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Brewers hold off Giants 4-3; Gio Gonzalez wins first Milwaukee start

Jeremy Jeffress goes one plus innings for tenth save

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Milwaukee Brewers
Hey! Isn’t that JJ and Yeli?
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

WP: Gio Gonzalez (1-0...that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it); LP: Chris Stratton (9-9); Save - Jeremy Jeffress (10); Homeruns: SF - Ryder Jones (2); Mil - Travis Shaw (28), Christian Yelich (28)

the 81st winning Box Score of the Season!

Well...that game went from “the Giants are toast” to edge-of-my-seatness in a hurry. The Milwaukee Brewers (81-62) built a 4-0 lead through five innings, Gio Gonzalez looked like the 2012 version, and the pen was ready, willing, and Knebel. But the San Francisco Giants (68-75) didn’t quit and fought back before the Brewers held on with the tying run on base in the ninth and won 4-3. That’s six straight series wins, and with Madison Baumgarner on the hill for San Fran tomorrow as the Brewers go for the sweep, that’s a good thing.

Once again Milwaukee won a game against the Giants in which they were out-hit, this time just 6-5, but still. So far in the series, the Crew has eight runs on eight hits. They took the lead in the bottom of the first on a long homer to center by Travis Shaw off of Giants’ starter Chris Stratton.

For the second straight night, the Giants’ can kick themselves for walks, as again they walked two batters leading off an inning (this time the bottom of the third), and both of them scored. This time it was Jesus Aguilar and Curtis Granderson drawing the walks (boy, Granny would have walked like 300 times if he’d been with the Crew all year).

Mike Moustakas fell behind 0-2 but lined a double just fair down the third base line to plate Aguilar, and one out later Orlando Arcia lifted a sac fly to center for the second tally of the inning and third of the game.

An inning later (the fifth) Christian Yelich lined a homer to center that took like two seconds to leavw the park. The homers for Shaw and Yeli were the 28th for both.

Meanwhile, Gio Gonzalez was throwing well and keeping the Giants off the board. He went 3-2 on all three batters he faced in the first, striking out two and walking one. The one that walked (Kelby Tomlinson) was thrown out trying to steal. A two out single in the second and lead off double in the fifth were pitched around, and it took an error and an overturned out at the plate in the sixth to get him out of the game. The error was on Aguilar when his toss to Gio was high and behind him on a grounder by Gregor Blanco. (That play was originally ruled a hit but changed later.) The overturn came two outs later when Austin Slater singled to left with Chase d’Arnaud on second. d’Arnaud and the throw from Yelich got to home plate at the same time, and the call was out.

Replays showed that d’Arnaud got to the plate just ahead of the tag, but were very inconclusive as to whether his foot actually touched the bag. All I can say is I have every confidence that if the Brewers were the offensive team, the appeal would have been denied. Because all of Craig Counsell’s appeals are denied. Corey Knebel replaced Gio, and retired Evan Longoria on a flyball to center. 4-1 Crew.

Gio’s night finished with 5.2 innings, just three hits allowed, the one unearned run, seven k’s, and NO WALKS. Which is amazing...he has been walking about 4.5 per nine this season. A really nice job.

Knebel also had the seventh and looked very good, throwing strikes with both the fastball and the curve and striking out the side in a 1-2-3 inning.

Joakim Soria took over in the eighth and with one down gave up a base hit to Blanco, and then pinch hitter Ryder Jones took Soria’s first pitch (a split that just sat there) on a line into the Toyota Territory to pull San Fran within 4-3. Suddenly things weren’t quite so...serene. Soria retired Joe Panik and loogy Xavier Cedeno came on for pinch hitter Brandon Crawford. Cedeno’s slider on a 2-2 count was well within the zone but was called a ball, and Crawford then walked. So Jeremy Jeffress had to come in and go for a four out save instead of waiting for the ninth. Longoria singled to center on an 0-2 fastball that was too good, but a high fastball was good enough to strike out Hunter Pence to end the inning.

JJ caught Brandon Belt looking at a 3-2 curve to start the ninth, and Alen Hansen hit a soft liner to left that Yelich got a great jump on and caught on a dive for out number two. Pinch hitter Chris Shaw walked, but Jeremy retired Blanco on a flyball to left to end the game.

The Cardinals lost to Detroit on another walk-off, this time 4-3 on a wild pitch by Bud Norris. The Cubs lost game one of their double header in DC to Max Scherzer and the Nats 10-3, but lead the nightcap 4-3 after six innings. So the lead is up to 2.5 over the Cards and they trail the Cubs by 3 pending the outcome of game two.

As mentioned, tomorrow night Milwaukee gets Baumgarner (5-5, 3.07), and will counter with Zach Davies (2-5, 4.88) as the Brewers go for that elusive sweep.

Game Notes:

  • In two games the Brewers have a hit in only one inning in which they didn’t score.
  • BA and Rock were bandying words in the fifth inning about Rock’s grandfather telling him to “hit ‘em where they ain’t”. BA told him that Yogi Berra said it first, and Rock was crushed. Of course, it was Wee Willie Keeler who said it. Philistines.
  • Will Smith has had a great comeback season following Tommy John surgery, but his slider/curve (whichever it is) doesn’t look as sharp as it did in his Brewer days. But I’d still have liked him in the Milwaukee bullpen.
  • (Gio is really 8-11)