- Brewers gaining on Padres and Phillies in Wild Card race.
- Historic outing for Burnes last week helps the crew.
The Milwaukee Brewers are still hanging on to playoff hopes by a thread. They remain two games out of the last Wild Card spot with a little less than one month left.
A Rare Doubleheader
On Thursday, the Brewers played their first true doubleheader in Milwaukee since 2000, before the opening of then, Miller Park. In the spring, the league and its players could not end a lockout over the new collective bargaining agreement soon enough to start the season on time, so the Brewers and Giants played a twin-bill Thursday to help make up for it the lost games. The last time a doubleheader was held in Milwaukee was at County Stadium on September 23, 2000. The Brewers lost the first and won the second against the Pittsburgh Pirates 22 years ago.
Historic Outing for Burnes
Last year’s NL Cy Young, Corbin Burnes, led off game 1 for the Brewers. Burnes had been struggling leading up to Thursday’s start with 17 earned runs in his previous four games. However, something must have clicked for Burnes because Thursday was a historic start that looked reminiscent of the star pitchers form from last season. Burnes threw 14 strikeouts over eight innings, which was one shy of the franchise single-game record. It was the seventh time in franchise history that a pitcher has struck out 14 or more batters, and it was Corbin’s third time reaching that mark. Burnes also tied Ben Sheets’s single-season record with nine 10+ strikeout games Thursday.
Game One Win
Burnes did give up an RBI double to Mike Yastrzemski in the third inning. However, the Brewers took the lead via a pair of RBI doubles from Christian Yelich and Hunter Renfroe in the fourth inning. That was all the scoring for game one, with Burnes handing over a 2-1 lead to Devin Williams, who closed out the game in the ninth.
The Brewers jumped to an early lead in game two against the Giants Thursday evening. They scored two off an Evan Longoria throwing error from a ball hit by Hunter Renfroe. Keston Hiura backed that up with a sacrifice fly later in the inning to Christian Yelich from the third base making it 3-0. Freddy Peralta’s outing Thursday did not last long as he was removed from the game with shoulder fatigue in the third inning after just 44 pitches. Peralta spent a little under 11 weeks on the IL earlier this season with shoulder issues, and he appears to be headed back on the shelf in the coming days. The Brewers got an insurance run from a Garrett Mitchell double in the sixth. They gave up two runs late in the game, but the bullpen did enough to close out a 4-2 win for the Brewers, making their first non-2020 doubleheader in Milwaukee a success.
The Brewers’ two wins Thursday propelled them upwards in the NL Wild Card race, with the Padres not in action and the Phillies losing. They welcome the Cincinnati Reds to American Family Field for a weekend series they need to win. The Padres play the Dodgers this weekend which could open up the door for the Brewer to gain more distance on San Diego as the season comes down to the wire.