It was looking like a good day for the Brewers. Christian Yelich returned from the DL, and Brandon Woodruff was on the mound. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep a good offensive performance from Sunday going for the second straight game.
For most of this game, this was a pitchers’ duel. Both pitching staffs did not allow a run through the first seven innings. Woodruff only allowed four hits and a walk through the first seven innings. Meanwhile, Royals starter Kris Bubic allowed just two walks and a hit through his six innings of work. Scott Barlow took the seventh and had a clean inning.
However, it all fell apart in the eighth. After the Brewers got only their second hit of the game in their half of the eighth, Woodruff tried to get through the bottom of the eighth to keep it a scoreless game. It started well with a fly out and a strikeout, but Woodruff then walked Whit Merrifield on four straight pitches. After that, he hit Carlos Santana with a pitch, and that ended Woodruff’s day. Devin Williams came in to try to get out of the eighth. Andrew Benintendi was up next, and he hit a single to right field. Avisail Garcia threw it in and had a chance at the plate, but Whit Merrifield was ruled safe, and the call was upheld on replay without a clear angle. The Brewers had a chance to get out of the inning there when Salvador Perez hit a ground ball to Luis Urias, but Urias’ throw was high and Perez was safe at first, allowing another run to score.
The Brewers did have a chance in the ninth when Lorenzo Cain hit a one out single, but Christian Yelich struck out for the second out. Avisail Garcia came up as the final batter of the game, but ended up getting ejected after showing frustration following a strike call. Craig Counsell followed Garcia out after he got his opinion in, and Daniel Vogelbach came in to finish the at-bat. He struck out on the next pitch to end the game.
Overall, the Brewers offense managed just three hits in the game, coming from Lorenzo Cain, Omar Narvaéz, and Pablo Reyes. Kolten Wong and Luis Urias each added a walk, but that was it for baserunners. The offense was 3-for-29 in the game, with Christian Yelich going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his return.
Meanwhile, Woodruff’s strong season continued, but his lack of run support also continued. In 7.2 innings, he allowed two runs (only one earned) on four hits and two walks, while striking out four. Devin Williams added .1 innings, with the one hit allowed and a single strikeout. Adam McCalvy notes just how little Woodruff’s run support has been:
Brandon Woodruff has the lowest run support per nine innings of MLB's 65 qualifying pitchers: 1.58 RS/9.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) May 19, 2021
If you back it down to minimum 30 innings, only Sonny Gray can claim poorer support. The Reds have scored him 0.59 runs per nine innings on the mound.
The Brewers will wrap up this short two-game series tomorrow evening. Corbin Burnes will face Brad Keller as the Brewers go for a split of the series. First pitch is at 7:10 PM on Bally Sports Wisconsin and the Brewers Radio Network.