TOP PLAY? WEIRDEST PLAY (WPA):
On April 15th, I saw one of the weirdest plays in baseball. The Brewers were facing the Cardinals and Wily Peralta just gave a two-run home run to Randal Grichuk. Grichuk, however, passed Moss on the base paths who was tagging at first base. The problem was that neither the umps nor any member of the Brewers coaching staff noticed it, so the home run stuck.
Wily Peralta was pitching again, and in the second inning, J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run home run. Ozuna though was tagging at first base and Realmuto passed him while he was rounding the aforementioned base.
The umps, incredibly enough, missed it again, but the Brewers were all over it this time. They challenged the play, and Realmuto was called out on the base paths and awarded an RBI single instead of a two-run home run.
Jose Fernandez had a great outing strikeout out 11 batters without giving up a run. But, he got off to a shaky start. Jonathan Villar led off the game with an RBI double and the Alex Presley worked a six-pitch walk. That brought up Ryan Braun who’s having an amazing start to the season.
The left fielder has an on-base percentage over .400 and slugging over .600. Fernandez was also working through some early command issues, making this a very dangerous spot for the Marlins. Fernandez then threw two straight balls to Braun putting the count at 2-0 with two men on and nobody out. Braun then got a pitch he could drive and hit the ball at an exit velocity of 102 mph which went 383 feet. In most ballparks that’s a home run, but in Marlins Park, that ball was caught on the warning track.
WORST PLAY (WPA):
Villar did tag up and advance to third base, putting a runner at third and first with only one out. Chris Carter was the next batter, and as I’ve mentioned before, even though Carter is off to a great start, I always get nervous when he’s hitting with a man on third and there are less than two outs. The reason, being, even though Carter has 10 home runs and is slugging over 600, he’s still striking out 27% of the time, and with Jose Fernandez pitching. I couldn’t help but get the feeling that he wasn’t going to put the ball in play.
But, I was wrong, Carter did put the ball in play, in fact, he hit a ball at 102 mph. The only problem was the ball was hit on the ground and right to the third baseman for an easy double play, which ended the inning.
GETTING HEATED AT THE END:
In the ninth inning, the Brewers were down 4-0. The Marlins brought in their closer, A.J. Ramos. People in the stands were already starting to leave. The Marlins win expectancy was at 97% and I had already started writing my recap.
The game, as I quickly found out, was not over. Chris Carter led the ninth with a walk. Kirk Nieuwenhuis then also walked on five pitches. With runners on second and first with no one out, the Brewers showed some signs of life. But, Colin Walsh and Jonathan Lucroy both struck out looking dwindling the Brewers chances of making a comeback. The red-hot Aaron Hill, however, also worked a pinch-hit walk, loading the bases and chasing Ramos out of the game.
Jon Mattingly brought in reliever Bryan Morris to get the final out of the game and the save. The interesting part is that Morris had never gotten a save in his major league career. Domingo Santana was then brought in as a pinch hitter. It was his first bit of action since his shoulder started bothering him. Santana though didn’t have to swing the bat, in fact, he didn’t. He took the first strike looking and then took four straight balls, walking and driving in the Brewers first run of the game. At this point, six players came to the plate in the inning and none of them put the ball in play.
Jonathan Villar was the next batter. He took the first ball and strike and swung and missed at the second one. The count was 1-2, the Brewers were facing their final strike of the game and Villar couldn’t do anything with the last pitch but swing and miss, ending the game.
The Brewers are in action again tomorrow. Zach Davis who has gotten off to a very slow start, with a 6.98 ERA will look to turn things around tomorrow against the Marlins.
The Brewers will be facing Adam Conley, who lest we forget, only two starts ago carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and one controversially taken out of the game with only one out left in the frame. The Brewers will need to have more success this time if they want to have a chance to win.