What's with the rough starts? Chase Anderson wishes he knew.

What's with the rough starts? Chase Anderson wishes he knew.

Chase Anderson could only shake his head afterward and wonder what might have been after just having watched the Milwaukee Brewers’ offense nearly pull off a miraculous ninth-inning comeback at Miller Park on a steamy Sunday afternoon.

Had things broken just a little differently for him, and had the bullpen tightened down just a bit more after he’d departed, the story line would have been about the lift the team received from its biggest late-inning comeback of the season.

Instead, it was about a disappointing 10-9 loss to a Philadelphia Phillies team that battled back from a 13-2 drubbing Friday to capture the final two games and the series.

“I wanted to hold their offense down but really wasn’t able to do that,” Anderson said. “Our guys kept fighting back and it was really about how our team responded offensively.

“If we could have done just a little better in the pitching department, we’d probably have gotten a win today. It was very unfortunate.”

Coming off his best start of the season  – a seven-inning, one-hit shutout of the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday – Anderson turned in arguably his worst.

In 5 1/3 innings, the right-hander allowed five hits, a season-high six runs (all earned) and two walks with five strikeouts. He also surrendered two home runs after having not allowed any in his previous three starts.

Anderson was in a hole from the outset after allowing a single to César Hernández on his very first pitch and a two-run homer to Rhys Hoskins on his third.

It upped Anderson’s first-inning earned run average to 8.36 over 13 starts compared to 3.64 outside of the first.

“That’s a good question,” Anderson said when asked about his early struggles in games. “I don’t know. I’ve done certain things in my bullpens. Mindset-wise I feel like I’m in a good spot. I don’t know.

“It’s just one of those deals. That’s kind of been my thing since I was a kid. Obviously I need to correct it and work on it and get better at getting guys out quicker. Something to work on.”

The Brewers battled back with single runs in the first and third innings to tie it against tough right-hander Aaron Nola, only to see the Phillies get to Anderson again in the fourth.

This time it was a one-out walk issued to Carlos Santana that came back to bite Anderson, as longtime Brewer killer Maikel Franco followed with a homer to left that put Philadelphia’s lead back at two runs.

Anderson has allowed 15 homers through 77 1/3 innings compared to 14 in 141 1/3 for all of last season.

He rebounded to strike out the side in the fifth, and an RBI double from Travis Shaw and an RBI single from Jesús Aguilar got Anderson back to even at 4-4.

But Anderson gave up a one-out double and walk in the sixth before being pulled for Jeremy Jeffress.

“He got burned by a couple of homers today,” said manager Craig Counsell. “That was the big part about the outing. In between that, he did a nice job. But the thing that’s gotten him this year got him in trouble today again.”

Jeffress started by walking Franco, then a two-RBI single by Nick Williams made it 6-4.

A Christian Yelich RBI sacrifice fly cut it to 6-5 in the bottom half. Then Franco got to Taylor Williams for a two-out, two-RBI single in the seventh – snapping a streak of nine straight scoreless outings by the rookie.

Philadelphia added single runs eighth and ninth against an ill Adrian Houser and Corey Knebel, respectively, leaving the score at 10-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Then the fireworks began.

Aguilar led off with a homer to left off Hector Neris. Jonathan Villar singled and Hernán Pérez doubled. Manny Piña popped out and Ryan Braun struck out, bringing Eric Thames to the plate.

Like Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports on Facebook for the latest Wisconsin sports updates right in your news feed.
Visit JS Sports on Facebook

Like Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports on Facebook for the latest Wisconsin sports updates right in your news feed.
Visit on Facebook

He responded by booming his second homer of the game to right, narrowing the gap to 10-9 and prompting a Phillies pitching change.

“Just A, don’t cramp and B, get a good pitch to hit,” Thames said when asked what he was thinking in the at-bat. His homers Sunday were his first since April 18.

“It was a long day for all of us; we were all out there crushing water non-stop and electrolytes. But for me, just getting a good pitch to hit. Neris is a good pitcher with a good split and a good fastball.

