WP: Zach Eflin (3-2); LP: Dan Jennings (3-2); Save: Tommy Hunter (1); Home runs: none
A rather cruddy Box Score
For much of today’s game in Philadelphia, the main suspense was whether the whole nine innings would get played. In the end, not only were they all played, there were no rain delays. Plenty of rain; just no delays. The end result was exceedingly unsatisfying, as the Philadelphia Phillies (33-30) edged the Milwaukee Brewers (39-26) 4-3.
Defense played a key part in the loss...bad defense, in particular, and particularly by the Brewers. The Phillies took a 1-0 lead against Brewers’ starter Brandon Woodruff in the bottom of the first with a lead off single by Cesar Hernandez, a bad pick-off throw by Woodruff (that looked like it could have been knocked down by Jesus Aguilar at first) that sent Hernandez to third, and a ground out by Rhys Hopkins.
Woody settled down and worked four innings in his start, allowing just the one hit, walking two and striking out three. He was lifted in the top of the fifth for a pinch hitter, as Craig Counsell looked to be playing for the lead in case the rain intensified. Ryan Braun led off the inning with a double into right center, and moved to third as Jonathan Villar bounced to first. Manny Pina and Eric Sogard were hit by pitches (Phillie hurlers hit four batters in the last two days) to load ‘em up with one down, and that’s when Counsell sent Hernan Perez up to try and get the lead. Hernan, unfortunately, struck out on four pitches against Phils’ starter Zach Eflin (I keep wanting to type Elfin), bringing up Lorenzo Cain.
Cain hit a hard grounder back up the middle that clipped Eflin for an infield single, tying the game at one. Christian Yelich walked on a 3-2 pitch, and Milwaukee had a 2-1 lead with the rain coming down. Things went downhill from there, however.
Dan Jennings had the fifth, and never looked comfortable in the two innings he worked. A single was followed by an error on Travis Shaw. Eflin layed down a sacrifice bunt, and Jesus Aguilar tried for the force at third, but JP Crawford beat the throw and the bases were loaded with nobody out. Jennings walked Hernandez to force in the tying run, Hoskins hit a sac fly to center for the lead, and the Brewers were slow on an attempted double play as the third run of the inning scored. 4-2 Phillies into the sixth.
Jennings loaded the bases in the sixth as well but gave up no more runs. His final line was two innings, three hits, three runs (one earned), two walks, and a strikeout.
After Yelich’s fifth inning walk Milwaukee went eight batters with seven strikeouts and a groundout. Phils’ reliever Seranthony Dominguez looked Haderesque in the seventh inning with a 1-2-3 frame, fanning two. He was throwing in the high nineties and looked very good.
In the top of the eighth he struck out Lorenzo Cain to begin the inning, but Yelich singled. After Aguilar earned a golden sombrero with his fourth straight strikeout, Travis Shaw blooped a single to center, putting runners at first and third with two down. Ryan Braun grounded a two strike single up the middle to make it 4-3, but Jonathan Villar’s one hopper didn’t get past Dominguez and the inning was over.
Jacob Barnes had a perfect seventh, with a strikeout, and Jeremy Jeffress did the same in the eighth.
Milwaukee faced Luis Garcia in the ninth. After Manny Pina struck out and Eric Sogard flew out to center, Domingo Santana made his first appearance of the series as a pinch hitter and blooped a hit to center. Lorenzo Cain followed with a double down the left field line to put runners at second and third. The Phillies went with Tommy Hunter, and this time Yelich’s groundball into the hole on the right side was gloved and the toss to first ended the game.
- Phillie pitchers struck out 13 Brewers.
- The Crew left seven on base over the last five innings.
- The Phillies had three unearned runs on the day after Milwaukee allowed none over the previous week.
- Reports that Philadelphia has a shortage of kitty litter appear to be greatly exaggerated.
MIlwaukee maintains their 1⁄2 game lead over the Cubs, 7-1 losers to the Pirates today. Their “crucial” three game set begins at Miller Park starts tomorrow, and Chicago sends Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.20) to the hill in their quest to retake first place in the NL Central. Brewer once and present ace Junior Guerra (3-4, 2.84) tries to extend the Brewers’ lead in the division. As the Brewers are just 1-7 against the Cubs this season, I’ll leave it to Jaymes and his series preview to spell out the gory details of those eight games.