SP: Freddy Peralta: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (55 pitches, 35 strikes (63.6%)
Home Runs: None
Top 3 WPA: Kolten Wong (0.336), Brent Suter (0.250), Freddy Peralta (0.212)
Bottom 3 WPA: Rowdy Tellez (-0.322), Luis Urias (-0.303 , Christian Yelich (-0.268)
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
Peralta’s Impressive Start
When we learned after Saturday night’s loss that Freddy Peralta would be the Brewers starter on Sunday, it was sort of assumed that it might be just as an opener. And, technically, that is what he did. However, instead of opening with an inning or two, he gave the Brewers four scoreless innings. While not terribly efficient, he needed 55 pitches to get through four innings, but he gave up just two hits and didn’t walk a batter.
His performance on Sunday was a good reminder of how good he can be, and how good he has been the past couple of seasons. It is also creates the question of what could have been. He missed about two months earlier in the season with some shoulder issues. Then in early September, he was placed back on the IL with ‘shoulder fatigue.’ He has returned but in a very limited capacity. If healthy - something that should never be fully counted on for any pitcher - he likely would have made 14-15 more starts this year, and how many more wins might that win for the Brewers? And what might the Brewers playoff situation be right now?
Seventh Not Heaven
After Peralta left the ballgame, he was replaced by Hoby Milner. The southpaw got four outs, three of them on strikeouts. He gave up just one hit. Justin Topa came on and recorded the final two outs of the sixth inning.
Then came the seventh inning.
Topa returned to the mound. Avisail Garcia doubled to left and Saturday’s Marlin hero Bryan De La Cruz had an infield single. Craig Counsell turned to lefty Taylor Rogers. Peyton Burdick (another Saturday star) singled to right field to score Garcia as the first run of the game. De La Cruz ran the bases well and advanced to third base. Jacob Stallings came to the plate and hit a fly ball to left field, easily deep enough to score De La Cruz and give the Marlins a 2-0 lead.
Rogers gave up a single to Jordan Groshans to put runners on first and second. Rogers got Lewin Diaz to pop out for the second out but then walked lefty Joey Wendle to load the bases. At that point, Matt Bush was brought in and got a huge strikeout to end the inning and keep the deficit at just two runs.
Lopez Locks Up Brewers Hitters
Marlins starter Pablo Lopez made his 32nd start of the season, one more than the two previous two seasons. Coming into the game, he was 0-0 with a 3.90ERA. After shutting down the Brewer for seven innings, his day was done with 96 pitches. He gave up just two hits. He walked three batters but he struck out seven.
But then… Missed Opportunity
In the eighth inning, Lopez was taken out and lefty Richard Bleier was brought in. The inning started with a single by a pinch-hitting Luis Urias. That was followed by a pinch-hit double by Tyrone Taylor. It was a ground-rule double, so the Brewers were left with runners on second and third base and nobody out.
Christian Yelich came up and grounded out to second base for the second out, but it did drive in Urias with the Brewers’ first run. With Willy Adames coming to the plate, Don Mattingly turned to his closer, Dylan Floro, for the final out of the inning. He came through with a strikeout of Adames, and what started as a huge opportunity ended with the Brewers still down by a run in the ninth inning.
The Ninth Inning
Brad Boxberger came on for the ninth inning and had a very quick inning which brought the Brewers to bat needing a run to keep their playoff chances at least reasonable.
Rowdy Tellez led off with a fly out to left field. On an 0-2 count, Hunter Renfroe took a fastball away and drove it down the right field line for a double. Game-tying runner at second base with one out. On the first pitch, Kolten Wong got jammed but flared a liner down the left field line. Renfroe rounded third and headed home with the game-tying run. On the throw, Wong advanced to second base. As was noted on the telecast, it marked the first Brewers hit with a runner in scoring position since Friday.
Andrew McCutchen’s plate appearance started with a 3-0 count before he was intentionally walked. With runners on first and second, Luis Urias was jammed and hit into a double play. But, the game continued and went to extra innings.
The Tenth Inning
Brent Suter came in and got a little help from his defense. However, with one out (thanks to a great diving catch by Adames) Joey Wendle slapped a single to left that scored The Manfred Man from second base with the go-ahead run. Another lineout to shortstop and a Suter strikeout, and the Brewers came to bat in the bottom of the inning down by a run.
