The Milwaukee Brewers continue to get next to nothing from their youthful trio of starting pitchers, but yet again the offense — namely, one player in particular — managed to score another ‘W’ for the home team.
It was Freddy Peralta who was called upon to toe the slab and begin tonight’s game for the Cream City Nine on Jackie Robinson Day. He immediately put our boys in blue into a hole in the top of the first inning. Back-to-back homers by Pauls Goldschmidt and DeJong gave the Cardinals an early 2-0 lead, but the Brewers would battle back quickly against St. Louis starter Dakota Hudson. He managed to set Milwaukee down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first, but yielded a crooked number in the second.
Mike Moustakas led off the frame with his 6th homer of the season to slice the lead in half, 2-1. Eric Thames hit a single and moved up to second on a wild pitch. With one out, Ben Gamel’s RBI single up the middle tied the game at two all. An Orlando Arcia groundout brought Freddy to the plate, and he hit a line drive single to score Gamel. Peralta moved up to second on a throw from center fielder Tyler O’Neill that ended up near bouncing near the on-deck circle. A single by Lorenzo Cain — who robbed Matt Carpenter of a homer in the top of the inning — put runners on the corners for Christian Yelich. He took a 93 MPH sinker to the opposite field up and over the wall for his 6th home run of 2019. 6-3 Brewers.
YELI 3 RUN OPPO TACO pic.twitter.com/WIfrEbheQG— megan YELI MVP brown (@thatgirlondeck) April 16, 2019
The lead did little aid Peralta’s quest to work deep into the game. He walked both the Pauls to begin the third inning, then “struck out” Marcell Ozuna on a pitch that was called a foul tip but really should have gone as catcher’s interference on Manny Pina. The next batter, Yadier Molina, got payback; he doubled home Goldschmidt to make it a 6-3 game. The end came for Fastball Freddy in the fourth — he finished with a line of 3.1 innings, three walks, three runs, and three strikeouts. With two dingers allowed tonight he’s now sitting at a 2.55 HR/9 for the year. He’s failed to get through the fourth inning in three of his four starts.
Matt Albers finished what Peralta started in the scoreless fourth, then turned things over to Alex Wilson. He threw a clean fifth with a strikeout. Another Alex — Claudio — started the sixth inning. His outing quickly became a debacle. Dexter Fowler led off with a single, then after retiring Kolten Wong, Claudio issued free passes to pinch-hitter Jedd Gyorko and Carpenter. His hook came and so did our 8th #JuniorGuerraDay of the year. Things got off to a rocky start for Our Hero, as he and catcher Yasmani Grandal — who came in on a double-switch — were crossed up on Guerra’s first pitch, a 94 MPH fastball that hit squarely off the facemask of the home plate umpire and bounded away to the backstop. That brought St. Louis’ fourth run home, and also delayed the game as the ump was helped off the field and did not return.
After a lengthy delay, Paul effin’ Goldschmidt struck again when the game resumed by roping an RBI single to right. Then Marcell Ozuna took a breaking ball that was at least six inches off the plate outside back up the middle for an RBI single of his own. All of a sudden, all three of Claudio’s run had come home and the game was tied.
Grandal, perhaps feeling guilty about his passed ball in the top half of the frame, scalded a one-out single in the bottom of the 6th. Then LoCain walked to bring Yelich to the plate. He untied the game.
Guerra threw a scoreless seventh (lowering his ERA to 1.54 in 11.2 innings) and Jacob Barnes punched out a pair and threw up a zero in the eighth inning. Yeli was scheduled to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning for Milwaukee, and one might think that the Cardinals would have walked him in that spot. Apparently, they didn’t learn their lesson.
Yelich, who was somehow dissatisfied with his performance this season (???) was at Miller Park well before the game to take early batting practice, and it apparently paid off. He becomes the first Brewer since Aaron Hill in 2016 to homer thrice in a game, tying a franchise record, while also becoming the 21st player in team annals to tally 7 RBI in a game. The last time that was accomplished was by Jesus Aguilar in 2017.
Josh Hader was already warming up when Yelich hit his dinger, so he ended up coming in to throw the ninth inning even though it wasn’t a save or high-leverage situation. He muddied up his ERA, allowing his first run of the year on a no-doubt home run by Ozuna. Then he struck out Yadi, Matt Weiters, and Dexter Fowler in order to end the game and secure the 10-7 victory.
These two teams face off again at 6:40 PM CT tomorrow night, with Brandon Woodruff (1-1, 6.00 ERA) slated to face Jack Flaherty (1-0, 2.93 ERA).