WP: Brent Suter (2-1)
LP: Jose Quintana (6-9)
SV: Corey Knebel (18)
HR: Javier Baez (13)
Could the Brewers best addition leading up to the trade deadline be an internal one? Brent Suter is making the case for it, as he tacked on another strong start today. It backed up the Brewers as they picked up game one of this critical series against the Cubs with a 2-1 win.
Suter was magnificent against the Cubs tonight. He pitched seven innings, throwing just 82 pitches and allowing just four hits and a walk, while striking out five. Three of those hits came in the third inning, and he held the Cubs off the board thanks in part to a double play. Five of his seven innings tonight were 1-2-3 innings, and his quick pace of play helped make the game go by quickly.
At this point, it’s reasonable to wonder if Suter should stay in the rotation once Chase Anderson returns. Here are his numbers since entering the rotation at the start of the month:
30 IP, 25 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 25 K, 1 HR, 1.50 ERA, 2.47 FIP*
Suter is making a strong case to stay with the team. Even if he doesn’t stick in the rotation, he should have a critical role in the bullpen to end the season. That could be a big addition for the Brewers as they try to get to the playoffs this season.
It was a good thing that Suter was on top of his game today, as the Brewers offense wasn’t at their best. Though the Brewers did manage seven baserunners against Jose Quintana, they could only turn it into two runs. The first came in the second inning, when a Jesus Aguilar single and Hernan Perez double put two runners on, then Aguilar scored on a groundout from Manny Pina. The other came with the bases loaded in the fourth, where a groundout from Orlando Arcia scored a run. There were a few hard-hit balls by Ryan Braun, but right fielder Jason Heyward robbed Braun each time, once with a leaping catch on a ball that would have been a two-run home run.
Of course, Heyward wasn’t the only one with some good plays on defense. Travis Shaw had a few of his own.
Meanwhile, in the bullpen, Anthony Swarzak made his Brewers debut tonight in the eighth inning. He allowed a solo home run to Javier Baez and a walk to Jon Jay, but that was it. Corey Knebel came in to pitch the ninth, after not pitching in nearly a week (his last appearance was Saturday against the Phillies). He walked Anthony Rizzo to start the inning, but struck out Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber on his way to his 18th save.
Coming back to Miller Park might be just what the Brewers need right now. They have been playing much better at Miller Park recently, as it continued to get better after tonight.
The win puts the Brewers back up to a half game behind the Cubs to start this critical series. Game two will take place tomorrow night, with Kyle Hendricks facing Junior Guerra. First pitch is at 6:10 pm.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference.
* - Approximation, constant in FIP formula can vary.