The Marlins turned to Tommy Nance. Luis Urias started the inning on second base. Tyrone Taylor came to bat and worked a walk to fill first base.
Victor Caratini, who came in behind the plate in the ninth inning, laid down a good sacrifice bunt to advance runners to second and third with one out.
Christian Yelich came to the plate against his former team with the infield in. He hit a hard ground ball right at the second baseman who threw home. The ball was well ahead of Urias, but a creative slide made it closer than it maybe should have been. Wisely, Craig Counsell came out and challenged both the out call and blocking of the plate. The out call was confirmed and there was clearly no blocking of the plate.
With two outs and runners on first and third, Willy Adames came to the plate, hoping to extend the game. Adames has been struggling, but on a 1-0 count, he hit a soft single to left field to drive in the Manfred Man and keep the game going.
Rowdy Tellez popped out and the game moved on to the…
Brent Suter returned to the mound to start the 11th inning with a runner on second base. He walked the leadoff man. However, Bryan De La Cruz grounded to short and Adames started a double play. With a runner still on third, left JJ Bleday popped out to end the inning.
Hunter Renfroe surprised probably everyone by placing a terrific sacrifice bunt down the first base line to advance Hiura to third base. Kolten Wong was intentionally walked to set up an inning-ending double play. Andrew McCutchen worked the count full before walking to load the bases.
Luis Urias came to the plate for the third time, and he only entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch hitter. He had a seven-pitch at-bat, but it ended in a strikeout. With two outs and the bases loaded, Tyrone Taylor came to the plate trying to end the game. Instead, he grounded to third base to end the inning on a force out.
I find myself asking if things might have been different if Hunter Renfroe would have just hit away, especially considering how well he has been hitting of late. It's a question that will never have a certain answer.
Trevor Gott replaced Suter and got the first two batters out. However, veteran Miguel Rojas slapped a two-strike single to right to drive in the go-ahead run. Jordan Groshans followed with another single before striking out Jon Berti to end the inning. But the Brewers were again in a must-score situation in the bottom of the 12th.
Tyrone Taylor was the Manfred Man for Milwaukee. Lefty Tanner Scott took over for the Marlins. Victor Caratini led off and struck out. Yelich came to the plate again and after falling behind 1-2, he worked a walk to put runners and second and third with one out.
Willy Adames got the crowd excited with a fly ball to left field and ended in the left fielder's glove for the second out. Keston Hiura came to the plate for the first time in the game. He struck out to end the game.
The final regular-season series of the season begins on Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Here are the pitching matchups:
Monday at 6:10: Brandon Woodruff (13-4, 3.05 ERA) vs Tommy Henry (3-4, 5.98 ERA)
Tuesday at 6:10: Eric Lauer (10-7, 3.83 ERA) vs Zac Gallen (12-3, 2.46 ERA)
Wednesday at 3:10: Corbin Burnes (12-8, 2.98 ERA) vs Merrill Kelly (13-8, 3.43 ERA)
Let’s throw the Phillies pitching matchups in Houston:
Monday at 7:10: Aaron Nola (10-13, 3.36 ERA) vs Lance McCullers, Jr. (4-1, 2.38 ERA)
Tuesday at 7:10: Ranger Suarez (10-6, 3.47 ERA) vs Justin Verlander (17-4, 1.80 ERA)
Wednesday at 3:10: Bailey Falter (6-4, 3.90 ERA) vs Framber Valdez (16-6, 2.89 ERA)
Wild Card Scenarios
The Phillies were in Washington DC where Hurricane Ian’s remnants were passing through on Sunday. They led 8-1 after six innings, and after a long rain delay, it was called.
Brewers: 3 at home vs Arizona
Phillies: 3 at Houston
So the Brewers are now one game out of a playoff spot. Because of the tiebreakers, the Phillies will have to finish a game ahead of the Phillies to take the final Wild Card spot.
If the Brewers go 3-0, they need the Phillies to go 0-3.
If the Brewers go 2-1, 1-2 or 0-3, the Phillies go to the playoffs.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
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