“I just put the barrel on the ball.”

Left-hander Jake Thompson came on to face Yelich, who’d already been on base three times on the day. He sent Thompson’s first offering to deep center, only to see Odubel Herrera – who’d homered in the previous inning off Knebel – track it down with a leaping catch to end it.

“We thought he went deep with just the way it looked off the bat,” said Thames. “Odubel made a great catch. That’s just the way the team’s been playing all year, and it’s exciting to be a part of that. We didn’t really give up. It was like tie game, down two, kept fighting and fighting.

“We were close to tying that game. It’s a game of inches.”

The Brewers out-hit the Phillies, 13-12, but went 3 for 16 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on.

“We put together a great inning in the ninth,” Counsell said. “We made them work hard for it.”

 

Phillies 10, Brewers 9: A late outburst isn't enough to overcome shaky pitching

Phillies 10, Brewers 9: A late outburst isn't enough to overcome shaky pitching

A series that opened on a high note for the Milwaukee Brewers ended with a decided thud on Sunday afternoon.

Chase Anderson surrendered two homers and a season-high six runs, and the normally reliable bullpen leaked oil for the second consecutive day as the Brewers came up just short against the Philadelphia Phillies, 10-9, at Miller Park.

Milwaukee’s pitchers surrendered runs in six of the nine innings as the Brewers lost a series it began with a 13-run outburst on Friday.

What appeared to be a foregone conclusion turned into an interesting game in the bottom of the ninth when Jesús Aguilar opened with a homer to pull the Brewers to within 10-6.

BOX SCORE: Phillies 10, Brewers 9

Jonathan Villar followed with a single and Hernán Pérez doubled to put runners in scoring positon with nobody out. After Manny Piña popped out and Ryan Braun struck out, Eric Thames slugged a three-run homer to right – his second homer of the game – to pull Milwaukee to within 10-9.

That prompted Phillies manager Gabe Kapler to pull Hector Neris in favor of Jake Thompson with Christian Yelich coming up. Yelich responded with a drive to deep center, but Odubel Herrera made a nice running catch heading toward the wall to end the game.

Interestingly, it was Herrera’s leadoff homer off Corey Knebel in the top of the ninth that proved to be the difference in the game.

Anderson found himself in a 2-0 hole just three pitches into the game after surrendering a first-pitch single followed by a Rhys Hoskins homer to left, a blow that upped his earned run average in the first inning this season to 8.36.

Like Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports on Facebook for the latest Wisconsin sports updates right in your news feed.
Visit JS Sports on Facebook

Like Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports on Facebook for the latest Wisconsin sports updates right in your news feed.
Visit on Facebook

The Brewers got a run back against Aaron Nola in the bottom of the frame when Thames led off with a homer to right, his first since April 17, then tied it in the third on an RBI double by Lorenzo Cain.

Philadelphia jumped back in front in the fourth when Carlos Santana drew a one-out walk and Maikel Franco homered to left to make it 4-2, snapping a string of nine straight batters retired by Anderson.

The homers were the first allowed by the right-hander since May 26 but Nos. 14 and 15 on the season through 13 starts and 75 1/3 innings compared to 14 in 25 starts and 141 1/3 innings in 2017.

Milwaukee appeared poised to answer once again after Villar doubled and Pérez walked. But Piña struck out and Thames flew out after Anderson bunted the runners up to second and third, leaving the Brewers 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

A couple clutch hits in the fifth earned the Brewers another tie, with Travis Shaw doubling in Cain and Aguilar blooping a single to right to score Shaw and chase Nola.

But Anderson allowed a double and a walk in the sixth, ending his day, and Jeremy Jeffress allowed a walk and two-RBI single immediately after taking over as the Phillies again went ahead at 6-4.

In 5 1/3 innings, Anderson (5-6) allowed five hits, a season-high six runs and two walks to go along with five strikeouts.

The Brewers got a run back in the bottom of the sixth on a Yelich RBI sacrifice fly, but it ultimately didn’t matter as a two-out, two-RBI single by Franco off Taylor Williams made it an 8-5 game.

