For whatever reason, the 2018 Milwaukee Brewers can’t seem to win on Sundays.
They came into today’s game looking to complete a four-game sweep in San Francisco, what would have been their first sweep in the Bay since 2008 and first-ever four-game sweep there. Instead, they fell again in a Sunday afternoon game, losing 8-5 to the Giants. They’re now just 4-13 in weekend finales.
While much of that bad history has to do with the team’s offensive struggles in day games in general this year, that wasn’t the problem today.
The Brewers actually got out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, when Christian Yelich extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an infield single and Ryan Braun was finally able to get some elevation on a drive to right field that carried out for a rare opposite-field home run at AT&T Park.
Unfortunately, the pitching couldn’t keep up with the offense.
After an impressive two innings to start the game, Junior Guerra’s control completely fell apart in the bottom of the 3rd. Guerra was able to get the leadoff man to start the frame, but then issued three straight walks — the second one to opposing pitcher Andrew Suarez, who was trying to sac bunt — before grooving a fastball to Buster Posey, who promptly disposed of the pitch into the cavernous left-center field gap, plating 3 runs. A Brandon Crawford single put Posey at third, and Evan Longoria was able to plate him with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2 after 3 innings.
The next inning, Guerra looked like he might’ve regained his touch, striking out the first two batters in the 4th before surrendering a booming home run to dead center field to 8-hitter Gorkys Hernandez, making it 5-2 Giants. Guerra’s day was done after getting the final out of that inning.
The Brewers were able to get a run back in the 5th on a Lorenzo Cain groundout, but that momentum was wiped out when Matt Albers came on for his first appearance since coming off the disabled list and struggled to put anyone away.
Long, extended at-bats by Posey, Longoria and Pablo Sandoval had Albers north of 30 pitches despite recording just one out. Sandoval ended Albers’ day with a 2-RBI triple that trickled down the first base line and stopped rolling somewhere behind the on-field bullpen mounds before Yelich was able to track it down.
Dan Jennings came on and gave up a sacrifice fly to Steven Duggar, making the score 8-3 in favor of the Giants.
Still, the Brewers’ bats tried to mount a comeback. They got a run back in the top of the 6th when Hernan Perez hammered a solo home run, and Travis Shaw followed with a pinch hit solo shot of his own in the 7th to cut the deficit to 8-5.
Taylor Williams worked the 7th inning for the Brewers and got himself into a bases-loaded, nobody out jam, but was able to escape with no runs scored after a strikeout and two groundouts, including one that saw Mike Moustakas pick it and stick a throw home to Manny Pina.
Old Friend Will Smith came on in the 9th inning to try to save the game for the Giants, and surrendered a leadoff single to Manny Pina. Orlando Arcia scalded a ball down the third base line that was stabbed out of the air by Longoria. Tyler Saladino pinch followed by succumbing to the Slider of Death, and Cain flew out to deep left to end the game.
The Brewers will have to settle for taking 3 of 4 from the Giants this weekend, and are now 6-4 since the All-Star break. They’ll head off to Los Angeles next for their second series in a couple weeks’ time against the Dodgers, who nearly got no-hit Sunday afternoon.
WP: Andrew Suarez (4-6)
LP: Junior Guerra (6-7)
SV: Will Smith (5)
HR: MIL - Ryan Braun (11), Hernan Perez (8), Travis Shaw (20); SF - Gorkys Hernandez (12)