The Milwaukee Brewers seem more like a MASH unit than a baseball team lately, and among the battered group of initial out-getters, it was Alec Bettinger’s first chance to toe the slab and make his major league debut. Things did not go well; in fact, his start was historically bad.
Things started off promisingly enough, with Mookie Betts popping out on the first pitch of the ballgame. But then Corey Seager walked and Justin Turner singled. Will Smith flew out to right for the second out, but Chris Taylor was plunked to load the bases. Matt Beaty grounded a ball that was fielded by first baseman Keston Hiura, who quickly tried to shovel the ball to Bettinger as he covered first base. The throw was on time and on target, but Bettinger missed the bag, allowing Beaty to reach and Seager to score, making it a 1-0 ballgame. The next batter, AJ Pollock, got a 1-1 cement mixe...er, slider that he launced over the fence in center field for a grand slam, making it 5-0 Dodgers in the first.
Bettinger’s issues continued in the second inning. After LA batted around in the first, Mookie Betts led off the second inning, and this time grounded out. But Seager and Turner hit back-to-back singles, and with two outs, Taylor singled to again load the bases. This time it was Beaty who got a ball he didn’t miss; his first home run of the season sailed over the fence in right field for the Dodgers’ second grand slam of the day, making it 9-0.
Bettinger gave up another two runs in the fourth inning before his day ended; he finished with 11 earned runs allowed on 11 hits and a pair of walks across 4.0 complete innings, with zero strikeouts. He set the franchise record for most runs allowed in a debut, breaking the record previously held by Ben Diggins.
Jordan Zimmermann made his team debut in relief of Bettinger, and his outing didn’t go much better. He soaked up 3.2 innings in the blowout, but allowed things to get further out of hand by yielding five runs on five hits, with two walks and no punchouts. It wasn’t until Patrick Weigel came on that Milwaukee pitching finally missed some bats; flashing a nifty sider, Weigel threw 1.1 scoreless innings to mercifully end this game, punching out three.
Jacob Nottingham enjoyed a career day for the Brewers in his return to the team after a brief, on-paper stint with the Mariners. He homered in the third inning, then again in the eighth, going 2-for-4 with a pair of jacks and 3 RBI on the day. Avisail Garcia also recorded an RBI single in the eighth.
In the end, it was a 16-4 loss for Milwaukee, bringing their run differential from +11 to -1 on the season. But the record stands at 17-11 and the squad remains in first place by a game over the Cardinals. A new series begins for the Brewers on the road tomorrow in Philadelphia, with first pitch between Vincent Velazquez and Adrian Houser scheduled for 6:05 PM central.