WP: Joakim Soria (1-0); LP: Adam Ottavino (0-1); Save: none; Homeruns: Col - none, Mil - Christian Yelich (1)
NLDS Game 1 Box Score
The Milwaukee Brewers blew a 2-0 ninth inning lead after dominating the first eight innings, allowing the Colorado Rockies to tie the game and send it extra innings, but came back to walk off the Rox 3-2 in the bottom of the tenth. With the game tied at two in the tenth, Christian Yelich led off with a walk (the Rockies have learned quickly to not pitch to the Brewers’ right fielder), and took second on a wild pitch by Rockies’ reliever Adam Ottavino. Ryan Braun struck out on a tough slider, Travis Shaw was intentionally walked, and pinch hitter Curtis Granderson’s grounder up the middle took Trevor Story just far enough away from second that all the Rockies could get was a force out of Shaw. That brought up Mike Moustakas, and rather than pitch around him or walk him intentionally, Ottavino went right after him with fastballs. On an 0-2 count Moose barely survived when his foul tip wasn’t held, and then he lined the next fastball into right for the game winner.
The game saw the Brewers’ bullpen gambit work to perfection until the ninth inning. Four Brewer relievers (Brandon Woodruff as ‘opener’ for three innings, Corbin Burnes for two, Corey Knebel for 1.2, and Josh Hader for 1.1) got Milwaukee to the ninth with just one hit and two walks allowed, but a tough ninth for Jeremy Jeffress sent the game into extra frames. Well, one extra frame.
The Brewers had base runners in the first two innings, but couldn’t push anything across. Ryan Braun had a two out base hit on the ground into left, and took second on a Rockies’ starter Antonio Senzatela wild pitch. Travis Shaw walked, and with Jesus Aguilar at the plate Senzatela uncorked another wild pitch. Catcher Chris Ianetta couldn’t immediately recognize where the ball went, and Braun tried to score all the way from second. He was out easily, and with Aguilar up it was a curious decision by Braun, at best.
Manny Pina had a two out bloop single down the right field line in the second, but he was erased on a fielder’s choice grounder by Orlando Arcia to end the inning.
Woodruff was nearly perfect through his three innings. He walked DJ LeMahieu with one down in the first, but he was thrown out trying to steal with two out and David Dahl at the plate. Dahl had taken ball three to move to a full count as LeMahieu was thrown out.
Over-all, Woody worked three innings with no hits, the walk, and three strikeouts. That continues a very good stretch since his September call-up.
Milwaukee broke through in the bottom of the third, and it’s no surprise that the telling blow was struck by Yelich. Domingo Santana led off the inning with an infield pop that must have narrowly missed the roof at Miller Park. Lorenzo Cain drew a walk, and Yeli took a first pitch change-up out to center for a 2-0 lead.
Corbin Burnes took over on the hill for the Brewers and retired the first five he faced before Carlos Gonzalez pulled a two-out triple down the right field line for Colorado’s first hit. It took Burnsey one pitch to get out of the jam, getting Ian Desmond on a tapper back to the mound.
Corey Knebel worked 1.2 innings with a walk, but the walkee (Ryan McMahon) was thrown out trying to steal to end the sixth. McMahon was originally called safe, but review showed him clearly out, and the call was overturned. Corey got the first two in the top of the seventh, and with left handed hitting David Dahl up Craig Counsell went with Josh Hader. Dahl struck out swinging for the third out.
Josh also had a 1-2-3 eighth with two more strikeouts in the top of the eighth.
Milwaukee wasted scoring opportunities in the bottoms of the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, and it cost them. Yelich led off the sixth with an infield hit, and Ryan Braun followed with a liner that went off a leaping Ian Desmond’s glove at first base and into right. Yelich thought that Desmond caught the ball and went back to first, and was an easy force out at second from rightfielder David Dahl. Instead of first and second with nobody out, it was first and one out, and Shaw hit into a fielder’s choice, followed by a called third strike to Aguilar.
A one out walk to Pina and single to right by Arcia put runners at first and third in the seventh, but Hernan Perez’ squeeze bunt went foul before he struck out, as did Lo Cain.
In the eighth Yelich walked leading off the inning against lefty Harrison Musgrove, and stole second with Braun up. Braunie singled off of Aranado’s glove, but Yeli had to hold and only made it to third. With first and third and nobody out, Shaw took a called third strike, Keon Broxton got to a 3-1 count before fanning, and Braun stole second during the at bat. Mike Moustakas was walked intentionally to load them up, and Scott Oberg came on to retire Pina on a fielder’s choice grounder to short. Still 2-0 into the ninth.
Then came a very Cardinal-esque ninth inning rally for the Rockies in the top of the ninth. Jeremy Jeffress was on for the save, and didn’t look as sharp as towards the end of the season. Gerardo Para singled to right, and Matt Holiday (ex-Cardinal...coincidence?...I think not) grounded a double play grounder that went where no fielders were for a base hit. First and second, nobody out. Yikes.
Charlie Blackmon pulled a liner down the right field line that bounced in foul territory and over the wall. Except the umpire WHO’S ONLY JOB IS TO CALL BALLS FAIR OR FOUL DOWN THE LINE missed it and called it fair. That was quickly overturned on appeal, but Blackmon then pulled a double play grounder that also avoided the infielders and went into rightfield for an RBI single. Nobody out, first and second, 2-1.
DJ LeMahieu hit a slow roller that Arcia misplayed for an error that loaded the bases, and Nolan Arenado hit a poorly located 0-2 fastball for a sac fly to center, tying the game at two. David Dahl’s bouncer to first resulted in an out via rundown on Blackmon off of third, and Trevor Story struck out on three straight curves to send it to the bottom of the ninth.
Adam Ottavino had the bottom of the ninth, and made quick work of the bottom of the order and Cain.
Joakim Soria took over for the tenth and had a 1-2-3 inning that got increasingly scary as the inning went along. Gonzalez struck out, Desmond lined out to third on a ball with an exit velo of 109 mph, and then Parra flew out to the wall in right. Good thing they didn’t get four outs.
The Crew then recorded their walk-off bottom of the tenth, and the Crew was up 1-0 in games on their 3-2 win.
Tomorrow afternoon brings game two, and Milwaukee goes for the two to none lead. Jhoulys Chacin (15-8, 3.50 reg. season) will start for the Brewers against Tyler Anderson (7-9, 4.55) for Colorado.
- The opener plan worked perfectly, until it didn’t.
- Through eight innings the Rockies had one hit and two walks. The two that walked were caught stealing, so the Rockies had left one on base.
- Christian Yelich. Oh my. Five plate appearances, two hits, two walks, two runs scored, two RBI, and a homer. MVP of the NLDS, anyone?
- The pen has been used quite a bit...I’d hope for five innings from Chacin tomorrow, and three from Gio Gonzalez, and lots of runs for the Brewers. Fingers crossed.
- The Brewers had allowed seven homers to Trevor Story during the regular season, but was 0-4 with three strikeouts today.