Over the past two games, the Washington Nationals have looked like one of the best hitting teams in all of baseball. Luckily the Brewers were able to hang with the Nationals’ offense and win last night. Today the Nationals tied a club record for home runs in a single game with 8. Chase Anderson and Aaron Wilkerson were the primary victims of the Washington assault.
Chase Anderson had been quite good of late, but his command was off severally in this one as he was behind most hitters throughout all of the 2.1 innings he pitched. Things were bad from the start. Trea Turner took him to a full count before hitting a flare into right field that was between Keston Hiura and Christian Yelich. Unfortunately what appeared to be a catchable ball fell in between the two for a single. Anderson followed up by walking Adam Eaton to make it first and second and no one out.
Anderson looked as if he would get out of the first inning. He got the Nationals’ two best hitters out. Anthony Redon popped out to shortstop, and Juan Soto flew out to left field. Once again however, Anderson fell behind Matt Adams 1-0. With his next pitch, he grooved a two-seam fastball that hung over the plate that Adams deposited over the right field wall for a three-run homer. He fell behind 2-0 to the next hitter, Victor Robles. Anderson once again hung his two-seamer that Robles pulled over the left field wall, and the Brewers were behind early, 4-0.
Anderson’s struggles continued into the bottom of the second inning. For the second straight inning, the Nationals began with a flare to right that fell for a single. This time, Eric Thames got a glove on the ball, hit by Yan Gomes, but could not bring it in. Gomes would get to second base via a sacrifice bunt by Nationals’ pitcher, Erick Fedde. Anderson next walked Trea Turner. Adam Eaton, looking like a run producing power hitter in this series, roped a shot off the bottom of the right field wall that bounced away from Christian Yelich allowing Eaton to get into third for a stand up triple. Two more runs were in for the Gehrig/Ruth led Yankees...sorry Rendon/Soto led Nationals.
After two innings pitched, Anderson had thrown 53 stress filled innings. The stress continued for the big Texan in the bottom of the third. Matt Adams led off with a single to right. Victor Robles doubled down the third base line. Brian Dozier next took Anderson deep for the second 3-run homer of the day.
Yan Gomes followed the Dozier homer with a double off the top of the wall in left center. Gomes went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Fedde. That would be the first out of the inning, and the last out Anderson would record in the game. His final line would be 2.1 innings pitched, 10 earned runs given up on 9 hits, 2 walks, and 1 strike out.
Aaron Wilkerson replaced Anderson, and he ate up some important innings that the Brewers could ill afford to have their bullpen take. Unfortunately, the innings he ate up were chock-full of runs.
Wilkerson would walk the second hitter he faced, Adam Eaton, on four pitches. Anthony Redon followed up by continuing the 3-run home run barrage by the Nationals. That made the score 12-0. Juan Soto added a solo shot before the inning ended, and the rout was on.
In the top of the fourth, Ben Gamel got the Brewers on the board. He launched his seventh home run this season for Milwaukee’s first run of the game.
The Brewers scored a few more runs in the top of the fifth. Christian Yelich led things off with a single to left. Keston Hiura followed with a double down the left field line. Mike Moustakas absolutely crushed his 29th homer of the season, and the Brewers had 4 runs on the scoreboard.
The Nationals tacked on a couple of more runs via home run in the bottom of the fifth. Adam Eaton powered a solo home run over the center field wall, and Juan Soto hit his second homer of the day to make it 15-4.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Nationals would add one more run. The Brewers brought in Hernan Perez to pitch, and Brian Dozier took advantage of the stat padding opportunity. He launched a solo shot, and second home run of the day over the centerfield wall.
The Brewers put up a few more runs in the bottom of the ninth. Keston Hiura singled on an infield hit and advanced to second on a bad throw. Mike Moustakas followed with his 30th home run of the season. Ben Gamel would later single for his fourth hit of the game, and Orlando Arcia knocked him in with a 2-run shot over the left field wall. That would be all for the Brewers in this one though as this game and series mercifully ended. The final score, Nationals 16, Brewers 8.
The games get no easier for the Brewers as they head to St. Louis for the first of three games against the Cardinals. We are getting to “do or die” time as we close in on September with Milwaukee controlling their destiny playing the Cardinals in two series and the Cubs in one series before we enter the month of September. Zach Davies is scheduled to make his first start since going on the IL, and he will face Dakota Hudson. First pitch is scheduled for 6:45 CT at Busch Stadium. The game will be broadcast via radio on WTMJ and by television on Fox Sports Wisconsin.