Coming into tonight game with the Atlanta Braves, the buzz around Brewer Nation has been around the lack of hitting by Brewers’ hitters with runners in scoring position. That would change this evening as the Brewers would beat up on the Braves 13-1 and go 6 for 15 with runners in scoring position.
Pitching for Milwaukee this evening was Brandon Woodruff. Where would the Brewers be without Brandon Woodruff. Coming into play tonight, the Brew Crew was 14-4 when he pitched. Well make that 15-4. Woody faced off with Bryse Wilson.
The Brewers got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning. Keston Hiura crushed an opposite field solo shot into the second deck. Hiura’s two out home run was his ninth of the year.
In the bottom of the third, the Brewers did something that they have had difficulty with of late. They got base hits with runners in scoring position. With two outs in the inning, Lorenzo Cain got a hustle double to get things going. Christian Yelich would follow with a walk. Yasmani Grandal followed that with a sharply hit single to right field that scored Cain. Finally Mike Moustakas hit a ball that bounced over the head of Freddy Freeman as well as first base for a fair ball and an RBI double that scored Yelich. At the end of three, the Brewers had a 3-0 lead.
Tyler Flowers got the Braves on the board in the top of the fifth. On a 1-2 pitch, Brandon Woodruff threw a change up over the heart of the plate. Flowers barreled the pitch over the wall to get Atlanta to within two. Probably stinging from the pitching mistake he made to Flowers, the Brave’s pitcher followed up with a single. Milwaukee’s defense set to work to bail out the Brewers’ ace. Ronald Acuna Jr. was sawed off by a Woodruff fastball and he grounded the ball to Tyler Saladino. Acuna also inadvertently sent the sawed off barrel of his bat at Saladino. Saladino still made the play and got the force out at second. Dansby Swanson next smoked a shot that Mike Moustakas picked and he was able to throw out the Braves’ shortstop. Finally Freddy Freeman hit a grounder on the shortstop side of second that Tyler Saladino, who was shifted to the second base side, was able to track down and make an across the body throw to get the Braves’ perennial MVP candidate.
The bottom of the fifth was another opportunity for the Brew Crew. Bryse Wilson walked Yelich and Grandal to open the inning. With those two walks, Atlanta’s manager, Brian Snitker came out for his young starter. Snitker replaced him with veteran lefty, Jerry Blevins in hopes of getting Moustakas and Thames out. Blevins did his job with Moose by striking him out. Craig Counsell countered Snitker by pinch hitting Jesus Aguilar for Eric Thames. Aguilar would strike out, but during the at-bat, Christian Yelich stole his 22nd base by swiping third. That became very significant as Blevins bounced a wild pitch that got away from the catcher. The 2018 MVP, anticipating a ball in the dirt, darted home and was able to avoid Flowers’ tag to score the fourth run of the game. The amazing part of the play was that the ball did not get that far away from the Braves’s catcher.
Milwaukee would tack on in the bottom of the sixth. Lorenzo Cain has had a frustrating year to this point this season. He’s hit into to some real bad luck, especially of late. Tonight was another story. To go along with his earlier double, LoCain added a solo shot over the left field wall for his sixth of the year.
Brandon Woodruff came out and pitched into the seventh inning. He was able to get the two outs in the inning, but as is often the case, Craig Counsell did not want the opposition to see his starter for a third time. With Acuna coming up, Counsell pulled him, and Jeremy Jeffress was able to get the Braves’ phenom out to end the seventh. Woodruff ended up having another very good night. He covered 6 2⁄3 innings while striking out 7 and giving up just the 1 run.
The Brew Crew blew the game wide open in the bottom of the seventh. The Braves sent out rookie, Huascar Ynoa. Mike Moustakas met him with a sharp single to right. Zeus Aguilar followed with a ringing double that flew easily over the head of Braves’ right fielder, Nick Markakis. Keston Hiura kept his hot streak going by singling to left and scoring Moustakas. Ben Gamel followed with a single over a leaping Dansby Swanson that scored Aguilar. Pinch hitter, Orlando Arcia would draw a walk to load the bases. Later in the inning, Christian Yelich came to the plate, and he did what you had the feeling he was going to do. He launched his 33rd home run of the year and the first grand slam of the season for Milwaukee. At the end of the seventh inning, the Brewers had a 11-1 lead.
Milwaukee kept the pressure on new Braves’ reliever, Touki Toussaint in the bottom of the eighth. Toussaint hit Aguilar with a pitch to get things started. Keston Hiura followed by walking. Ben Gamel followed by singling to right and scoring Aguilar. Orlando Arcia would induce a walk, and Lorenzo Cain would draw another walk that scored Hiura. That walk to Cain gave Jay Jackson the opportunity to enjoy his first career major league at-bat. He was able to unleash a couple of mighty hacks, fouling off a couple of pitches, but he struck out on a 12-6 curve from the Braves’ pitcher and end the inning.
Jay Jackson would also do some pretty good pitching. He was able to handle both the eighth and ninth innings in good order, and the Brewers’ bullpen is fresh for tomorrow as a result. The Brewers win in a big way, 13-1, and everyone, at least for a few hours, can take a deep breath.
The Brewers and Braves will go at it one more time tomorrow afternoon as Milwaukee looks to get a much needed series win. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:10 CT. Chase Anderson will face off against Dallas Keuchel. The game can be consumed locally via radio (WTMJ) and television (Fox Sports Wisconsin). The MLB Network will carry the game as well.