After Miguel Rojas homered off the first pitch he saw from Adrian Houser, you might have rolled your eyes and thought, “Here we go again.”
After all, it had been about a week since Milwaukee fans had seen a win. In fact, it had been about a week since the Brewers saw a lead. In the interim, every game was a blow-out, a shut-out, or a potential come-from-behind win that instead fizzled out with the Crew one run down.
Immediately after that first pitch, though, Adrian Houser regrouped and delivered a top performance. He allowed one more first-inning hit, a soft single, and then retired the next eleven batters in a row.
Houser finished his six-inning day tying his career-high ten strikeouts. He allowed six hits, walked no one, and threw 94 pitches, 62 of which were strikes. Houser’s ability to regroup after giving up his first pitch for a home run points to his development as a starter. His less frequently used pitches, namely his slider and his curveball, showed more movement than usual and suggested further development of his pitch arsenal. His go-to super sinker was working for him all night.
To the amusement of everyone but the Marlins’ faithful, he also hit another home run off of Daniel Castano. In doing so, Houser became a walking trivia question. He was the first pitcher to homer off the same pitcher in different games for the first time since 2006. He was the first Brewer to hit his first two career home runs against the same pitcher since Robin Yount. He was the first Brewer to strike out ten, walk no one, and hit a home run in the same game.
By the time Houser hit this homer, the Brewers had already secured an end-of-inning lead, something they hadn’t done since their come-from-behind win against the Dodgers a week prior.
Kolten Wong, who looked to be exiting a mini-slump, led off the third inning with a double and went 3-5 on the day. Lorenzo Cain and Tyrone Taylor followed up with singles to score Wong and tie the game.
Avisaíl García singled to center to load the bases. Luis Urías worked a walk to walk in Cain from third to give the Brewers a one-run lead. They would end the inning with the bases loaded after a Billy McKinney strikeout and Manny Piña groundout. Luis Urías would also turn a routine play to end the bottom half of the inning, which gave the Brewers their first lead at the end of an inning for the first time in fifty-six innings.
The Houser home run in the fourth would extend the Crew’s lead to 3-1. Avisaíl García continued to have a successful road trip. He went 3-5 on the day and hit a two-run home run in the fifth to put the Brewers up 5-1.
Manny Piña held it down behind the plate after returning from a 10-day IL stint after a broken toe. He singled on his fourth at-bat, advanced to third on a Pablo Reyes double, and scored after Jacob Nottingham grounded out.
Houser received stellar support from the bullpen after his six-inning performance. J.P. Feyereisen and Devin Williams both worked 1-2-3 innings on the strength of their changeups. Feyereisen induced a groundout and struck out two. Williams struck out the side and looked as good as he’s looked in 2021.
Nasty changeups and Brewers relievers. https://t.co/AnasVE5ZKN— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) May 9, 2021
Devin Williams. Airbenders.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 9, 2021
K'ing the side. pic.twitter.com/6jO0edbtVi
In the ninth, Josh Hader allowed one hit and struck out three. In doing so, he secured the Brewers’ first win in a week and became the fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach 400 strikeouts.
Enjoy the win, Brewers fans! The Crew returns to action tomorrow against the Marlins in Miami, 12:10 pm CT.