The Brewers offense struggled tonight. They managed just three hits in the game. Two of those came from Jesus Aguilar.
It was a good thing that he maximized those two hits.
The Cardinals pitching had their way with the Brewers offense for the most part tonight. Out of 32 Brewers batters faced, they striked out 15 of them. Thirteen of those strikeouts came from starter Jack Flaherty, who pitched seven shutout innings in the game. In fact, he had a no-hitter going until the seventh inning, when Jesus Aguilar hit his first run of the game to tie it at 1-1. The two Cardinals relievers (Jordan Hicks and Bud Norris) also each added in a strikeout.
Despite the Brewers struggles, their pitching kept them in the game once again. Junior Guerra had far from a brilliant start, but it was a solid one. He pitched five innings, allowing just three hits and a run. He did walk four batters in the start and needed 106 pitches to get through five innings, but also did add in seven strikeouts. It was exactly what the Brewers needed to stay in the game.
After that, the bullpen came in for the Brewers. Four different relievers each pitched an inning, and all of them faced the minimum. Josh Hader struck out the side in the sixth. Jacob Barnes struck out two in the seventh. Jeremy Jeffress added another two in the eighth. Corey Knebel tacked one on in the ninth. All of that together equaled an unhittable combination for the Brewers.
Despite the lack of offense, the game had plenty of drama. In the first inning, Cardinals center fielder Tommy Pham yelled at home plate umpire Tim Timmons after his at-bat, and promptly earned an early night off as Timmons ejected him. Then, in the eighth, Sogard led off the inning with a single, and Hernan Perez followed him and attempted to bunt. Hicks fielded the bunt and threw to second, but the throw forced shortstop Yairo Munoz to go into Eric Sogard’s path to catch the ball. Munoz recorded the out as Sogard collided with Munoz and both went down. They both came back up and were arguing with each other, and that resulted in both benches clearing. Neither player was ejected, as the slide from Sogard was clean and Munoz just happened to go into Sogard’s path to catch it.
Of course, the biggest drama came in the ninth inning. With one out, Jesus Aguilar came up to the plate with the game tied at 1-1. He ended it with one swing.
Bottom of the 9th. Tie game. What would Jesús do?— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) June 23, 2018
Aguilar now leads the team with 16 home runs after this night. That’s good for a tie for 15th in all of MLB, and tied for third in the National League.
The Brewers have now taken two straight games against the Cardinals to start this series. They go for three in a row tomorrow afternoon. Chase Anderson will face Miles Mikolas of the Cardinals in the afternoon game. First pitch is at 3:10 pm.