The game took an ugly turn in the eighth as rookie Adrian Houser, who’d been recalled from Class AAA Colorado Springs earlier in the day, vomited behind the mound twice during his appearance.

Houser – perhaps hit hard by the tropical temperature and humidity – finished out the inning, allowing a run, before being replaced by Knebel in the ninth.

FIVE TAKEAWAYS

IT’S BEEN A WHILE: The Brewers had a pair of players making their first starts of the season at non-customary positions. Thames made his first start in left field since Oct. 1, 2017. Pérez, meanwhile, started at shortstop for the first time since May 6, 2017. Thames is the fourth  Brewer to start a game in left this season and seventh player to start a game in the outfield overall while Pérez is the fourth to start a game at shortstop.

WELCOME BACK: Rookie Freddy Peralta will be recalled from Class AAA Colorado Springs to start Tuesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, the Brewers announced. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA in two previous starts for the Brewers and 6-1 with a 2.75 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 12 starts (59 innings) for the Sky Sox.

MAMA’S BOYS: The Brewers entered Sunday with the second-worst record all-time in Father’s Day games at 19-32, with only the Texas Rangers (21-38) faring worse. Conversely, the Brewers are have the best record in the major leagues on Mother’s Day at 33-19.

ELITE COMPANY: Ryan Braun entered Sunday with a .300 batting average, 310 homers and 200 stolen bases in 10-plus years in the majors. Only four players have reached those marks over the course of their entire careers – Hank Aaron, George Brett, Willie Mays and Larry Walker.

REHAB ROAD: Wade Miley pitched a simulated game earlier Sunday, and manager Craig Counsell said the left-hander will next head out to Class AA Biloxi for what will be a lengthy rehab process as he continues to work his way back from a strained right oblique.

“The 60-day DL kind of dictates things for Wade,” Counsell said. “It’s going to be at least four starts because of that but he’s also been out longer, as well.”

RECORD

This year: 42-29

Last year: 38-33

ATTENDANCE

Sunday: 40,985

This year: 1,201,676 (34,334 avg.)

Last year: 991,896 (28,340 avg.)

COMING UP

Monday: Brewers at Pirates, 6:05 p.m. Milwaukee RHP Jhoulys Chacín (6-1, 3.32) vs. Pittsburgh RHP Trevor Williams (5-4, 4.38). TV: FS Wisconsin. Radio: AM-620.

 

A rare shaky afternoon for Aaron Nola in Milwaukee

A rare shaky afternoon for Aaron Nola in Milwaukee

Aaron Nola had his shortest outing in over a year as the Phillies looked to win a series in Milwaukee. By Corey Seidman

Aaron Nola turned in a rare poor start Sunday in Milwaukee with his shortest outing since May 31, 2017 – a span of 36 starts.

Nola was pulled after Jesus Aguilar dropped a bloop single in between second base and right field to tie the game at 4-4. He had begun the frame with a two-run lead.

Nola was heavily reliant on his curveball in this one. At one point he had thrown 26 fastballs and 23 curves. He ended with 41 four-seamers, nine two-seamers, 26 curveballs and 16 changeups.

For the early part of the afternoon, Nola’s approach was working. He generated 10 called strikes and four swinging strikes with the curveball after watching the Brewers (aside from Christian Yelich) hack at first-pitch fastballs all weekend.

But this a tough Milwaukee lineup. Lorenzo Cain and Yelich make every pitcher work, and Eric Thames, Aguilar and Travis Shaw can hit one out at any point.

Nola’s final line was 4⅓ innings, 7 hits, 4 earned runs, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts in 92 pitches.

He didn’t factor into the decision, so Nola is 8-2 with a 2.55 ERA through 15 starts. Even after a short outing, his 95⅓ innings rank second in the National League behind only Max Scherzer.

Can Hernán Pérez provide what Orlando Arcia hasn't? 'We'll give it a shot.'

