Don’t let the final score fool you. Saturday’s contest was a head-to-head and neck-and-neck battle between the Brewers and Giants, two teams who have surprised plenty by leading the National League in wins in August.
Willy Adames got the Brewers on the board first in the third. He hit a double to left, scoring Kolten Wong who turned on the jets from first.
Brandon Woodruff delivered another quality start. He was perfect until the Giant’s fourth, in fact, retiring ten of ten batters to bring the Crew into a lengthy and nerve-wracking inning.
Brandon Belt started the hit parade by scooping a change-up from below the strike zone and over the centerfield wall, just beyond the reach of Lorenzo Cain. Woodruff would continue to falter before recovering. He gave up back-to-back singles to Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford and then surrendered a walk to Kris Bryant to load the bases for Mike Yastrzemski with one out.
Woodruff struck out Yastrzemski with a beauty of a curveball. Alex Dickerson popped out to end what could have been a disastrous inning. Instead, Woodruff got out of it without a crooked number.
The Brewers would recover the lead in the bottom of the inning after a leadoff triple from Tyrone Taylor, who would tag and score on a Lorenzo Cain sac fly.
Thanks, in part, to two more scoreless innings from Woodruff, stand-out bullpen performances by newcomers John Curtiss and Daniel Norris, and a highlight reel catch by Tyrone Taylor, the score would stay that way until the final out of the Giants' ninth.
In the ninth, Brent Suter was on his way to a save on the heels of a solid relief inning that would close out a well-pitched, well-played game when Tommy La Stella hit a deep but routine fly ball to right field. Avisaíl García lost the ball and missed the catch, and Kris Bryant, representing the tying run, would come across to score and send the game into extras.
The COVID-depleted bullpen caught up with the Brewers in extras. In the tenth, Miguel Sánchez quickly loaded the bases, giving up a single and walking Belt to get to Buster Posey. Posey singled to knock in two runs and send Belt to third. Belt scored on a sac fly to bring the Giants up 5-2 at the end of the inning.
For many teams, that would have been it against the MLB best-record Giants, but your 2021 Milwaukee Brewers wouldn’t go down easily. They hit two runs and scored three runs to tie the game. First, it was Luis Urías who hit a two-run homer off the center field batter’s eye.
Next, it was MVP-caliber Willy Adames to hit it over the center field fence to tie the game at five and send the game into the eleventh.
The Giants would come right back against the Brewers’ depleted bullpen, scoring four runs against Sal Romano in the eleventh.
This time, it was too much for the Brewers to bounce back against. Rowdy Tellez and Tyrone Taylor sat down in order. Lorenzo Cain gave it one last go, hitting a flare into the gap in right-center to score ghost runner Avisaíl García before Manny Piña popped out to end the inning and a thrilling game that unfortunately ended in a Brewers loss.
The Crew aims to take the series tomorrow with Brett Anderson on the mound.