Eric Lauer had one of his strongest starts in a while, but unfortunately, the Brewers offense and bullpen couldn’t back him up.
For the first five innings, Eric Lauer and Alex Cobb matched each other pitch for pitch. Lauer got into a bit of trouble in the second when Christian Yelich couldn’t catch a ball and it led to a Thairo Estrada double, and David Villar followed that with a walk. They wouldn’t score as a flyout by Luis Gonzalez ended the inning. That was the only scoring threat for 5 1⁄2 innings. The Giants scored first with a Darin Ruf home run, putting them up 1-0.
Cobb pitched into the eighth, and that’s when the Brewers managed to break through. Hunter Renfroe led off the inning with a double, and an error by Mike Yastrzemski allowed Renfroe to get to third. The Brewers cashed the run in immediately thanks to an Omar Narvaez sacrifice fly, and the game was tied at 1-1. John Brebbia came in to relieve Cobb after that. Jonathan Davis drew a walk and stole second to put a runner in scoring position for Yelich. Davis ran on the pitch with a 2-2 count, but Yelich struck out. Catcher Joey Bart threw out Davis, ending the inning with a double play.
Brent Suter came on in relief of Lauer for the eighth. After a strikeout to start the inning, he allowed back-to-back singles to Austin Slater and Wilmer Flores. Darin Ruf grounded out to move the runners up as the Brewers took the out at first, and Jandel Gustave came in to relieve Suter. He hit Evan Longoria with a pitch to load the bases. Then, with a 1-2 count to Yastrzemski, Gustave was charged with a highly questionable balk that brought in the go-ahead run. He struck out Yastrzemski to end the inning, but the Giants had the 2-1 lead.
The Brewers had a chance to tie it up in the ninth against Dominic Leone. Willy Adames led off the inning with a single, and a pickoff throwing error let him reach second. However, none of the Brewers batters could take advantage, as they went down in order after that to end the game.
Eric Lauer had a strong game, pitching seven innings and allowing just one run, two hits, and three walks with four strikeouts. Alex Cobb mostly matched him, with 7 1⁄3 innings pitched and one run, four hits and five strikeouts. Brent Suter was charged with the go-ahead run in his 2⁄3 innings of work, but it was Gustave who gave up the go-ahead run on his balk in 1⁄3 of an inning.
Willy Adames was the only Brewer to reach base multiple times today, going 2-for-4. Christian Yelich, Rowdy Tellez and Kolten Wong each had 0-for-4 days. The offense as a whole was 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position, with three of those five at-bats coming in the ninth inning.
It’s been a rough stretch for the Brewers with some of these recent losses. Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a quick breakdown of them:
Brewers last 6 losses have all been tough. One subsequent blow after another.— Curt Hogg (@CyrtHogg) July 17, 2022
-Blew 1-0 lead in 8th (peak win exp. 79%)
-Blew 3-0 lead in 7th (92%)
-Blew 4-3 lead in 6th (68%)
-Walk-off 3-run homer (58%)
-Blew 5-2 lead in ninth (97%)
-Give up go-ahead run in 8th on a balk (56%)
The Brewers will try to get a series split going into the All-Star Break. They are switching it up tomorrow, pulling planned starter Jason Alexander and starting Aaron Ashby on short rest instead. With the break set to begin afterwards, it could end up being a bit of a bullpen day. Logan Webb will start for the Giants on the other side. First pitch is at 3:05 PM, and it will be on Bally Sports Wisconsin and the Brewers Radio Network. It will also be the free game of the day on MLB.TV.