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  • Cubs 4, Brewers 0: Brewers Shut Out on Opening Day

    Seth Stohs

    On Opening Day at Wrigley, it was Marcus Stroman who outdueled Corbin Burnes. One bad inning really was the downfall of the Brewers in this one. The offense just did not produce. They had one opportunity but a double play ended that threat. The highlights from this game were the MLB debuts of Bryce Turang and Gus Varland. 

    Image courtesy of Kamil Krzaczynski, USA Today

    Brewers Video

    Box Score
    SP: Corbin Burnes: 5 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K (90 pitches, 53 strikes (58.9%)
    Home Runs: None. 
    Bottom 3 WPA: Corbin Burnes (-0.207), Rowdy Tellez (-0.173), Jesse Winker (-0.116)

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Burnes Start  
    A simple look at the box score will tell us that Burnes wasn’t fully on his game. At least two of the four runs he gave up in the third inning should not have scored. A couple of misplays really cost the team that inning. 

    But Burnes wasn’t quite there. He threw a lot of pitchers and struggled with command at times. Nothing to worry about. His “stuff” looked fine, and there wasn’t really a lot of hard contact off of him. 

    Rough Third Inning. 
    It started with a leadoff walk to Patrick Wisdom which was followed by a fielder's choice. A single put runners on first and third base with one out. Dansby Swanson singled to right to score Wisdom. Willy Adames cut off the throw from right and threw wildly to first. That allowed the second run to score. Burnes walked another batter before getting Cody Bellinger to strikeout for the second out. Trey Mancini singled to left field to score Swansong and Ian Happ advanced to third base. Next, Yan Gomes hit a bounding ball up the middle. Adames fielded it fairly close to the bag and decided to step on it himself. However, Mancini ran hard and beat Adames to the bag. Fielder's Choice and a fourth run for the Brewers. Two walks, an error and another misplay isn't going to help a team win. 

    Turang Talk  
    We all saw the video of manager Craig Counsell informing Brice Turang that he had made the Brewers Opening Day roster. Following the initial response, Counsell asked if Turang wanted to start. Turang’s response? “Absolutely!” 

    On Thursday, Turang batted ninth and played second base. His first at-bat came in the top of the third inning. Against Marcus Stroman, he hit a bounding ball toward second base and beat it out with his speed. Nico Hoerner had to get rid of the ball so quickly and threw the ball away, allowing Turang to reach second base. 

    Turang went 1-for-3 in the game. 


    Varland Debut 
    Following a scoreless sixth inning from Peter Strzelecki, Craig Counsell turned to Gus Varland to make his major-league debut. Things couldn’t have started out better. On four pitches, Varland struck out Miles Mastrobuoni

    He quickly got a ground out from Nico Hoerner. However, some good hitting saw Dansby Swanson and Ian Happ single. Cody Bellinger followed with a walk to load the bases. After a mound visit, Varland was able to get Trey Mancini to ground out to first base for the final out. 

    What did he show? Fastball sat between 95.5 mph and 96.7 mph. His slider and changeup were both 88-89 mph. He looked good. Looked confident. And I’m sure it was nice to just get that outing out of the way. 

    Unfortunately, his younger brother Louie is still in Ft. Myers. The plan was for him to fly to Chicago on Friday, so he wasn’t there for Gus’s big day. 

    What’s Next? 
    Brandon Woodruff will attempt to get the Brewers their first win of the year on Saturday when he takes on Cubs lefty Justin Steele. The game is scheduled to begin at 1:20 pm. 


    Postgame Interviews 


    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

    Varland 0 0 0 0 19 19
    Strzelecki 0 0 0 0 10 10
    Guerra 0 0 0 0 8 8
    Milner 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Williams 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Cousins 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Payamps 0 0 0 0 0 0
    B Wilson 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Bush 0 0 0 0 0 0

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    Funny, the bullpen that was considered to be questionable, was lights out today while the starting pitching & defense - our supposed strength - both looked mediocre today

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