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Brewer bats silent in 5-1 loss to Braves

Anibal Sanchez dominates crew

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers
Aaron Wilkerson kept the Brewers in the game, but the bats were largely absent
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

WP: Anibal Sanchez (4-2); LP: Aaron Wilkerson (0-1); Save: Homeruns: none

A sad Box Score

Anibal Sanchez of the Atlanta Braves (50-38) has been pitching for a while, and hasn’t had the best of seasons recently, but he’s done a nice job for the Braves this year. Today he faced some first inning adversity, and got out of it with a little luck, but after that he retired nineteen in a row and topped the Milwaukee Brewers (53-37) 4-1 at Miller Park.

For the third straight game in this series the Braves took a first inning lead, scoring twice against spot starter Aaron Wilkerson, and making it stand up this time. With one out Ozzie Albies beat out an infield grounder (on appeal), Freddie Freeman singled, Nick Markakis walked on four pitches, and Johan Camargo singled in two. After a walk to load the bases Wilkerson got out of the inning with a strikeout and flyball.

In the bottom of the inning Eric Thames singled to lead things off and took second when Christian Yelich bounced to the mound with Thames running. Jesus Aguilar was hit by a pitch, and Travis Shaw lined what is a single 999 times out of 1000 to right...but Aguilar held up to see if it would be caught and was forced out at second by Markakis. Thames stopped at third, and Hernan Perez took a called third strike to end the inning.

After that, the Braves went six innings scoreless with a lead-off double and walk in the third but no runs. The Brewers, meanwhile, went through their futility streak of nineteen outs in a row before Perez walked with two out in the seventh, stole second, and came in to score on a double carom shot single by Brad Miller to pull the Crew within a run at 2-1. Miller’s liner hit Sanchez in the side and bounced towards the shortstop position. Dansby Swanson was shifted up the middle and came over with a dive, but just knocked the ball into left, allowing Perez to score.

Wilkerson ended up going five innings with four hits allowed, the two earned runs, walking three, and striking out five. Taylor Williams fanned two in a perfect sixth, while Mike Zagurski had a perfect seventh with two k’s of his own...but not a perfect eighth.

Zagurski gave up a single to Albers, a triple to Freeman, and a triple to Markakus. Given that it was a one run game and Josh Hader hasn’t pitched in three days, that might have been a move the Brewers could make, but Craig Counsell stuck with Zagurski. Jose Lopez relieved and retired two on grounders, keeping Markakis at third, but walked two and gave up an RBI hit to push the lead to 5-1.

Lopez had a walk in the ninth but a double play erased it for a scoreless inning.

Jonathan Villar entered the game with Lopez on the double switch in the eighth and singled in the bottom half of the inning, and took second on a wild pitch but was stranded there. Shaw had a one out infield single in the ninth but A.J. Minter struck out the side to end the game.

Game Notes:

  • From one out in the second Sanchez struck out six straight, three looking, with pinpoint control and some very passive at bats from the Brewers.
  • After Wilkerson’s first he settled down and mixed his pitches well in throwing four scoreless frames.
  • Perhaps the lack of hitting was because of the lighting on another 3:10 start at Miller Park. This wouldn’t be happening if the Brewers weren’t playing well this season, so we shouldn’t complain. Just a thought.
  • I’m sure it’s happened lots of times, but I can’t recall ever seeing back to back triples before.
  • Zagurski’s ERA now sits at 63.00.
  • The Brewers’ laundry services must hate Jesus Aguilar. He puts lots of pine tar on his bat and then rests that spot on his jersey in his stance. How do you get that stuff out?

Milwaukee gets another chance to win it’s first Miller Park series over Atlanta in five years tomorrow afternoon and will try for it with Junior Guerra (5-5, 2.87). The Braves will start Sean Newcomb, who has been very tough with an 8-3 record and 3.10 ERA. Both the Cubs and Cardinals won today, so Milwaukee leads Chicago by 1.5 and St. Louis by 6.5.