Before tonight’s game, the Brewers got some unfortunate news; Wade Miley would be on the injured list with a posterior serratus strain, sidelining him for six to eight weeks. This injury impacts an already depleted rotation. In the absence of Brandon Woodruff, who is on the IL with a hamstring strain, Wade Miley has stepped up. He entered Friday with a 3-2 record and a 3.67 ERA. He stepped up in the face of adversity, and now someone else will have to carry the load while the Brewers get healthy again.
Adrian Houser has shown he has the stuff to do it. He had a 5.19 ERA going into tonight, but that was across just two starts after a delayed to start to his season. Tonight against the Rays, he kept the Brewers in it against the best team in baseball. Despite the effort, the offense continues to fall short. A great effort from the pitching staff doesn’t matter if the offense can’t get a run, and the Brewers lost to the Rays 1-0.
Houser did a good early on keeping the ball on the ground. Two groundouts got him out of the first, followed by another groundout in the second and a pair of groundouts in the third. Scoreless through three, the Brewers couldn’t muster much offense. Shane McClanahan got the start for the Rays, and he was sharp as well. It’s been well-documented that the Brewers have struggled against left-handers — they’ve batted just .216 against them so far in 2023. They had a chance in the second, but Willy Adames got thrown out at third trying to advance on a lineout.
The two teams kept going back and forth, trading empty innings. There would be some threats, such as Josh Lowe getting to second after Randy Arozarena was thrown out trying to advance to third on a single. That would result in nothing, just as a double from William Contreras in the sixth led to nothing. Getting into scoring position with only one out, Christian Yelich fouled out and Willy Adames grounded out to third to end the threat.
Adrian Houser’s night would be done after six innings. He exited with four strikeouts, four hits, one walk, and zero runs. Shane McClanahan would exit an inning later. His line read seven strikeouts while giving up just six hits and one walk. The bullpens would take over with the score still 0-0.
The Brewers had another chance in the top of the eighth. Owen Miller got on with a single and then made it to second with a stolen base. He advanced to third via a groundout from Yelich. With a chance to put the Brewers ahead, Adames struck out swinging.
With Peter Strezlecki on the mound in the bottom of the inning, the Rays found a run. It was a string of errors that contributed to what would be the deciding run. A leadoff hit by pitch got Luke Raley on. He then found himself standing on third following a throwing error from Contreras on a stolen base attempt. Francisco Mejia drove him in with a sacrifice fly to left, making it 1-0.
The Brewers gave themselves one more shot in the ninth. Jessie Winker led off with a hit. Brice Turang then took over to pinch run, stealing second following a Mike Brosseau flyout. A wild pitch allowed Turang to get to third. With two outs and the tying run 90 feet away, Tyrone Taylor hit a soft grounder to closer Pete Fairbanks. Despite logging eight hits, the Brewers could get no runs, as they lost the opener to the Rays, 1-0.