Championship-level teams, or at least teams that have championship aspirations, thrive on the “next man up” mentality. Those teams have the ability to win when key contributors are sidelined, often with guys who aren’t playing every day making an impact.
The Brewers showed that resolve tonight.
Tyrone Taylor, who got the start in right field tonight with Hunter Renfroe sidelined with a hamstring injury, hit the go-ahead three-run home run in the 6th to give the Brewers a lead. That home run would be the difference as the Brewers would go on to defeat the Padres, 4-1.
The aforementioned Taylor has been on a tear the last week. In his last five games, Taylor is batting .400 with 10 runs batted in and three home runs. Taylor has played all over the outfield this season, filling in primarily as a center fielder. Tonight was his fourth start in right field, going 1-4 at the plate. With Renfroe out and Lorenzo Cain’s inconsistency at the plate, Taylor could provide a major boost off the bench to help in the Brewers’ push to make a trip back to the playoffs.
It was an uncharacteristic start to the game for Corbin Burnes, giving up a first-inning run for the first time all season. After giving up one run on four hits in the first two innings, Burnes settled down and was dominant. In his final four innings, he only gave up one hit, striking out four and allowing zero runs. Burnes did a good job of creating weak contact, with just three fly balls reaching the outfield and four groundouts. His final line was six innings, five hits and one earned run with five strikeouts.
On the other side was Blake Snell, who on paper didn’t have a great start but was overall solid. A Mike Brosseau home run in the fifth was his only mistake through five innings. In the sixth, a walk, fielder’s choice, and a single to start the inning forced him out of the game. Those runners left on base would all score when reliever Craig Stammen gave up the three-run homer to Taylor, giving Snell three earned runs in less than six innings of work.
With Burnes done, Counsell went to Hoby Milner in the seventh. After allowing the first two runners to reach, Milner made the defensive play of the game. On a sharp grounder a little off the mound, Milner ranged to his left and made a quick throw to Luis Urias at second, who turned it to Keston Hiura at first to get the double play and eliminate the threat. Austin Nola would ground out the next batter up and end the inning.
That was the double play of the year by Hoby Milner!— Dominic Cotroneo (@Dom_Cotroneo) May 25, 2022
He just turned the hardest double play for a lefty. Epic epic epic play. pic.twitter.com/TeLZ5tbPMN
The Brewers bullpen continued to deliver. The theme of “next man up” rings true with the bullpen with Josh Hader out on the family emergency list. Trevor Gott came in as the set-up man, allowing just a single and no runs in the eighth. The usual set-up man Devin Williams came in as the closer, slamming the door and securing his third save of the season. The 4-1 win improves their record to 27-16, their best start in franchise history.
The Brewers will go for the series victory tomorrow afternoon, with first pitch at 3:10 pm CT. Aaron Ashby will be on the mound again Yu Darvish, you can watch the game in Bally Sports Wisconsin or listen on the Brewers Radio Network.