BrewCap: Brewers Defense Holds Strong & Preserves Win
Milwaukee Brewers embarked on a 10-game three-city road trip starting up north in the land of Todd and Gordo (Sorrey!) facing off against Toronto Blue Jays for a two-game series. Jays are 1-5 to begin the year with Josh Donaldson battling a sore calf. The former MVP missed the game, but still, Jays held a potent offense. Brewers strong defense from catcher Manny Pina and shortstop Orlando Arcia prevented major innings from happening, and Milwaukee holding on for their third win of the year.
Player of the Game: Manny Pina (C) – I thought about going with Arcia here for his up-the-middle defense, but Pina gets the honors with a three-hit game including two doubles. Pina also has done a great job catching Wily Peralta thus far as the former Opening Day starter had another strong outing going six innings only allowing three runs. The cherry on top was gunning down Kevin Pillar in the sixth to end the inning as Peralta’s pitch count began to rise. For now, Pina should be the number one catcher. The team is 3-0 with him in the lineup plus he’s done well with the pitchers and hit the ball.
(Not) Player of the Game: Jonathan Villar (2B) – One part of this recap program is it will feel like we’re ragging on the same guy in this category, but Villar continues to be an issue. He made a critical error in the 7th that gave Troy Tulowitzki a batter on first which is never good considering Tulo’s numbers versus Brewers. Add to that, he went 0-for-5. Only good news is he made contact on all five at-bats. He might need some rest.
Player of the Game (Blue Jays) – Troy Tulowitzki – If anyone is bored and wants to look at all of the recaps I’ve done where I talk about how Troy Tulowitizki killed Brewers. He’s done it his whole career. He went 2-for-3 with all three RBI’s. Peralta couldn’t get him out.
Positive: Bullpen held strong – I’ll be honest with an average team, I didn’t feel great about having a one-run lead down the stretch. Bullpen relieved me of those concerns as Jacob Barnes, Corey Knebel and Netfali Feliz all did work in the pen keeping the lead at one pitching three scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Feliz getting Donaldson on a curveball strikeout was wonderful.
Negative: Pick up your ducks – Once again, Brewers struggled down to get ducks off the pond as they have since Dwight D. Eisenhower was in office. Brewers went an abysmal 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. They have to be better in those big moments and pick up the runners. Travis Shaw and Arica left multiple runners in scoring position.
Next up: We have Chase Anderson facing off against Marcus Stroman in what is fair to call a mismatch. Stroman showed ace-like stuff against Tampa last time out. Anderson pitched well against Colorado at home, but you just wonder when the home run machine will return. Still, Brewers getting 1 of 2 out of Toronto is okay with me.