Tl;dr: The Brewers scored two off Madison Bumgarner, but some erratic relief work left them with a 3-2 loss.
Top Play (WPA): Hernan Perez’s RBI single in the 6th inning tied the game at two (.174). Jonathan Villar scored on the play. Unfortunately, on this play the Brewers not only scored their last run of the game, but also recorded their last hit. Bumgarner escaped the inning after Perez was caught at second on an ill-advised steal attempt. The lefty pitched two more innings, walking one batter and hitting another, before Santiago Casilla pitched a perfect 9th inning for the save.
Perez started the game in right field and his defense was a mixed bag. While he had a nifty sliding catch, he also botched a short pop fly that fell between him at Scooter Gennett, which should have been caught.
Bottom Play (WPA): Denard Span came to the plate in the bottom of the 8th with one out and runners on the corners. Will Smith was pitching and had been wild to the previous batter, Madison Bumgarner. He threw two wild pitches in the process of walking him. Those wild pitches allowed Angel Pagan to score from second and Gregor Blanco to advance to third base. Pagan represented the winning run in the game. Span had a chance to bust the game open, but instead grounded into an inning ending double play to kill the rally and give the Brewers a chance in the 9th inning (-.089).
Trend to Watch: Last night was Matt Garza’s first start of the season. He pitched four innings, allowing one run, eight hits, a walk, and struck out five batters. He threw eighty seven pitches and fifty four were strikes. As a first outing for a pitcher who will be given every chance to keep his rotation spot and possibly build up some trade value, it was a positive start.
Of course, if Garza is to have any trade value, he’ll need to improve upon his 2015 performance when he was knocked around. His 2015 DRA was 6.17, which was higher than his 2013 and 2014 seasons… combined. BPMilwaukee featured Garza’s call-up yesterday, and went deep into what Garza has been and could be in the future.
Taking a quick look at Garza’s work last night, there weren’t many big changes in velocity or pitch selection. He threw his two and four seam fastballs at about the same rate as last year, each around .5 mph slower but not much of a velocity difference between the two pitches. He mixed in his changeup and curveball a bit more frequently, both at the expense of his slider. At least from this initial game, Garza didn’t make too many adjustments. He has his arsenal, he had a similar approach, and hopefully he’ll have better results this year. For reference purposes, I’ve put the numbers I used in a chart below.
Matt Garza 2015:
|Pitch||Frequency||Velocity (mph)||Whiff %|
Matt Garza 6/14/16 vs. Giants
|Pitch||Frequency||Velocity (mph)||Whiff (total and %)|
|Fourseam fastball||36.78%||92.8||1 (3.1%)|
Next Up: An afternoon matinee closes out the series in San Francisco, as the Brewers attempt to avoid the sweep. Jimmy Nelson starts for Milwaukee. After a strong run through May, he’s been roughed up in his past two starts against the Phillies and Mets. In 9.3 innings, he’s allowed 8 runs, 15 hits, 5 walks, with only 6 strikeouts. However, his first start of the year was against the Giants in Milwaukee, and he pitched 7.3 innings, allowing only 2 runs. Johnny Cueto is scheduled to start for San Francisco. Since May 2, Cueto has pitched at least 6 innings in every start and allowed less than two runs (fun fact!). Cueto’s first start of the season was the same game Nelson pitched against the Giants. Cueto went 7 innings, allowing 1 run, as the Giants won 2-1. First pitch is 2:45.