The first game at Miller Park out of the All-Star break was a battle royale of Andersons, with Chase going for the Milwaukee Brewers against Shaun of the San Francisco Giants. The home team got the scoring started in the second, beginning with a two-out walk by Eric Thames. He came around to score when the next batter, Keston Hiura, blooped in a double. Thames’ perfect slide narrowly avoided the tag and made it a 1-0 game. Milwaukee added another run to their lead in the fourth. Ryan Braun singled with one out, then moved up on a wild pickoff throw. Thames then doubled him home and it was 2-0.
Chase Anderson cruised through the first four innings, allowing only one Giant hit. But the dam broke in the fifth, Kevin Pillar doubled to lead the off frame, then came around to score on a one-out home run by Austin Slater that tied the game at two. That would be the only damage against Chase as he threw five complete, yielding only three hits and two runs with no walks and five strikeouts.
The first man that Craig Counsell summoned out of his bullpen was Corbin Burnes, and things did not go well for him. Buster Posey singled with one out, then Evan Longoria smacked a homer to make it 4-2 Giants. Burnes now sits with an 8.22 ERA in 46.0 innings, and he has allowed sixteen home runs on the year.
But the Brewers battled right back in the bottom of the sixth. Yasmani Grandal walked to get things started, then Mike Moustakas doubled to put runners on the corners. Shaun Anderson was replaced by Reyes Moronta, and the new pitchers served up a two-run, ground ball double to Ryan Braun that kicked off Longoria’s glove down the third base line. Thames followed with a single to right to drive in Braun and push Milwaukee ahead, 5-4.
Alex Claudio threw a 1-2-3 seventh to bridge the gap to Josh Hader, who came on in for a six-out save. Victory felt firmly within reach. At least, until Hader threw his first pitch of the eighth inning, to Tyler Austin. The pinch-hitter launched a 94 MPH heater over the fence in right-center to tie the game at 5. But that wouldn’t be the only damage against Milwaukee’s All-Star southpaw. In the ninth with two outs and things still knotted up at five, shortstop Brandon Crawford and his 70 wRC+ strode up to the plate. The left-handed hitter pulled a 95 MPH fastball over the fence, giving the Giants a 6-5.
Once again, the Brewers battled back in the bottom of the ninth. Christian Yelich led off the inning with a triple down the line in right field against old friend and current trade target Will Smith. After a Grandal strikeout, Moustakas hit a ball on the ground to the drawn-in infield. It was briefly mishandled by Joe Panik at the keystone, and his only play wound up being to get Moose at first base. Yelich motored home to tie the game, and things went to extra innings.
Matt Albers pitched very well in the stretch leading up to the All-Star break, but his first appearance in the second half was, well, bad. Panik singled to start the 10th. Mike Yastrzemski walked. Brandon Belt singled sharply to right, loading the bases. Then Buster Posey strolled up, got a 92 MPH sinker on the first pitch, and demolished a grand slam off the scoreboard. The salami gave San Fran a 10-6 lead.
The offense attempted to put up a fight in the bottom of the 10th against Mark Melancon. Keston hit one #OuttaHiura to make it a 10-7 game, and Jesus Aguilar singled with two outs. If Lorenzo Cain could have reached base after Aguilar, it would have brought Yelich to the plate as the tying run. But LoCain took a 91 MPH fastball on 3-2 that was called for strike three, although the offering appeared to be a slightly above the zone.
The loss dropped our Cream City Nine to 47-45 on the year, and coupled with a Cubs’ victory, pushes them to 1.5 games back of the division lead. They’ll match up with the Giants again on Sauturday at 6:15 PM central, with Zach Davies set to face off against another reported trade target — Madison Bumgarner.