If the Milwaukee Brewers could end their first six games on the road with a .500 record while Christian Yelich, Justin Smoak, and Omar Narvaez hit below the Mendoza line for those six games, I am sure they would be pretty happy with that. Well that is the case after the Brewers defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0, and those three players continue to struggle mightily.
The good news was that Brewers’ pitching was on full display in this one. To say Brewers’ ace, Brandon Woodruff was impressive would be an understatement. By the end of his outing, he struck out 10 Pirates’ hitters through 6.1 innings. His fastball touched 99 mph, and the slider and change up were both effective. Pittsburgh really had no answer for him as the Brewers’ ace set down 17 in a row during one stretch. As his pitch count crept over 90, Craig Counsell decided on lifting him for David Phelps.
Phelps looked quite good as well. He only faced two hitters, but he struck both of them out. Devin Williams took over the eighth inning, and kept the Pirates off the bases collecting a strike out of his own in the process. Josh Hader closed things out, not by striking out anyone, but by inducing soft contact. In the end, Brewers’ pitchers combined for a 1-hit shut out, striking out 14 Pirates’ hitters in the process.
One of the disappointments so far this season is the lack of hitting overall from Brewers’ hitters. Surprisingly, the 2018 National League MVP has been the worst hitter in the line-up. Christian Yelich is just plain off, and after an 0 for 5 with three strike outs, nothing has changed. His batting average after tonight’s play is .037. Justin Smoak continues his struggles batting a dismal .174. Omar Narvaez has yet to hit either as his batting average falls to .083.
Yet the Brew Crew can smash even when they aren’t hitting, and they smashed enough tonight. In the top of the third inning, Avisail Garcia led things off with a double. Ben Gamel followed with a 2-run shot over the right field wall to make it 2-0.
The Brewers would add one more run in the top of the sixth. Keston Hiura would launch his second home run in as many nights just over the centerfield wall. That made it 3-0, and that would eventually be the final score.
The Brewers will have an off day tomorrow as they head back to Milwaukee for their first home stand of the season. Their opponent will be the St. Louis Cardinals who are scheduled to send Jack Flaherty to the mound. Milwaukee is set to counter with Brett Anderson. First pitch will be at 1:10 CT. The game will be broadcast on radio via WTMJ 620 and on television via Fox Sports Wisconsin.