Jhoulys Chacin did not have it for the Milwaukee Brewers today. The starting pitcher has not had his best command all season long and the inconsistencies once again reared their ugly head on Saturday. He put his team in an immediate hole by serving up a leadoff home run off the scoreboard to Andrew McCutchen. He walked a run home with the bases loaded in the second inning. Another dinger given up in the third, this time to Cesar Hernandez. The Phillies’ second baseman would another another RBI on a double in the fifth inning.
Chacin’s line at the end of his outing read 5 innings pitched, 7 hits, the four earned runs, with three walks and six punchouts. The two homers he coughed up were his 10th and 11th allowed on the season through 11 starts for a 1.79 HR/9. The Opening Day starter’s ERA now sits at 4.88 on the season.
Adrian Houser (2 innings) and Our Hero Junior Guerra (1 inning) kept the Phillies at four runs with scoreless appearances, but Alex Claudio let the game get out of hand late. He allowed three runs in the ninth inning on back-to-back homers by Rhys Hoskins and JT Realmuto, raising his ERA to 5.57 on the year. He’s been getting hit especially hard of rate, specifically by right-handed hitters. The hope when Claudio was acquired was that he’d be able to handle batters from both sides of the plate, but he’s allowed an OPS of over .900 to right-handed hitters this year. With the new three-batter rule coming into effect next season, one wonders how Claudio’s tenure with the organization might be.
Philadelphia starter Jake Arrieta did have it today, though he had some notable help from behind home plate. He blanked the Menomonee Valley Nine through the first six innings before allowing single tallies in the 7th (Mike Moustakas solo homer) and 8th (Hernan Perez RBI groundout). He allowed only five hits in his eight frames, walking one while punching out eight and lowering his ERA to 3.60 in the process.
The biggest story of this game, though, was the assortment of atrocious calls by home plate umpire Mike Estabrook. Ryan Braun took umbrage with a called strike on an 0-1 count in the fourth inning and made a comment that Estabrook didn’t like after he ultimately struck out, and was run from the game. In the eighth, pinch hitter Jesus Aguilar was rung up on a pitch he watched go by that was several inches off the plate. Later in that frame, Estabrook inaccurately called two pitches that were well out of the zone strikes during Lorenzo Cain’s at-bat. He ultimately grounded out to end the inning, and Craig Counsell came out to let Estabrook know what he thought about the job the ump was doing. It turned into a rather heated discussion that ended with Counsell getting sent to the showers early.
After the game, those on Milwaukee’s side were not shy about sharing their thought’s on Estabrook’s work.
More Cain: "You saw it. You saw where the pitches were located. It definitely could have been a game-changer if I walk there and bring Yeli to the plate and see what happens."— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) May 25, 2019
Christian Yelich would have represented the go-ahead run with two outs in the bottom of the 8th.
More Braun: "Give [Arrieta] credit for making pitches, continually making pitches just off the strike zone. There were quite a few pitches that were called strikes that were impossible for us to hit.”— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) May 25, 2019
Milwaukee will try to salvage one win in the series in tomorrow’s finale behind Brandon Woodruff. He’ll face off against Zach Eflin. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM central.