The Brewers fell 2-1 to the Padres in a disappointing extra-innings loss on Wednesday. In what’s become an unfortunately familiar narrative, the Crew squandered a brilliant pitching performance.
The game was entertaining and the score was close, but for the Crew, the contest was ultimately decided by bad luck and missed opportunities. The bad luck: Brewer bats smoked liner after liner right into the gloves of Padres defenders. The missed opportunities: the Crew went 1-10 with runners in scoring position.
In yet another pitchers’ battle, both teams produced only nine hits through regulation. Eric Lauer delivered a stellar performance against his former team. Through six innings, he allowed only four hits, one walk, and one (earned) run against arguably the best lineup in baseball. He threw six strikeouts, including two against Fernando Tatis Jr.
Have a night, Eric Lauer. He hits his first career home run and delivers a quality start (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 85 pitches).— Sophia Minnaert (@SophiaMinnaert) May 27, 2021
Eric Lauer had a terrific start against his former team. Not the first time that the Brewers have called on him for a start this season and he has delivered. Only 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB allowed. He struck out 6 — including Tatis twice.— Will Sammon (@WillSammon) May 27, 2021
Lauer also hit the first home run of his career to put the first and only run on the board and tie the contest in the third inning.
With the knock, Lauer recovered the only run he’d surrender, which came in the first inning. He was working with runners on second and third. Tatis was at the bat with a 2-0 count. Lauer managed to keep him in the park with a 87 MPH changeup, but Tatis got enough of it for a sac fly, scoring Tommy Pham, who had previously reached with a leadoff walk.
Lauer would mostly cruise for the rest of his six-inning performance, and the bullpen backed him up. Brad Boxberger allowed a triple but otherwise looked sharp in a scoreless seventh. Devin Williams and Josh Hader struck out five between them and allowed no base runners in the eighth or ninth.
The Brewers’ offense, meanwhile, struggled to get hits and struggled even more to manufacture runs.
The Crew wasn’t longing for contact in tonight's contest, and there were plenty (12) of hard hits for the Crew. According to Statcast, of the 12 balls the Crew hit with an exit velocity of 95 MPH or higher, only two fell for hits, including the Lauer home run. That didn’t translate to much traffic on the basepaths. In half of the 10 innings, Brewers batters sat in order.
Only once did the Crew send more than four batters to the plate in one inning. This was in the ninth with the score tied 1-1. Lorenzo Cain led off with a single. Christian Yelich walked to put speed at first and second with nobody out. Then, the next three Brewers sat down in order.
Brent Suter also pitched well in the tenth, but unfortunately, a single base hit from Victor Caratini was enough to score ghost runner Wil Meyrs.
Willy Adames did get his first at American Family Field in the tenth to advance Hiura to third and put runners at the corners with nobody out. Jackie Bradley Jr. then smoked one of the ten hard-hit balls that did not result in a hit. It did produce a fielder’s choice to get lead runner Keston Hiura at home for the first out. It wasn’t close. Daniel Robertson would then strike out on a lost bat foul tip. Somewhat fittingly, Kolten Wong would hit a 101.5 MPH grounder that became the final out of the game.
Hope they fall for hits tomorrow, Brewers fans.