BrewCap: Bullpen Implodes Late Leading to Blowout
Milwaukee Brewers kept things close for a while on Monday night. With the ball flying out of the ballpark, the Brewers trailed by one run heading into the latter part of the game. Then a bullpen blowup happened. We’ve seen it become more of a thing for this version of Brewers baseball. Jacob Barnes and Aaron Wilkerson combined to give up eight runs in the last three innings of the game resulting in a 13-5 loss. Using Wilkerson there versus a host of other relievers felt like a bit of a white flag move by Counsell. Brewers have now lost five of their last six games and are starting to inch closer to being at the .500 number.
Player of the Game: Dexter Fowler – After an abysmal 2018 season, it appears Dexter Fowler is back being a baseball player again. That is bad news, of course, for the Brewers. Fowler had a great game last night with four hits, four runs driven in and a home run. Brewers only got Fowler out once, but it was a hard task as he jumped all over every Brewers pitcher besides Jeremy Jeffress.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Braun – Even though the Brewers had five runs, they only had five hits. That’s not good. Braun did add two of those hits including a home run. It is good to see Braunie get a multi-hit and try to get a little hot here. If he could warm up, that would be a major plus for this Brewers team. The same could be said about Travis Shaw and Jesus Aguilar. Good to see Braun add some offense though and give Milwaukee a spark early on in this game.
Thing I liked: Jeremy Jeffress continues to progress – Bullpen did struggle again but there is a lone bright spot. The name is Jeremy Jeffress. He did well again out of the pen pitching a scoreless sixth inning with no real drama. In his first three appearances this year, Jeffress has not allowed a hit and minimal baserunners. I believe he’s ready to be the closer again.
Thing I didn’t like: Craig Counsell’s decision-making – At times last season, I questioned what Craig Counsell was doing with his bullpen. That happens with every fanbase of every MLB team. That is part of a calling card. Last night was puzzling to me. One, why did Adrian Hauser go out there for a fifth inning to face the top of the order for a third time? Not surprising, the Cardinals big bats jumped all over him. Second, Barnes is a solid choice considering how well he pitched prior to this game, but why did Wilkerson get the call after him? It didn’t feel like the right move at the time.
Highlight of the night: Braun gets the party started
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) April 23, 2019
Next up: Brewers get ready for Game 2 with the Cardinals and hope for better pitching with a dash of more offense. Crew sends Zach Davies to the hill to face Daniel Ponce De Leon. Davies has been fantastic to start the young season.He has been pretty good at Busch Stadium for his career. The right-hander has been much better for his career on the road. Ponce De Leon faced the Crew once last season but only for an inning of work.