BrewCap: Braun Comes Up Clutch for Brewers
Ryan Braun forever. You see that tweeted out by yours truly and other members of Brewers Twitter. It is a saying that people have grown accustomed to seeing on social media. Why? Well, it is because Braunie is beloved by the real ones. He is a homegrown Brewers elite player. We don’t even need to mention what happened earlier this decade, it is not important. Many people believed thought this could be a big year for Braun, and he is off to a fast start. The Brewers outfielder played the difference in Milwaukee’s 4-3 victory over Cincinnati as the Brewers win their first road game of the year.
Player of the Game: Ryan Braun – As mentioned, he had the big hits in the game for the Crew. Braun had two doubles. One of them led to a Jesus Aguilar two-run single in the first inning. The second one drove in the winning run in the ninth inning off one of the best relievers in baseball, Raisel Iglesias. The Brewers left fielder did make an outfielder gaffe that led to an extra Cincinnati run, but I can forgive that in a Brewers victory. The cold makes us do dumb shit sometimes. Braun continues to punish the Reds at Great American Ballpark which causes Thom Brenneman to bristle his upper lip.
Honorable Mention: Zach Davies – Look, I know Davies only pitched five innings and gave up two runs. It doesn’t seem like that great of an outing, but consider this for me, it could have been far worse. Davies worked himself out of a jam in the first inning with the bases loaded, and he did the same thing to finish off his day in the fifth. That’s good stuff from the Brewers fifth starter. If Milwaukee can get that from him on a regular basis, it is more like the 2017 version than the 2018.
Thing I liked: Winning without the longball – I don’t want to sound like a baby boomer baseball fan, but it is nice to see the Brewers win a game without needing a home run. In the early part of the season, I think it is important to find ways to win that are not always the same because if you keep winning the same way, it becomes pattern-forming. Brewers thinking they could only win by deep flies would not be good for them long-term.
Thing I didn’t like: Have to tack on runs – Look, I get the weather felt very cold after the sun went down in Cincinnati, but Brewers still should look to add runs to their lead. They were up 3-0 from the jump and didn’t add an additional run until the ninth when Braun drove in Christian Yelich. Brewers did have some chances that they couldn’t take advantage of.
Next up: Brewers and Reds get going for their second game of the series. Jhoulys Chacin makes his second start of the year. Chacin was a better pitcher away from Miller Park last year, but he struggled in his two starts at Great American Ballpark. Hopefully, the cold can be an equalizer. Reds send Anthony DeScalfani to the hill. He has not been great versus the Crew for his career and a typically worse pitcher at home. The offense could be humming tonight.