WP: Corbin Burnes (4-0)
LP: Madison Bumgarner (5-6)
SV: Corey Knebel (15)
HR: Jonathan Schoop (21), Gregor Blanco (2)
If something makes a player angry in baseball, there’s one way to respond that’s better than any other way: Get a massive hit.
With a sweep possible for the Brewers today, it was Zach Davies facing off against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner in the final game of the series. The game started off with each team trading runs. Gregor Blanco led off the game with a solo home run off Zach Davies to make it a 1-0 game. The Brewers answered in the bottom of the inning with a Ryan Braun RBI double (that just missed being a home run) to tie it at 1-1.
After that, Davies and Bumgarner settled in for a bit. Both had 1-2-3 innings in the second and third. Davies faced a bit of trouble in the fourth with two singles, but got a double play ball from Austin Slater to keep the Giants off the board. It got worse in the fifth as Davies loaded the bases with two singles and a walk. However, he limited the damage to one run from a sacrifice fly by Blanco and Joe Panik flew out to end the inning. There was also a scary moment in that inning as Ryder Jones went down with an injury and had to leave the game.
Davies day came to an end after the fifth, as Counsell decided to go into the bullpen early. Davies finished the day allowing two runs on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts. It wasn’t a bad day, but with Davies struggling through the fourth and fifth a bit, Counsell didn’t waste time getting into a deep bullpen. Corbin Burnes took the sixth, and while Brandon Crawford did reach on an error by Hernan Perez, there were no other baserunners in the inning.
Meanwhile, after Bumgarner’s first inning, he was unhittable for a while, retiring fifteen straight Brewers in a row. It finally was broken up in the sixth, when Christian Yelich drew a walk. Jesus Aguilar then hit a single to put two runners on base. Ryan Braun came up to the plate then, and the at bat started with two balls that were up and in, which escalated tempers a bit. The third pitch then hit Braun on the shoulder, and tempers broke. Craig Counsell had some words for home plate umpire Tom Hallion and was ejected. Apparently Wade Miley and Jacob Nottingham also made their voices heard, as they also received ejections as well.
With all of that done, Jonathan Schoop stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. He decided to issue his own ejection.
That gave the Brewers a 5-2 lead, which put them ahead for good.
Brandon Woodruff got the seventh inning, and while he did allow a double to Gorkys Hernandez, he didn’t allow any other runs and kept the lead at 5-2. Joakim Soria came in for the eighth, and after two outs to start the inning, he ran into some trouble, allowing a single to Crawford and a triple to Slater to cut the Brewers lead to 5-3. Corey Knebel came in after that, and struck out Nick Hundley to end the eighth.
The Brewers did get that run back in the bottom of the eighth. Cain walked and then stole second on a wild pitch, and got to third as Christian Yelich singled. Jesus Aguilar grounded out and got Yelich to second, which resulted in an intentional walk to Braun. Schoop came up again with the bases loaded, but just got an RBI groundout this time to up the lead to 6-3.
Knebel came back out for the ninth, with Hader ready in the bullpen if needed. He wasn’t needed, as Knebel went 1-2-3 in the ninth with a strikeout to finish the game, securing the sweep for the Brewers.
In other NL Central action today, the Cardinals avoided being swept by the Tigers with a 5-2 win earlier today, so the Wild Card lead for the Brewers will remain at 2.5 games. Meanwhile, the Cubs were rained out in Washington today, so the Cubs will have to fly back to Washington on Thursday to make up the game, using up one of their remaining two off-days for that.
Before the Cubs fly back for that make-up, though, the Brewers are heading to Chicago for a three-game series, with the Cubs division lead down to two games. A sweep can give the Brewers the division lead, and even a series win will reduce the Cubs lead to a game. Wade Miley got an early day away from the game today to rest up for that. First pitch is at 7:05 pm.