With Eric Lauer on the mound in the opener against the Nationals, the Brewers needed some late-game offense to come out on top. Erick Fedde got the start for Washington, giving them a solid start, getting through the first five innings unscathed. Lauer had similar success, throwing seven innings of shutout ball en route to his fourth win of the season. Lauer has had an outstanding start to his season, posting a 2.16 ERA through his first two months. He has fit in seamlessly to the Brewers' starting rotation and has so far cemented himself as a dependable starter.
The first six innings were extremely uneventful, with both pitchers dealing. The hitting began in the bottom of the sixth when Luis Urias drew a walk and Christian Yelich grounded into a fielder’s choice. Rowdy Tellez then cranked a no-doubt home run to right that scored both him and Yelich for a 2-0 lead.
The bottom of the eighth featured the Brewers scoring five runs and putting the game out of reach for the Nationals. Yelich led off the inning with a single to right, who was then advanced to third on a Tellez double off Washington pitcher Austin Voth. Andrew McCutchen walked to load the bases for Hunter Renfroe. Renfroe hit a bullet into right field, scoring both Yelich and Tellez. Tyrone Taylor finally hit a three-run blast to put the game out of reach at 7-0 heading into the ninth.
Aaron Ashby would then be brought in to close the game, striking out Josh Bell and forcing groundouts from Maikel Franco and Lane Thomas. Ashby has been a solid utility man for the Crew this season, making starting appearances as well as relief opportunities. This versatility makes him a valuable arm for Counsell to rely on.
The two teams will go at it again on Saturday, with Brandon Woodruff opposite Patrick Corbin. Woodruff has room to improve this season, with a 5.35 ERA. Corbin has yet to win a game yet this season for Washington, starting the year 0-6. Milwaukee will look to take advantage and capitalize on a struggling Nationals team and attempt to extend their division lead over the Cardinals.
First pitch Saturday will be at 6:10 CDT on Bally Sports Wisconsin and 620 WTMJ.