Can Hernán Pérez provide what Orlando Arcia hasn't? 'We'll give it a shot.'

The quest to generate some offense at shortstop continued Sunday, with Hernán Pérez getting his first start of the season in the Milwaukee Brewers’ series finale with the Philadelphia Phillies at Miller Park.

Pérez came to the major leagues as a shortstop but has since carved out a niche with the Brewers as a highly versatile utility man, with 27 starts spread over five positions – second base, third base, left field, center field and right field – this season.

With Orlando Arcia emerging as the team’s regular at shortstop since making his major-league debut in August of 2016, Pérez has seen only sporadic time there since. His last start prior to Sunday came May 6 of last year, and he’d played six innings at shortstop spread over two games this season.

Like Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports on Facebook for the latest Wisconsin sports updates right in your news feed.
Visit JS Sports on Facebook

Like Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports on Facebook for the latest Wisconsin sports updates right in your news feed.
Visit on Facebook

But with Arcia hitting .204 and slugging .265, Pérez got the nod. The Brewers came into Sunday with Arcia, Eric Sogard and Tyler Saladino combining to give them the worst OPS in the majors at shortstop at a collective .510.  

“I think he’s been swinging the bat pretty well, so we’ll give it a shot,” manager Craig Counsell said of Pérez. “He’s more than capable of it. He’ll catch the balls hit to him and make the plays. At times we may take a look at this.”

Arcia never got going at the plate this season, with his high-water mark a .229 average May 4. After dropping to .194 on May 24 he was optioned to Class AAA Colorado Springs with the hope of getting him going with the bat.

Saladino took over the job at shortstop and was providing a spark offensively when he suffered a sprained left ankle and landed on the disabled list May 30. Arcia was recalled after getting only 15 at-bats with the Sky Sox, and he’s hitting .238 with two runs batted in since returning.

Arcia’s high-level defense – his 10 defensive runs saved ties him for fifth-most in the majors with, among others, teammate Lorenzo Cain – still merits him receiving the lion’s share of playing time at shortstop, Counsell says.

“I’m going to tell you still that I think Arcia is the best option there and the guy that is preferable to get going and to be the guy that’s going to be out there every single day,” Counsell said. “We’ll continue to try to find ways to help Orlando get on track, and I think there will be times and matchups where we’ve got to take a chance at something a little different and with trying to get some offense and sacrificing some defense.”

After his own slow start at the plate, Pérez has shown signs of life. He had three hits, including a homer, in a 13-2 victory Friday and a double in his only at-bat Saturday.

Pérez is hitting .266 with four homers and 14 RBI overall.

Bullpen shuffle: The Brewers continued their here-today-gone-tomorrow approach in the bullpen by optioning Jorge López to Colorado Springs before the game and recalling right-hander Adrian Houser.

López pitched the final two innings of Milwaukee’s 4-1 loss on Saturday, making him the odd man out Sunday as the team dipped into the minors for another fresh arm.

“They’ve done a very nice job,” Counsell said, referring to the group of pitchers that’s ridden the Colorado Springs shuttle this season.

“Every time we’ve asked them, it’s often been a multiple-inning appearance, they’ve kind of completed the job and done it well. Lopez, Houser, Alec Asher did it, Brandon Woodruff‘s done it. I’m probably forgotten somebody but we’ve had a number of guys who have done well.

“They know what’s happening. They’re kind of sharing a roster spot, almost. So they know they’re going to be back.”

Houser is in his third stint with the Brewers this season, and it’s likely to be another short one as the team announced Freddy Peralta will be starting Tuesday’s game in Pittsburgh.

He pitched four scoreless innings with six strikeouts in two previous appearances for the Brewers. He was 1-0 with a 2.70 earned run average in three starts with the Sky Sox leading into his latest promotion.

 

With Orlando Arcia still mired in a slump, Hernán Pérez gets a start at shortstop

With Orlando Arcia still mired in a slump, Hernán Pérez gets a start at shortstop

The quest to generate some offense at shortstop continued on Sunday, with Hernán Pérez getting his first start of the season in the Milwaukee Brewers’ series finale with the Philadelphia Phillies at Miller Park.

