Today was the final home game for the Brewers at their stadium in Milwaukee this season.
It was the last game at the field called “Miller Park” before the new naming rights sponsorship begins in 2021.
It may have been the final home contest for Ryan Braun in after 14 years in a Brewers’ uniform.
But today, Dan Vogelbach was the star.
The front office tried to temper expectations when Vogelbach arrived in Milwaukee via waiver claim, suggesting that he’d only get some occasional looks as a bench bat while possibly filling in at DH or first base. But the former top prospect — who has an additional four years of control after 2020 — is doing all that he can to stake a claim to a spot on the roster now and into the future.
Vogelbach made his first start in the field for the Brewers today, getting tabbed to play the cold corner by manager Craig Counsell. Batting cleanup, Vogelbach came to the plate in the first inning with Ryan Braun standing on first base. Taking the count to 3-2, Vogelbach got a 95 MPH fastball from Brad Keller right down the middle of the plate and didn’t miss it, smashing a home run to center field to give the Brewers a quick 2-0 lead.
The game stayed at 2-0 until the sixth inning. Josh Lindblom started and worked the first five frames scoreless, but he allowed a leadoff double in the sixth that eventually came around to score with Freddy Peralta on the mound. That cut the lead to 2-1, but Vogelbach again created some separation in the bottom half of the inning. Christian Yelich singled to lead off the inning, then Braun singled to follow. That brought up Vogelbach, who again lined a 3-2 fastball out over the fence, this time for a three-run dinger.
After Lindblom’s 5.1 innings of one-run ball, Fastball Freddy worked 1.2 scoreless innings. Brent Suter was given the chance to finish out the ballgame, but after going 1-2-3 in the eighth, he ran into trouble in the ninth. Whit Merrifield singled with one out, then after an Adalberto Mondesi flyout, Salvador Perez smashed a two-run home run to cut the lead to 5-3. Maikel Franco singled, which prompted Craig Counsell to come out and replace Suter with Josh Hader. Two pitches later, Hader got Hunter Dozier to pop out to end the ballgame.
The 5-3 victory gave the Brewers a sweep in the three-game set against Kansas City and moved Milwaukee’s record back to .500 at 26-26. They are now in a virtual tie with the Cincinnati Reds for the eighth and final playoff spot in the National League. Next, the Brewers head to the Queen City to take on the Redlegs for a three-game series with major playoff implications on the line. First pitch tomorrow is scheduled for 5:40 PM.