WP: Jhoulys Chacin (1-0); LP: Tyler Anderson (0-1); Save: Jeremy Jeffress (1); Homeruns: none
NLDS Game 2 Box Score
The Milwaukee Brewers used more great pitching, a slumping Colorado Rockies line-up (according to the talking heads; couldn’t possibly be the Milwaukee pitching), and some late clutch offense to top the Rox 4-0 at Miller Park and gain a two games to none edge in the National League Division Series.
Jhoulys Chacin out-dueled Rockies lefty Tyler Anderson for the win. Working on four days rest, Chacin worked five innings for the win. Anderson allowed just one run in six innings and took the tough luck loss. The Brewer bullpen contributed four shutout innings from Corey Knebel, Joakim Soria, Josh Hader, and Jeremy Jeffress, and a sweep is a possibility.
Chacin worked - and I mean worked - those five innings while throwing 85 pitches, shutting out the Rockies on three hits and three walks. The second was his only clean inning, and every other was full of stress (for Jhoulys and fans alike).
The Rockies stranded two in the first, two on with one out in the third, and one on with one out in the fourth and fifth. He never gave in, and ultimately had Colorado swinging at his pitch in crucial situations. He fanned Nolan Arenado twice with runners on, once with a runner in scoring position. In the third, with the two on and one out, Chacin slowed to a snails pace while retiring Arenado on the K and Carlos Gonzalez on an unassisted grounder to Jesus Aguilar at first.
It was a masterful. gutsy performance by Jhoulys. High grit factor.
For the Rockies, Tyler Anderson looked nothing like the pitcher who allowed seven runs in four innings. Today he worked the edges, retiring the first six before consecutive singles from Travis Shaw and Erik Kratz led off the bottom of the third. Chacin failed in two bunt attempts, and then bounced into a force at third for the first out. Lorenzo Cain flew out to right, Christian Yelich walked, and Ryan Braun had an at bat with the bases loaded. Braunie had a great history against Anderson, but he flew out to center to end the inning. Still 0-0
Milwaukee broke through in the fourth. With one down Mike Moustakas doubled into the right center gap, and Hernan Perez followed up with a ground rule double into left center. Shaw walked, and with one down and first and third the Brewers tried the rundown play with Shaw and Perez. Hernan looked to evade a tag and get back to third around Arenado, who blocked the bag with his foot, but was called out. The call was upheld on appeal, and Kratz flew out to shallow right to end the inning with the Crew up 1-0.
Corey Knebel worked a perfect sixth with two strikeouts, Joakim Soria had the top of the seventh and Ian Desmond led off with a chopper over Soria for an infield single. With Josh Hader warming Soria threw repeatedly to first to allow Josh to get warm, but Desmond finally took off and actually stole second. Kratz’ throw was short and wide, and into center, so the Rox had the tying run at third with nobody out.
But Chris Iannetta struck out on a hanging slider, and pinch hitter Matt Holiday struck out on a high fastball. Lefty David Dahl had been on deck to pinch hit, but pulled him back, choosing to not have him face Hader. Josh did come in for Charlie Blackmon, and the Brewers caught a break when his liner was directly at Travis Shaw to end the inning. Still 1-0 Brewers.
Milwaukee returned the favor in the bottom of the seventh. Perez led off the inning against Scott Oberg with his second double, another of the ground rule variety, and Shaw singled sharply to right. Too sharply; Perez was held at third, and wisely so. He would have been toast on a fine throw from CarGo in right. First and third, nobody out - and Oberg got Kratz, Jonathan Schoop (pinch hitting), and LoCain all on strikes to end the inning still at 1-0.
Craig Counsell went all in, bringing in Jeremy Jeffress for the top of the eighth. Arenado singled with one down, and then Gonzalez lined one the opposite way towards left, but it was right at the only fielder on that side, Moustakas, for the second out. Trevor Story continued his tough start to the NLDS series by striking out to end the inning.
Colorado then dug one too many holes in the bottom of the eighth, and this time couldn’t climb out. Lefty Harrison Musgrave came on for Yelich, and Yeli got on with a walk. Ex-Cardinal Seunghwin Oh came in and gave up a base hit to right to Braun, with Yeli taking third. Jesus Aguilar took a slow curve high on a 3-2 count to walk and load the bases, and yesterday’s hero Moustakas singled through the drawn in infield for a 2-0 lead.
Perez went down on strikes, and lefty Chris Rusin caught Shaw looking for the second out. But this time, the Crew notched a crucial two out hit when Kratz looped a broken bat single into left for two more insurance runs.
With a 4-0 lead, Jeffress was allowed to hit and bounced back to the mound for the third out.
JJ gave up another lead-off single to Gerardo Parra on a high fastball leading off the ninth, but this time he settled down to finish the game off with two strikeouts and a groundball to Perez at second.
So the Brewers go to Denver up 2-0 in the best of five. It’ll be tough; the Rox have their best two pitchers going - and they are two very good pitchers. Wade Miley (5-2, 2.52 reg. season) will face German Marquez (14-11, 3.77) Sunday as Milwaukee goes for the sweep.
- That Brewer eighth inning broke a string of four straight runners in the series who reached third without an out but failed to score.
- Story’s struggles continued, as noted above. In the eighth, with two down, a runner on, and a 3-2 count, he again struck out on a slider that bounced in front of home plate. I don’t know if his elbow injury is still bothering him, and he’s starting his swing earlier, or what. But he is nowhere near the hitter he was that hit seven homers off of the Crew this season. There’s still time, and the series shifts to Colorado, where the Rockies can hit much, much better.
- The Rockies have walked Yelich four times in the two games now.
- All of the pundits talk about how the Rockies offense will be so much better at Coors Field. Does that apply to the Brewers, too? Nobody mentions that.
- Erik Kratz during post-game interview: “How did you channel all of that into that last big at bat?” Kratz: “You mean the one I struck out on, or the hit?” Lol. Seriously, though, Kratz’ job with Jhoulys Chacin today was very impressive.
- My analysis of the difference between yesterday and today for Jeremy Jeffress: the Rox hit the ball at people.