WP: Josh Hader (1-0)
LP: Tyler Clippard (1-5)
HR: Jesus Aguilar 2 (8,9), Ji-Man Choi (2), Aaron Judge (30)
Of course, this was a game that the Brewers, by all rights, should not have won. They committed five errors in the game, and played some overall sloppy baseball in the field. Domingo Santana commited two errors, Jonathan Villar commited two as well, and Jesus Aguilar had the other. That’s just what goes down on the scorecard. There was more sloppy play beyond that (and it didn’t help that it was raining). At least Keon Broxton put up a highlight catch.
The results also showed up on Junior Guerra’s stat line. He allowed three runs in his start today, but only one of those was credited to him as an earned run (a home run from Ji-Man Choi). The defense got him into trouble in the fourth inning, but then the rain came and ended Guerra’s day. He only pitched 3 1⁄3 innings, allowing two hits and three walks with three strikeouts. It was also reported later in the game that Guerra left with a bruised right shin from a ball that hit him right before the rain delay. He might have been able to pitch through it, but the Brewers chose to be cautious.
With a shortened start from Guerra on the books, the Brewers needed some innings from their bullpen. Josh Hader was happy to give it to them. He came on in relief of Guerra after the delay and gave them three strong innings. His ERA was finally broken from a solo home run by Aaron Judge, but that was his only major mistake. His final line on the day: 3 innings, 1 hit, 1 run, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Jesus Aguilar was the hero of the Brewers offense tonight. He drove in seven of the Brewers runs in the game. The first two came in the fourth inning on a two-run home run to give the Brewers a 2-1 lead. The Brewers went down 4-2 after that, and tied it up in the sixth during Aguilar’s at bat. With Braun at third and Shaw at second, a wild pitch from Tyler Clippard brought in Braun and sent Shaw to third. Aguilar then brought Shaw in on a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4-4.
The big inning came in the seventh tonight. Jonathan Villar and Domingo Santana walked to put two runners on with one out. After Braun flew out and moved up the runners, Clppard intentionally walked Travis Shaw to load the bases. That brought up Jesus Aguilar, who worked the count to 3-2 and then sent the seventh pitch out to center field, putting the Brewers up 8-4.
The Brewers added on an insurance run after that from a Hernan Perez double and Manny Pina single to account for the final run.
Even though Aguilar was the hero of the day, the offense came together for a strong outing. Aguilar and Perez both had three-hit games for the Brewers. Pina and Santana added two hit games. Every starter on offense reached base at least once, and every batter other than Keon Broxton had a hit. Pina led the offense by reaching base four times.
To back up the Brewers offense, the bullpen made sure to lock this one down. Hader allowed just one run in his three innings of work, and picked up his first major league win (the statistic may not mean as much anymore, but it’s still a big moment for a pitcher). Jared Hughes add 0.2 scoreless innings, Oliver Drake worked around a hit for a scoreless inning, and Jacob Barnes finished it with a scoreless inning, working around a walk.
The Brewers have now won five straight and eight of their last nine. The Cubs also won, so the lead for the Brewers remains at 4.5 games. Maybe this game will get more talk going around the Brewers, but it’s more likely that the media will focus on Aaron Judge’s 30th home run of the season, breaking Joe DiMaggio’s rookie record. It also broke this long streak for the team:
It’s a quick turnaround for them as they have an afternoon game tomorrow. Brent Suter will get another start for the Brewers, facing Luis Severino of the Yankees. First pitch is at 12:10 pm.