It wasn’t the most memorable one for left-hander Josh Hader, who has looked positively human lately. A late comeback by the Milwaukee Brewers went for naught after Hader failed to preserve a tie ballgame in the ninth inning of today’s series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Brandon Woodruff started the game and put the Crew in a deep hole early on. Woodruff has had some Jekyll and Hyde syndrome in the season’s early going and today was one of the bad outings. He began the contest by allowing a home run to Joc Pederson, then yielded another run later in the first on a Cody Bellinger RBI single. It was a two-out rally that bit Woody in the behind in the second; Pederson got things going again with a single (his second of four hits on the day) and then scored on a double by Corey Seager. Justin Turner followed with a walk. Bellinger smacked another RBI single to make it 4-0 before Max Muncy grounded out to end the inning.
Woodruff allowed a fifth run when Pederson took him deep to right for his second dinger of the day in the fourth inning. He was at least able to hold the Dodgers there as he worked across 5.2 innings, surrendering five runs on seven hits with three walks and six strikeouts. His ERA now stands at 5.81 on the season.
The Brewers began to lodge their comeback in the fifth inning. Orlando Arcia tripled to lead off the frame and two batters later scored on a two-run homer by Lorenzo Cain, his third of the season. The offense was blanked in the next two innings before staging a rally in the eighth inning against Pedro Baez. Ryan Braun singled with one out and cleanup hitter Yasmani Grandal followed with a single. Jesus Aguilar popped out on the infield for the second out, and Craig Counsell sent Eric Thames to the plate to pinch-hit for Hernan Perez. That prompted Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts to tab his closer Kenley Jansen. A double-steal by Braun and Grandal moved both runners into scoring position. Thames ran the count full, then got a 94 MPH cutter up and over the plate that he knew exactly what to do with.
Donnie Hart (1.1 innings) and Jacob Barnes (1.0 inning, 3 K) threw scoreless appearances to bridge the gap to Hader in the ninth. Hader looked dominant out of the chute, striking out both Seager and Turner while throwing a total of seven pitches. Bellinger was the batter with two outs, and Hader began the at-bat by burying two sliders in the far outside corner of the strike zone. Bellinger laid off an 0-2 fastball at 95 MPH that came across high. Hader went back to the slider at 1-2, and we’ll say that he left it in a bad spot.
That’s the third home run that Hader has allowed now in 12.0 innings on the year. After Arcia, pinch-hitter Ben Gamel, and Cain struck out in order against Jansen in the bottom of the ninth, This was second consecutive appearance with a losing decision for Hader following the three runs he coughed up late in Friday’s game. His ERA stands at 3.75 on the season.
A 1-3 series against Los Angeles has our Cream City Nine sitting at 13-10 before hitting the road for a six-game trip. They’ll start a three-game series in St. Louis (12-9) tomorrow night, with Adrian Houser set to be called up to make his first career MLB start. He’ll face off against Jack Flaherty, with first pitch scheduled for 6:45 pm central time.