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  • Brewers 6, Cubs 2: Bad News Bears, Good News Brewers

    Jason Wang

    The Brewers seem unstoppable. They cruised into Wrigley Field and won their ninth game in a row Monday, making a statement in the process.

    Image courtesy of © David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

    Brewers Video

    Box Score

    Starting Pitcher: Wade Miley - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 82 pitches, 50 strikes (61.0%)
    Home Runs: Christian Yelich (17), Mark Canha (8)
    Top 3 WPA: Wade Miley (.128), Mark Canha (.108), Willy Adames (.102) 
    Bottom 3 WPA: Tyrone Taylor (-.035), Brice Turang (-.032), Andruw Monasterio (-.006) 

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)


    It’s Official - Wade Miley Is Good At Baseball
    Wade Miley might be your favorite pitcher’s favorite pitcher. He’s efficient, doesn’t use any fancy tricks, and is remarkably consistent. His strikeout rate of 5.8 per nine innings is a ways below the league average mark of 8.7, but his ability to pitch to contact is how he’s kept his ERA to a strong 3.17 over 93 2/3 innings.

    He put up a quality start against his old team, recording just one strikeout. He did manage to give up two home runs, one to Ian Happ and one to Patrick Wisdom, but these ended up being his only earned runs of the game.

    It was just his eighth start going six innings or more, an efficient 82-pitch workload allowing him to get there. He averages roughly 75 pitches per start, and at almost 37 years old, he continues to be an important contributor to the Brewers rotation. That being said, I wouldn’t expect him to repeat his 2021 no-hitter, nor would I expect him to have a Stephen Strasburg-type postseason performance anytime soon.

    Brewers Hit Big Right Off The Bat
    Milwaukee jumped out to 4-0 lead in the first inning, wasting no time establishing themselves against their division rival. Christian Yelich started things off with a leadoff home run, a 416-foot bomb to left center field. Did I mention this was on the third pitch of the game?

    After two singles and a sacrifice fly by Rowdy Tellez, Mark Canha took some time off from food blogging and hit a two-run home run to center field. No, Mark Canha is not usually known for his power. Yes, this home run traveled 436 feet and would’ve left the stadium in every ballpark in America.

    To tack on the team’s fifth run, William Contreras hit a single in the second inning to record his 63rd RBI of the season, just four fewer than team leader Christian Yelich. 

    Finally, Willy Adames continued to tear things up by hitting an RBI double in the seventh inning. He’s slashing .333/.385/.625 over the last 14 days.

    Cubs Left Dazed And Confused At The Plate
    In the final three innings, Brewers relievers combined to allow just one walk and one hit. Joel Payamps and Hoby Milner continued to be two of the most underrated relievers in baseball, reducing their already low ERAs to 2.09 and 2.18, respectively.

    Payamps also had Willy Adames to thank for keeping his hit count to just one with this fancy defensive play.

    What’s Next? 
    In the second game of the series, Corbin Burnes will face NL Cy Young contender Justin Steele. On the bright side, the Brewers have improved their ability to hit southpaws significantly since earlier in the season. Their team OPS stands at .717, 20th in MLB. Unfortunately, they’ll need all the luck they can get if they want to keep their winning streak alive. Steele is currently one of the best lefties in the sport, boasting a 2.80 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

    The Brewers have pulled five games ahead of the Chicago Cubs and seven games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds.

    Postgame Interviews

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

    B Wilson 0 0 0 53 0 53
    Megill 0 14 0 32 0 46
    Uribe 0 19 0 18 0 37
    Peguero 0 0 23 0 14 37
    Payamps 0 0 15 0 16 31
    Milner 0 0 0 13 18 31
    Chafin 0 26 0 0 0 26
    Williams 0 0 14 0 0 14

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