The Brewers came into today looking for their second straight sweep of a series against the Washington Nationals, and Mission Accomplished! Brandon Woodruff took the mound for the Brewers and was stellar. Jeremy Hellickson started for the Nationals. Things did not go well for him.
The Brewers got things going early. The MVP launched a line drive over the right centerfield wall for a solo home run in the bottom of the first. That was number 16 for the league leader in the category.
The Nationals would subsequently fall apart for much of the rest of the inning. Mike Moustakas reached on a fielding error by Anthony Rendon. Ryan Braun drew a walk. Eric Thames hit a ground rule double that plated Moustakas. The double was actually a rather routine fly ball that was misplayed by the left fielder, Adam Eaton. Fortunately for him, that play won’t affect his defensive metrics too much as it was not classified as an error. Unfortunately for him, Bill Schroeder called the play out on national television saying that the effort was “inexcusable.”
Hellickson would go on to walk the bases loaded with a free pass to Travis Shaw. Mr. Clutch, Orlando Arica, followed with a single to right to score both Braun and Thames. On the throw home by Nationals’ right fielder, Victor Robles, air mailed it ensuring Thames scored and allowed Shaw and Arcia to advance 90 feet. Washington was only charged with one error in the inning, but their multiple mistakes contributed significantly to the Brewers taking a 4-0 lead.
The Brewers built on their lead in the second. Yelich singled up the middle. Mike Moustakas followed with a towering fly ball the just cleared the right field wall and glove of Robles. Eric Thames would continue to increase his BABIP with a cue shot down the third base line. He would be stranded to end the inning though.
Hellickson was replaced by Matt Grace in the fifth. He was greeted was a solo shot to left by Manny Pina. That would be the first of the year for the Brewers’ catcher. That would make the score 7-1.
The pitching was strong for the Brewers for the most part. Brandon Woodruff put forth a magnificent effort this afternoon, setting a career high in strike outs with nine. He was able to do that over six innings, giving up one run on four hits. Matt Albers took over pitching duties in the seventh. He gave up two runs on three hit. Alex Claudio would replace and bail out Albers by striking out Adam Eaton to keep the score at 7-3. Junior Guerra took over the eighth. He set them down in order, striking out Rendon and Yan Gomes.
Brandon Woodruff's pitching line for #Brewers: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. Over last three starts, he is 3-0 with 1.69 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 16 innings. Lowers overall ERA from 5.81 to 4.25.— Tom (@Haudricourt) May 8, 2019
Burch Smith made his second appearance in a row in the ninth. The hope was he would close it out. A hit and an error by Travis Shaw ensured that would not happen. Counsell had to go to Josh Hader to get the last two outs, both strike outs, to end the game.
For the second straight series, the Brewers sweep their opponent. They are now 23-16, and ready to go to Wrigley for three. After the off day tomorrow, the Brewers will send out Gio Gonzalez to face a pitcher named TBD. I imagine we will see Jose Quintana. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 CT. The game can be heard on WTMJ and seen on Fox Sports Wisconsin.