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  • Brewers 9, Rangers 8: Brewers Fend Off Late Rangers Rally

    Jason Wang

    Milwaukee narrowly avoids blowing a significant lead but do just enough to escape with the win against a tough competitor.

    Image courtesy of © Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Brewers Video

    Box Score

    Starting Pitcher: Brandon Woodruff - 5.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 92 pitches, 63 strikes (68.5%)
    Home Runs: Carlos Santana (17)
    Top 3 WPA: Carlos Santana (.276), William Contreras (.237), Christian Yelich (.161) 
    Bottom 3 WPA: Andruw Monasterio (-.120), Brandon Woodruff (-.112), Elvis Peguero (-.093) 

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)


    Woodruff Cruises Until Fourth
    Despite facing a fearsome offense, Brandon Woodruff pitched well for the first three innings. The only baserunner he gave up was Marcus Semien who was able to draw a leadoff walk. The first time through the order he was, in every sense of the word, grooving.

    Things immediately went south in the fourth inning. A two-run home run by Nathaniel Lowe was followed by another home run by Mitch Garver to score the Rangers’ first three runs of the game. 

    Although he retired the next five batters in a row and made it to the sixth inning, a double by Corey Seager, a pitch count approaching 100, and Adolis Garcia coming to the plate meant that it was time for the bullpen to step in.

    Hitting Heats Up
    While it may have seemed like an offensive mismatch heading into the game, the Brewers held their own when it came to scoring runs. Milwaukee hit three doubles in the third inning and a single to take a 3-0 lead. After the Rangers pulled ahead to a 4-3 lead heading into the seventh inning, Carlos Santana sent a ball into the right field seats to score three runs and retake the lead at 6-4.

    The Brewers kept it going in the eighth inning, loading the bases on two hits and an intentional walk of Christian Yelich. Contreras hit a two-run single to continue the onslaught and a Mark Canha groundout would allow another to score, bringing the Brewers lead to a dominant 9-4. 

    At this point, the Brewers had a win probability of 98.4% and it seemed like a surefire win against a highly competitive opponent, but the Rangers were saving their best for last.

    Nail-Biter Of A Ninth
    Down by five runs, there didn’t seem to be much of a chance for Texas to comeback in front of their home crowd. Andrew Chafin took the mound and just needed to get three outs without taking too much damage.

    After a walk and a double placed two runners in scoring position, J.P. Martinez grounded out to score the first run of the inning. Ezequiel Duran slapped a pinch-hit double to score another run and the score was now 9-6. Not wanting to take more risks with Chafin, Devin Williams was brought in to get the last two outs.

    Travis Jankowski hit a double to score Duran and bring the lead to 9-7 before a wild pitch by Williams allowed him to advance to third. With just one out, Williams would have to face the top of the order, namely Marcus Semien and Corey Seager.

    Semien was relegated to a ground out but one that scored Jankowski and brought the tying runner to the plate. Seager hit a ball that threatened to tie the game but an incredible leap from Sal Frelick finally put an end to the comeback and gave Milwaukee the win. 

    What’s Next? 
    Freddy Peralta will duel Dane Dunning on the mound in the second game of the series. How Milwaukee performs against Texas could be a preview of how the team will stack up against playoff-caliber competition. 

    The Brewers are currently 2.0 games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds and 3.0 games ahead of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. 

    Postgame Interviews

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

    Chafin 0 0 22 0 19 41
    Milner 0 22 0 0 9 31
    Uribe 0 0 20 0 9 29
    B Wilson 0 29 0 0 0 29
    Payamps 0 0 0 19 0 19
    Megill 0 0 17 0 0 17
    Peguero 0 0 0 0 17 17
    Williams 0 0 0 0 9 9

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