Promises of a Lauer-Bauer Power Hour held true in Thursday night’s contest between the Milwaukee Brewers and LA Dodgers. Eric Lauer won the pitcher’s duel, albeit with four innings of bullpen help from the bullpen. With fourteen Brewers already on the IL, he was held to 73 pitches in the spot start, his first since August 2020.
The Dodgers won the hit column with nine hits. Four of those were surrendered by Lauer, but he never allowed more than one hit per inning, which helped keep the Dodgers scoreless into the ninth. Lauer walked two (strangely, one of those walks was issued to Bauer) and struck out three (strangely, two of those strikeouts got Mookie Betts).
Lauer was backed by a formidable Brewers defense, who produced at least as many amazing defensive plays as they did hits. Most notable among these was this Urías-Wong-Vogelbach double play in the top of the eighth.
Seager hits a bullet down the middle, Urías fields it cleanly and flips to Wong, who smoothly covers second, grabs the bag and throws to Daniel Vogelbach in the same motion. Vagelbach holds the bag and receives the throw a half step before Seager reaches first. I would say it’s the best double play we’ll see all season, but who knows what we’ll see from Kolten Wong at second base in May and beyond.
Urías, Wong, and Vogelbach looked solid throughout the game. The trio turned two double plays. Urías made a number of division-best shortstop plays. Kolten Wong was Kolten Wong. Daniel Vogelbach held it down at first, picking a couple of key throws to first out of the dirt.
Thankfully, two of the Brewers’ four scant hits crossed home plate on a Travis Shaw home run in the fourth inning. The Mayor’s fourth home run on the season was a couple of rows over the right field fence and just a couple of seats inside the foul pole. He leads the team in home runs and RBIs (19).
The Brewers bullpen preserved the lead with four pitchers across four innings and gave up five hits. Four of these came in the eighth and ninth innings, causing some late-game stress for Brewers fans. Brad Boxberger put up a solid inning, only allowing one hit. JP Feyereisen looked particularly sharp in his 1-2-3 inning. Devin Williams kept things interesting after the amazing eighth-inning double play, allowing two hits before inducing a groundout to end the inning with another scoreless frame.
Josh Hader got off to a rough start with a narrow 2-0 Brewer lead in the ninth. He gave up a single to Chris Taylor and then balked to put a runner in scoring position and the tying run on first with nobody out. He followed up with two huge strikeouts before Austin Barnes singled on a fly ball to left to score the Dodger’s only run of the night. Tyrone Taylor couldn’t quite get to it and seemed to elect to keep it in front of him and give up the run rather than let the tying run advance to third. Hader induced a Mookie Betts flyout to right field with the lead intact.
The Brewers return to action at 7:10 CT on April 30. It’s the second of a four-game series against the Dodgers at American Family Field.