BrewCap: Hader Closes The Door on Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs had two slugfests to start their weekend series with both teams taking one game. It figured that Game 3 would be a different type of feel. The game remained close due to the Brewers not capitalizing on some early opportunities to add more runs, and Chicago’s bullpen actually looking competent for the first time this season. Cubs tried to battle back in the 7th inning when Craig Counsell made the call to Josh Hader. Hader came in the seventh and carried the Brewers to the finish line with an old-school closer appearance. Brewers win their third straight series and have won their first eight of 10 all against division opponents.
Player of the Game: Josh Hader – Have a 25th birthday, Josh Hader! This is the way to celebrate. Counsell did the right thing by bringing in Hader in the 7th inning as the game probably gets decided there. Cubs added runners on the corners with one out with their big bats coming up. Brewers relied on their best reliever to get out Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. He did just that with a pop up by Bryant and strikeout of Rizzo. Hader got eight outs with two strikeouts and no hits allowed. He is the best.
Honorable Mention: Zach Davies – What a start to the year for Davies. He has allowed two unearned runs in his 10 innings of work to start the year. He gave up a home run to Willson Contreas that honestly was not a bad pitch. Contreas did a masterful job on that pitch. Davies pitched more to contact in this game only striking out one batter but did his job without question. This is stark contrast to Davies’ usual starts to the season. In the last three years, the Brewers right hander carried a 5.88 ERA in April. Good to see he is off to a quick start.
Thing I liked: Counsell showed some guts – The Brewers manager did not fuck around in this game. He could have gotten cute and tried to use another reliever in the seventh yet he knew that was when the closer mattered the most. That’s a new school way of thinking towards the game of baseball, and it deserves credit when it happens in a game. I’m sure Counsell and Brewers pitching coach Chris Hook had a plan if they needed someone after Hader, but they had confidence he could shut down Chicago.
Thing I didn’t like: You have to capitalize on opportunities – Brewers left way too many runners on base in this game early on. They could have easily broke this game wide open, and instead, they settled for a single run in each the third and fourth innings. Brewers have to tack on in those situations. It is nice to get one run, but this game could have easily been a breeze for Milwaukee if someone came up in the clutch.
Highlight of the Day: Joe Maddon and Craig Counsell’s chess match
Next up: West coast Brewers! If you’ve heard me on podcasts in the past, I love when the Brewers are out west. There is something about watching baseball until the wee hours of the night. Brewers have a six-game road trip to Los Angeles. The first stop is Anaheim where the Angles have won two straight and Mike Trout is on fire. Trevor Cahill goes for the Halos who is a great home ballpark pitcher. He has good career numbers versus the Crew. Jhoulys Chacin gets the ball for Milwaukee. Chacin pitched well at Angel Stadium in the past.