WP: Kevin Gausman (5-7); LP: Freddy Peralta (5-3); Save: none; Home runs: none
If you were hoping for an inspirational performance tonight by the Milwaukee Brewers (66-53) after yesterday’s demoralizing ninth inning melt-down, you would be sorely disappointed. Atlanta Braves’ (63-50) starter Kevin Gausman handled the Brewers’ Big Boys line-up with ease in the Braves start-to-finish easy win, 10-1.
Freddy Peralta started poorly and ended poorly, and more or less pitched poorly in the middle, too. The Braves used two doubles and a single (and a walk) to score three in the bottom of the first, went scoreless in the second (with a walk), scored two more in the third on two doubles (and two walks), and two more in the fourth on two singles (and a walk). The final run of the fourth scored on a sac fly in Jordan Lyles’ debut, but he retired the side in order. That made it 7-0 after four, and the home town fans could sit back and relax.
Mike Moustakas had a two out double in the first, and Jonathan Schoop and Manny Pina had singles in the second - but that left things up to Peralta with two out, and he bounced out to second to end the inning. Then Gausman had perfect innings in the third, fourth, and fifth. His split was especially effective, and he fanned three straight straddling the fourth and fifth innings.
Gausman retired the first two in the sixth, running his string to twelve straight, before Moustakas drilled his second double of the game - off the top of the brick wall in right, narrowly missing a homer. Jesus Aguilar went the other way with a line single to right to get the Brewers on the board, but Travis Shaw bounced out to end the inning.
Gausman went eight innings, allowing six hits and the one run, walking none and striking out eight. Braves’ rookie Chad Sobotka made his major league review in the ninth and retired Milwaukee 1-2-3 with a strikeout.
Lyles worked through the first six batters he faced but couldn’t get past the top of the order in the sixth inning. He retired just one of the five batters he faced, walking one and allowing four hits and three runs. Adrian Houser finished the game, working 2.2 innings with no runs allowed (!). He did walk two following a two out double in the seventh to load the bases, but was the only pitcher to retire Nick Markakis, on a flyball to left. He also allowed two hits in the ninth. Brewer pitchers walked eight on the evening. Houser ended his night with three hits and two walks allowed, with a strikeout.
Milwaukee now trails the Cubs by three full games, and they fall back into a tie with the Braves for the top Wild Card spot. Game two of the three game set will be tomorrow evening, and the Crew will have lefty Wade Miley (2-1, 2.10) trying to right the ship against Braves’ veteran Julio Teheran (8-7, 4.48). The game will be broadcast on FS1, starting at six pm. Central
- Markakis won his personal battle with Christian Yelich in their fight for the lead in the batting average race, going two for three with a walk and a sac fly; included were two doubles, three runs scored, and three RBI. Yeli was 0-4. Markakus is now hitting .326, and Yelich is at .316.
- Johan Camargo had a four hit night for the ex-Milwaukeans with two doubles of his own, two runs scored, and two RBI. One of his doubles was a flyball that should have been caught at the wall in right, but Eric Thames miss-played it into the two base hit.
- Ronald Acuna also had a three hit night for Atlanta, and Ozzie Albies had five at bats without putting the ball in play...three walks, two strikeouts, and two runs scored. The top five in the Braves’ line-up reached base sixteen times, and scored all ten runs. Yowzers. As a team the Braves were 7-11 with runners in scoring position and hit six doubles.
- In a rather obscure stat, Aguilar has now set a Brewer record with 51 RBI while hitting with two strikes, topping a record previously held by Prince Fielder (50).
- In nine August games the Brewers are 3-6 and have been out-scored 72-44. I guess it would be fair to say that there is a problem with the pitching staff right now.