9:53p This was the best defense I’ve seen the Brewers play all year.
The Brewers defeated the Dodgers today, 3-0. The win made them 19-2 over their last 21 games (18 of them against the NL Central), and they are arguably the hottest team in baseball right now. Randy Wolf had another great start, going eight shutout innings and giving up six hits. He also walked five batters, but those didn’t matter much, due to four double plays. And, to top off the great defense, the Brewers turned their first triple play since 2009 against the Giants. The triple play was courtesy of some bad baserunning by Matt Kemp, but it was a triple play, nonetheless.
Anyway, the Brewers scored only three runs, all via solo home runs. They were also all off the three different pitchers that the Dodgers used- Ryan Braun hit one in the fourth inning off starter Ted Lilly, Jonathan Lucroy hit one off Scott Elbert in the 8th, and Corey Hart hit one off Mike MacDougal in the 8th. And that was really it.
Lilly actually dominated the Brewers today, as he always has. He went seven innings while giving up one run on just two hits. He walked two and struck out six. But, the Dodgers have killed all of their starting pitchers with awful run support, and tonight was no different.
Anyway, John Axford came in for the ninth and recorded his 35th save of the year. He actually got a double play of his own: a lineout to first baseman Prince Fielder, and since there was a man on first and on out, he just stepped on the bag to end the game. That was a good way for it to end for the Dodgers, since double (and a triple) plays were their issue all night long.
Wolf becomes fourth 10-game winner for Crew
With his win tonight, Wolf won his fourth consecutive decision, and became the Brewers’ fourth 10-game winner of the year. He now joins Yovani Gallardo (13-8), Zack Greinke (11-4), and Shaun Marcum (10-3) as a member of the club. Chris Narveson, the Brewers’ fifth starter, is currently on the DL, and his record of 8-6 will probably reach 10 wins before the year is up as well.
At long last, Hairston proves his worth
Before tonight, I didn’t see anything in Jerry Hairston Jr., one of the Brewers’ Trade Deadline acquisitions. But, tonight, he finally proved his worth. He’s no offensive machine, but he’s center field defense is spectacular, and that was proved by a highlight reel play he made today. In the fourth inning, Hairston robbed Kemp of a hit, then, got back up and doubled off Andre Ethier, who had reached first on a walk. If he can continue to play that kind of defense, I’ll be fine with him for the rest of the year.
Up next for the Crew…
The Brewers will play the second game of this four-game series with the Dodgers tomorrow and will send Gallardo (13-8, 3.67 ERA) to the mound. He’s coming off a bad start against the Cardinals, in which he gave up five runs (four earned) in just five innings. His numbers for his career against the Dodgers are just flat-out awful- 0-3 with a 10.80 ERA. I haven’t seen Gallardo’s career numbers against every team he’s faced, but I’d have to guess that these are by far the worst.
Anyway, for some reason, the Dodgers’ starter for tomorrow has yet to be officially announced, but I assume it’s going to be Clayton Kershaw (14-5, 2.72 ERA). This guy is incredible, and definitely an early Cy Young Award candidate. He’s been one of the few Dodgers pitchers to overcome the horrible run support, as shown by his 14 wins. I don’t know Kershaw’s career numbers against the Brewers (I can’t see them on MLB’s site because it hasn’t been officially announced), but I’m going to take a wild guess and say they’re probably better than Gallardo’s career numbers against the Dodgers.
And one more thing before I go- the Cardinals fell to the Pirates, 6-2. (Of course the Pirates win as soon as they leave Miller Park.) Anyway, that gives the Brewers a six-game cushion in between them and the second place Cardinals in the NL Central, which is big, since the Brewers have six games left against them this year.