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Brewers top Nationals 6-1

Jhoulys Chacin sharp again in ninth win

MLB: Washington Nationals at Milwaukee Brewers
Brewers’ stopper Jhoulys Chacin
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

WP: Jhoulys Chacin (9-3); LP: Gio Gonzalez (6-7); Save: none; Homeruns: Was - Daniel Murphy (2); Mil - none

Winning Box Score!

Both starting pitchers in tonight’s ballgame between the Milwaukee Brewers (57-45) and Washington Nationals (49-50) continued their recent trends, which was good news for the Brewers. Jhoulys Chacin bumped his record to 9-3 and lowered his ERA to 3.58 for the Brewers, while Gio Gonzalez (who was once 6-1 with an ERA just over 2) fell to 6-7 and an ERA of 3.94.

Chacin worked 5.2 innings and held the Nats to one run on a lead off second inning homer by Daniel Murphy. He allowed just two hits, walked none, and struck out nine. He hit Ryan Zimmerman with two down and nobody on in the sixth or he would have finished six. With two lefties due, Josh Hader pitched on just one day’s rest after two innings Saturday, and gave up an infield hit and struck out Murphy.

Murphy’s homerun gave Washington a brief 1-0 lead in the second, but Milwaukee tied it in the bottom half of the inning. Travis Shaw dumped a single into left and Tyler Saladino doubled off of the left field wall to put runners at second and third. After an infield popup by Hernan Perez, Erik Kratz lifted a sac fly to left to score Shaw.

The Brewers grabbed the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth. Gonzalez walked the first two he faced (Shaw and Saladino again), and a Perez single loaded ‘em up. Kratz pulled one into the hole but Trea Turner made a back handed, sliding grab and threw off his knee to get the not-so-fleet Kratz at first as the lead run scored. Chacin then pulled a groundball through the pulled-in infield to put the Crew up 3-1.

Gonzalez worked into the bottom of the sixth and, just like Chacin, got the first two out. He walked Kratz and gave up a pinch single to Nate Orf, and his day was over. He was relieved by righty Justin Miller to face Keon Broxton, and Craig Counsell countered with lefty Brett Phillips. Maverick worked a walk on a close 3-2 pitch to load them up, and Nats’ manager Dave Martinez brought in lefty Sonny Soliz to face Christian Yelich. Yeli pulled a hard grounder down the first base line that Ryan Zimmerman misplayed, and Christian had a three RBI triple, putting the Brewers up 6-1. The last seven Brewers went down in order.

Gonzalez gave up six hits, five walks, and five earned runs in his 5.2 innings of work.

Brandon Woodruff relieved Hader for the seventh and went 1.2 innings of two hit, one walk ball before Dan Jennings struck out nineteen year old rookie Juan Soto to end the eighth. Jacob Barnes took the ninth and retired the side with just a walk.

Game Notes:

  • Tyler Saladino had two more errors, one on a misplayed grounder in the first and the second on a bad throw in the third. Chacin worked around both.
  • Turner made the final out for Washington in the fourth when he tried to bunt for a hit. Chacin’s pitch bored in on him and he backed away but bunted it right back to Jhoulys. Instead of running to first, Turner tossed his helmet and bat to the ground right in front of Chacin as he came in to tag him. Turner finally started walking out to shortstop and was called out.
  • Nats’ hitting coach Kevin Long was chased in the second inning when Turner was called out on a Chacin slider. The Nats were on home plate umpire Nic Lentz from the get-go, and never stopped complaining all night. The pitch to Turner was a strike, BTW.
  • Woodruff’s eighth inning started with a single and a walk, but Ryan Zimmerman bounced back to the mound for an easy 1-4-3 double play before Jennings finished the inning.
  • Yelich’s triple was again off of a lefty. He has hit them well all season, and is now at .330/.375/.500 for an OPS of .875 in 104 plate appearances against southpaws on the season.
  • It was pointed out on the game thread by moneydon and icelandreliant that the three Brewers to score on Yelich’s triple were Erik Kratz, Nate Orf, and Brett unlikely trio.

Tuesday’s second game of the three game set has Jeremy Hellickson (4-1, 3.29) for Washington against Junior Guerra (6-6, 3.23). With the Cubs’ loss to the D’Backs Milwaukee now trails the Cubs by 2.5 games.