecutive games. This time it was Sogard, who collected a grounder that bounced off of Thames’ glove deep into right field. He popped up and threw a bullet home to Jett Bandy, who was able to apply the tag to Adam Frazier to save the run and end the inning.

The bullpen pitched it’s third straight scoreless game, with Corey Knebel coming on in the ninth for his 12th save. He struck out Bell to lead off the inning, his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout to start the season, which is a new major league record.

Travis’s Opinionssponsored by Hardware Hank

  • Lewis Brinson rode pine again Thursday, marking the second straight game and sixth out of 12 since his call-up that Brinson failed to crack the starting lineup. Hey, just what the heck is going on with this anyway? This just grills up my gizzards. It really gives me the hamburgers, folks. Brinson is Milwaukee’s No. 1 prospect according to just about everybody, and he absolutely must be playing every day. If the Brewers are hellbent on getting Hernan Perez and Keon Broxton in the lineup, Brinson needs to be sent back down to Triple-A so he can continue to develop.
  • The Brewers television broadcast team embarrassed itself in spending entirely too much time delivering horrific takes on Yasiel Puig, who is degrading and ruining the game of baseball by jogging around the bases too slowly after doing well at his job. Rock bemoaned the old days when one could “solve” such grave injustices (by intentionally firing a hard object at someone’s head at 94 MPH), and BA went along with him initially before walking it back a bit when he realized what he was saying. In my opinion, looking at a baseball too long is not as bad as committing assault because a grown man is better than you at a game. I’m not a doctor though.

On Deck:

The Brewers are off to Atlanta to face third baseman Freddie Freeman and the Braves. It is Milwaukee’s first trip to SunTrust Park, the Braves’ new home that opened this season to replace the decrepit, aging Turner Field, which never turned old enough to buy itself a beer. It’ll be James Nelson for Milwaukee, who pitched the Brewers first complete game in nearly two years his last time out on Father’s Day. Mike Foltynewicz goes for the Braves; the 25-year-old has a 4.26 ERA in 13 starts. Game time in Atlanta is 6:35 CT.