The Milwaukee Brewers may have just suffered their most interesting loss of the season. The 5-4 defeat at the hands of the Kansas City Royals wasn’t exceptional, but a lot was going on. From Craig Counsell somehow leaving a pitcher in for too long, to a reliable bullpen crumbling in the clutch, and ending with an old friend dominating the Crew in the 9th inning, it’s a lot to dissect.
The game started well enough for the Brewers. Brent Suter was his surprisingly dominant self, sitting down the first 11 Royals hitters in order. Unfortunately for Milwaukee, Danny Duffy was also up to the task. Kansas City was the first to break in a game that was shaping up to be a pitchers duel, with Duffy allowing a home run to Jesus Aguilar. The solo dinger was Aguilar’s seventh in the last 10 games and put him up to 18 on the season, one short of NL home run leader Bryce Harper.
After taking the lead, things fell apart in a sloppy seventh for Milwaukee. It started with allowing a game-tying homer to Mike Moustakas. Suter followed that up by loading the bases on a walk and two singles. Many fans, myself included, were shocked at this development since Counsell has had a short hook for his starters but let Suter flounder quite a bit late in the game before finally calling for Jeremy Jeffress out of the bullpen.
With the bases loaded, Jeffress was able to get a force out at home plate before immediately being replaced by Josh Hader to face switch-hitter Adalberto Mondesi. Mondesi was just .167 against left-handed pitching to this point but decided to beat the odds against one of the league’s most dominated left-handed relievers. He drove in two with a single, putting the Royals up 3-1 and they weren’t stopping there. Two batters later, they tacked on two more runs, meaning all three of Hader’s inherited runners came in to score, and he allowed a run of his own in two-thirds of an inning.
The game seemed over until the bottom of the ninth. Brad Miller, in just his fourth game for the Crew, smacked a three-run homer with no outs. With only one run to go, the Royals’ Ned Yost went to Wily Peralta to close the game. Yes, THAT Wily Peralta. Peralta had a 4.71 career ERA at Miller Park and had to go through Eric Thames, pinch hitter Erik Kratz and Ryan Braun to close the game. Of course, he did just that, recording the final out on a questionable call from the umpires where Braun was initially ruled safe on a force out, but the call was overturned.
Milwaukee hits the road against to take on the Cincinnati Reds in a four-game series at Great American Ballpark. Junior Guerra (3-5, 2.82 ERA) will take on Anthony DeSclafini (3-1, 4.09 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:10 p.m. CST.