Overall, this was a well-pitched ballgame. It was a quick one, too, at 2 hours and 37 minutes. There were only eight hits combined by both sides and merely four total runs that crossed the plate. The two pitching staffs combined for 29 strikeouts. But in the end, the hottest team in the biggest leagues came out on top once again.
Brandon Woodruff got the start for the Milwaukee Brewers tonight, making his first appearance since injuring his oblique at the end of July. Woody isn’t stretched out and Craig Counsell was up front about him being more of an “opener” for this tilt, and Brandon was allowed to go only two innings and throw 37 pitches. They were pretty good ones, though, as he didn’t allow a hit and walked only one batter while striking out four.
Woodruff then turned it over to Gio Gonzalez, who was making his first relief appearance since July 10th, 2009, when he was a young hurler still trying to find his role in the big leagues with the Athletics. Warming up in the bullpen and entering mid-game didn’t seem to bother the veteran southpaw, though. Offering a much different look than the flamethrowing Woodruff, Gio twirled three scoreless frames of his own, working around two hits and a walk by striking out four. He threw 53 pitches.
Rookie pitching sensation Chris Paddack started for the visiting San Diego Padres this evening and was virtually unhittable over his five innings. He struck out nine, walked only one, and just one batter recorded a hit off of him. That lone knock, though, was a solo dinger by Lorenzo Cain in the bottom of the third inning to give Milwaukee a 1-0 lead.
Brent Suter was the next pitcher in line for Counsell and he tossed a scoreless sixth inning with a pair of punchouts, lowering his ERA down to 0.73 now in his return from Tommy John. Rather than run Suter back out for a second inning in the seventh, CC went with Matt Albers. He has not been very good lately, and he coughed up the game-tying home run to the first batter he faced, Hunter Renfroe. He then allowed a single to Manuel Margot that was fortunately erased by a caught stealing, and retired the next two batters to get out of the inning. Still, it goes as a blown save in the box score.
Matt Albers has a 16.50 ERA in his last eleven appearances, including tonight's.— Kyle Lobner (@byKyleLobner) September 18, 2019
Fortunately, the game was not tied for very long. Mike Moustakas was ready to pick up his teammate, and blasted an 87 MPH slider from lefty Matt Strahm into the bleachers in right field. That was Moose’s 10th home run off a left-handed pitcher this season, setting a new career-high. It also gave the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
An absolute moon shot by Mike Moustakas! #ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/rccK7JBQdX— Mike Cianciolo (@MikeCianciolo) September 18, 2019
Milwaukee added one final BMIR by playing some small ball with the bottom of the order in the eighth. Ben Gamel led off with a double, then moved up to third base on a **gasp** sacrifice bunt(?!?) by Hernan Perez. Trent Grisham lifted a sac fly to center that allowed Gamel to dart home to make it 3-1.
Counsell deked by the Padres a bit by running Albers out to start warming up in the eighth inning, then had Drew Pomeranz trot in once a pinch-hitter was announced. He fired two dominant innings to finish off the ballgame, striking out four batters with zero hits and zero walks allowed. The lefty has certainly been a significant addition since arriving at the trade deadline.
Drew Pomeranz as a reliever: 1.94 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 23.2 innings. That’ll do.— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) September 18, 2019
Pomeranz’s second save of the season secured a 3-1 victory, pushing the Menomonee Valley Nine up to 82-69 on the season. They have now won 11 of their last 12 and are 13-3 for the month of #Craigtember. These two teams will do battle again tomorrow evening for game three of four, with first pitch scheduled for 6:40 PM central. Dinelson Lamet will toe the slab for San Diego and face off against Adrian Houser.