WP - Devin Williams (4-1)
LP - Jack Flaherty (4-3)
SV - Josh Hader (12)
For whatever reason, the Brewers seem to have something on Jack Flaherty that the rest of the league hasn’t figured out yet.
It wasn’t the 9-earned-run shellacking the Brewers gave him last week, but they were still able to score 3 runs early that are tied for the second-most runs he’s allowed in a start this year.
After striking out twice against him in the first inning, the Brewers mounted a rally in the second, thanks to some small ball. Dan Vogelbach led off the inning with a walk — one of two in three plate appearances for him in the game — and Keston Hiura followed with a single up the middle. Jedd Gyorko was able to advance the runners with what amounted to a swinging bunt on a tapper in front of the mound, setting the stage for Eric Sogard to line an RBI single and Orlando Arcia to drive in another run for an early 2-0 lead.
Flaherty would have a health scare in the next inning, when he slipped while delivering a pitch to Christian Yelich and appeared to twist his ankle. He stayed in the game, but ended up surrendering a booming home run to Yelich, giving the Brewers a 3-0 lead.
That proved to be enough for Brent Suter, who was excellent in a spot start, throwing 4 scoreless innings on a season-high 59 pitches, allowing only 3 baserunners on 2 hits and a walk while also striking out 4.
Knowing he needed at least one win today, Craig Counsell didn’t mess around, pulling Suter after that 4th inning in favor of Devin Williams, who put up two more scoreless innings. While he only picked up one strikeout, Williams did induce two double plays in what was an efficient outing, only throwing 22 pitches.
Counsell went to Josh Hader for the 9th inning, and the stress built up early when Paul Goldschmidt lined a fastball down the middle for a leadoff “double” when Yelich misjudged the liner and allowed it to get past him. Hader responded by getting DeJong to ground out and striking out Yadier Molina on a foul tip to conclude an 8-pitch battle. Dexter Fowler was able to run up another full count on Hader, but looked at a fastball down the middle to end the game.
The Brewers needed at least one today, and they were able to grab it in the first game of the twin bill. Game two starts shortly.