Pérez came to the major leagues as a shortstop but has since carved out a niche with the Brewers as a highly versatile utility man, with 27 starts spread over five different positions — second base, third base, left field, center field and right field — this season.

With Orlando Arcia emerging as the team’s regular at shortstop since making his major-league debut in August of 2016, Pérez has seen only sporadic time there since. His last start prior to Sunday came on May 6 of last year, and he’d played a total of just six innings at shortstop spread over two games this season.

But with Arcia hitting .204 and slugging .265, Pérez got the nod. The Brewers came into Sunday with Arcia, Eric Sogard and Tyler Saladino combining to give them the worst OPS in the majors at shortstop at a collective .510.  

“I think he’s been swinging the bat pretty well, so we’ll give it a shot,” manager Craig Counsell said of Pérez. “He’s more than capable of it. He’ll catch the balls hit to him and make the plays. At times we may take a look at this.”

Arcia never got going at the plate this season, with his high-water mark a .229 average on May 4. After dropping to .194 on May 24 he was optioned to Class AAA Colorado Springs with the hope of getting him going with the bat.

Saladino took over the job at shortstop and was providing a spark offensively when he suffered a sprained left ankle and landed on the disabled list May 30. Arcia was recalled from Colorado Springs after getting only 15 at-bats there, and he’s hitting .238 with two runs batted in since returning.

Arcia’s high-level defense — his 10 defensive runs saved ties him for fifth-most in the majors with, among others, teammate Lorenzo Cain — still merits him receiving the lion’s share of playing time at shortstop, Counsell says.

“I’m going to tell you still that I think Arcia is the best option there and the guy that is preferable to get going and to be the guy that’s going to be out there every single day,” Counsell said. “We’ll continue to try to find ways to help Orlando get on track, and I think there will be times and matchups where we’ve got to take a chance at something a little different and with trying to get some offense and sacrificing some defense.”

After his own slow start at the plate, Pérez has shown signs of life of late. He had three hits, including a homer, in a 13-2 victory Friday and a double in his only at-bat Saturday.

Pérez is hitting .266 with four homers and 14 RBI overall.

Bullpen shuffle: The Brewers continued their here today, gone tomorrow approach in the bullpen by optioning Jorge López to Colorado Springs before the game and recalling right-hander Adrian Houser.

López pitched the final two innings of Milwaukee’s 4-1 loss on Saturday, making him the odd man out Sunday as the team dipped back into the minors for another fresh arm.

“They’ve done a very nice job,” Counsell said, referring to the group of pitchers that’s ridden the Colorado Springs shuttle this season.

“Every time we’ve asked them, it’s often been a multiple-inning appearance, they’ve kind of completed the job and done it well. Lopez, Houser, Alec Asher did it, Brandon Woodruff‘s done it. I’m probably forgotten somebody but we’ve had a number of guys who have done well.

“They know what’s happening. They’re kind of sharing a roster spot, almost. So they know they’re going to be back.”

Houser is in his third stint with the Brewers this season, and it’s likely to be another short one as the team announced Freddy Peralta will be starting Tuesday’s game in Pittsburgh.

He’s pitched four scoreless innings with six strikeouts in two previous appearances for the Brewers. He was 1-0 with a 2.70 earned run average in three starts with the Sky Sox leading into his latest promotion.

Sunday Sundries: Milwaukee Brewers Week 12 in Review

Sunday Sundries: Milwaukee Brewers Week 12 in Review

3-and-3 weeks the rest of the way will get the Milwaukee Brewers to 88 wins or so. That might be good enough for the playoffs, but five winning weeks or so will get them to 93 wins and if that’s not good enough, so be it. The Brewers sit at 42-28, leading the Cubs by a half game, just like they did at the start of the week. The Cardinals are five back.

But two out of three wins in the series against the Cubs is encouraging, and solid pitching will help the team win another 50 games or so. I hope.

Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers ChACE! (or Ace Chanderson – your choice) Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

TOP PITCHING STORY: Pitchers not named Boone Logan and Matt Albers were really good for the Brewers last week. In 52.2 innings they carried an ERA of 1.37 and a WHIP of 1.07. Jacob Barnes made his presence felt with three scoreless appearances spread across 3.1 innings; it’s nice to add another effective arm in the ‘pen. Of course, Jacob is perhaps the most up-and-down pitcher on the roster. We’ll ride it out as long as he can keep it up.

BTW, pitchers named Boone Logan and Matt Albers worked 2.1 innings, with a 27.00 ERA and 5.57 WHIP. Eight hits allowed, four walks, a hit batter, and two homers allowed. Albers is on the DL, but Logan is still in the ‘pen. Who knows for how much longer.

Honorable Mention: Chase Anderson had a great start against the Cubs (Seven shutout innings, only one hit, two walks, six strikeouts). Just the fact that he beat the Cubs 1-0 is enough to celebrate. But a tremendous start by a struggling Chase (relatively speaking) is even better news.

Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers LoCain Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

TOP HITTING STORY: Lorenzo Cain has been a great influence on the Brewers’ offense. Maybe this is just an average week for him – .360/.407/.560 for OPS of .967. He clubbed two doubles, a homer, scored five runs, drove in another four (he hit third twice), and swiped two bags. Plus more good defense. What a fun player to have on our Milwaukee nine. Oh, and he did this:

Honorable Mention: Second base is looking better lately, and last week Hernan Perez was the main contributor (with some time at third thrown in). He played in all six games, starting three, and hit .409/.409/.786 with two doubles, a home run, and a steal. Nicely done, LBR!

IMHO: It’s a good thing Jonathan Villar and Hernan are playing well. Keston Hiura is really looking like the real deal as a hitter for AA Biloxi, after earning a promotion from the high-A Carolina Mudcats. He has actually gotten better since his promotion (SSS, of course), but his combined slash for 288 plate appearances this season is .333/.392/.533. An OPS of .925 looks nice on his resume, and so far he’s got 22 doubles, 3 triples, and 8 homers. He had two errors in the field for Biloxi, but none with the Mudcats. It is worth noting that he has started 28 of 65 games so far this season at second base, but he has made 13 starts at the keystone in 15 games since getting promoted to Biloxi.

I’m not going out on a limb here – Keston Hiura can simply hit. He has raked at every stop he’s made so far. He’s a major league talent playing in AA ball. I can’t wait for his arrival, whether it’s later this year or next season.

Please don’t trade him, David Stearns.

COMMENT OF THE WEEK: The Mets have fallen on hard times, so the press is assuming that they should start trading their good players. Their best player is right-handed pitcher Jacob deGrom. And he’s really, really good. So of course, Milwaukee is mentioned as a potential suitor.

Naturally, Hiura would be necessarily included in this hypothetical deal. Some folks are OK with that – deGrom is kinda awesome. stempke gives a fine argument:

I wouldn’t like it, but I’d be okay with it too

Aces don’t grow on trees. Especially Aces with 2 years of team control beyond this one. If DeGrom is unwilling to sign an extension, they would still be in a position to trade him down the road and recoup some of those prospects.

I don’t want to give a potentially special player for a rental like Machado. And while Realmuto is not a rental, catchers are unpredictable. They can go from being great offensive players to falling off a cliff due to all the nagging injuries they acquire.

It’s not the mountain ahead of you that wears you down, it’s the pebble in your shoe. ~ Muhammad Ali

Posted by stempke on Jun 16, 2018 | 8:46 AM

Have I mentioned that I don’t want Keston Hiura traded? Not for anybody.

Milwaukee goes for a series win today, then travels to Pittsburgh for a quick three-game road trip. The St. Louis Cardinals come to Miller Park over next weekend for a big four-game set. That’ll be seven straight divisional games. I have a sneaking suspicion that we are going to be looking at each week as crucial.

Have a great week everybody, and happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference