The Brewers got back to their winning ways in the early days of this year’s Cactus League, dropping the Arizona Diamondbacks (or at least Arizona’s JV roster) by a score of 5-1. Perhaps as could be expected against a lineup that had very few regulars from last year’s top wildcard team, the Brewers pitching was the big story of the day.
Jhoulys Chacin represents the last “known” in the Brewers’ rotation heading into 2018, figuring to fill the #3 spot while the two slots behind him remain question marks. He made his first appearance of the spring today, throwing a scoreless first inning, despite allowing a hit and a walk. Still, he threw 12 of his 19 pitches for strikes and any bumps he may experience this spring may be a result of him being asked to work on his changeup.
One of the guys hoping to take a spot behind Chacin in the rotation, Yovani Gallardo, made his return to the Brewers by working the 2nd inning. He had a classic Gallardo inning, not allowing a run but working around two walks.
Wade Miley followed with two more scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out two. Perhaps importantly for him, he didn’t allow a single walk and threw 16 of 24 pitches for strikes.
Prospects Freddy Peralta and Tristan Archer added scoreless innings of their own. The only Brewers pitcher to allow a run today was Tim Dillard, who surrendered a solo home run to Christian Walker in the bottom of the 6th inning.
On the offensive side of things, Christian Yelich continued his good start to the spring, singling in the first inning off of Zack Greinke. Domingo Santana followed with a single of his own, but the Brewers weren’t able to score.
But it was Hernan Perez -- who has also been swinging the bat well in the first few games this spring -- that powered the Brewers offense this afternoon. He got the Brewers on the board with a 2-RBI double in the second inning to drive in Jett Bandy and Nick Franklin, and would add another RBI double in the 6th inning to drive in Mauricio Dubon (but was caught in a rundown between second and third to end the inning).
Ji-Man Choi added to the Brewers run total with a two-run home run in the 7th inning, joining Keon Broxton as Brewers to homer so far this spring.
In other notable performances today, Lorenzo Cain went 1-for-2 as the DH and also drew a walk, while Bandy went 2-for-3 as he tries to steal the backup catching job away from Stephen Vogt.
The Brewers are now 3-1 in the race for the Cactus Cup and will be back at it tomorrow against Cleveland, with Junior Guerra taking the mound. Chase Anderson will start Tuesday against the Reds.