Josh Naylor leads Missions to pair of win Ray Nitschke Jersey s

Josh Naylor powered Double-A San Antonio to a pair of wins on Saturday as he combined for four hits and seven RBIs in the Missions’ doubleheader sweep of Arkansas.

The Padres’ No. 16 prospect began his day with a pair of home runs, hitting two-run shots in the fifth and seventh innings to lead San Antonio past the Travelers, 6-2, in the opener. Making Naylor’s performance all the more significant was that he started the game in left field — the first non-first-base start in his career (216 games).

Josh Naylor powered Double-A San Antonio to a pair of wins on Saturday as he combined for four hits and seven RBIs in the Missions’ doubleheader sweep of Arkansas.

The Padres’ No. 16  Vintage 1969 Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Throwback Team Color Jersey Mitchell and Ness prospect began his day with a pair of home runs, hitting two-run shots i Youth Nike Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap n the fifth and seventh innings to lead San Antonio past the Travelers, 6-2, in the opener. Making Naylor’s performance all the more significant was that he started the game in left field — the first non-first-base start in his career (216 games).

Naylor’s second homer

Naylor returned to his primary position in the nightcap and proceeded to collect two more hits, highlighted by a two-run double in the top of the seventh inning that proved to be the difference in a 5-3 Missions win. He later scored on a wild pitch, capping a 2-for-3, three-RBI game.

Naylor, 20, has enjoyed a promising start to his season, tallying six hits (in 10 at Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Elite Away White Jersey Cheap -bats) and seven RBIs in three games. His two home runs are as many as he accrued in the Texas League last season, when he batted .250/.320/.346 over 42 games with the Missions.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Saturday

No. 6 overall pros Ray Nitschke Jersey pect Victor Robles (Nationals’ No. 1) was perfect at the plate in his second game of the season, going 4-for-4 with a walk and scoring two runs in Triple-A Syracuse’s 5-4 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He also stole a base, his second in as many games. No. 5 overall prospect Gleyber Torres (Yankees’ No. 1) picked up his first hit of the season in the loss, hitting a game-tying two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Torres’ two-run homer

No. 25 overall prospect Brendan McKay (Rays’ No. 3) the hitter went 2-for-4 with three RBIs in Class A Bowling Green’s rout of Dayton. He also drew a pair of walks, giving him five free passes through two games. McKay the pitcher will make his mound debut Monday.

McKay’s two-run single

No. 69 overall prospect Corbin Burnes (Brewers’ No. 2) was sharp in his debut for Triple-A Colorado Springs, tossing six innings of one-run ball in a no-decision against Omaha in game one of a doubleheader. The one run came on a third-inning homer, as Burnes scattered five hits with six strikeouts and one walk. Splitting last season between Class A Advanced Carolina and Double-A Biloxi, the 23-year-old right-hander posted a 1.67 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP with 140 strikeouts in 145 2/3 innings (26 starts).

No. 79 overall prospect Stephen Gonsalves (Twins’ No. 3) proved unhittable for 5 1/3 innings en route to a win for Double-A Chattanooga. The 23-year-old left-hander struck out as many as he walked (three), generated six ground-ball outs and threw 43 of his 71 pitches for strikes. Tyler Jay (No. 16) allowed a hit over 1 2/3 strong innings in relief as Lookouts hurlers combined for a one-hit shutout of Birmingham.

No. 90 overall prospect Carter Kieboom (Nationals’ No. 3) went boom for a second straight day, hitting a sixth-inning solo shot in Class A Advanced Potomac’s loss to Wilmington. The 20-year-old shortstop finished the game 2-for-3 with two walks and has hit safely in all three games to open the season.

No. 94 overall prospect Tyler O’Neill (Cardinals’ No. 4) connected on a two-run home run, his third in two games for Triple-A Memphis. He finished 2-for-6, giving the 22-year-old outfielder a .294 average and seven RBIs across his first three contests.

O’Neill’s third homer of the year

A’s No. 6 prospect Austin Beck recorded a career-high four RBIs behind a three-hit effort in Class A Beloit’s 10-1 win over Wisconsin. The 19-year-old outfielder, the A’s first-round pick (No. 6 overall) last June, finished the game 3-for-6 on the heels of an 0-for-5, two-strikeout performance on Opening Day. Snappers starting pitcher Wyatt Marks (No. 26), making his first full-season start, worked five innings to pick up the win. Throwing 46 of his 68 pitches for strikes, the 22-year-old righty allowed one run on four hits while striking out three.

Braves No. 24 prospect Brett Cumberland went yard twice, hitting solo shots in the third and fifth innings in his second-career multi-homer game. With the performance, the 22-year-old catcher has now homered more times than he did over 56 games with the Fire Frogs during the second half of 2017.

D-backs No. 14 prospect Socrates Brito set a career high with five hits, all singles, though his 5-for-5 effort wasn’t enough to keep Triple-A Reno from falling to Fresno. Brito’s five knocks also tied the Aces’ club record, and the 25-year-old outfielder has now collected nine hits in 12 at-bats (.750 average) to open the season.

Rays No. 11 prospect Josh Lowe entered the extra-base hit column with a home run and a double in Class A Charlotte’s win against Fort Myers. He’s hit safely in all three games this season after finishing Saturday’s contest 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs.

&#8 Ray Nitschke Jersey Mitchell and Ness 226; Reds No. 9 prospect Tyler Stephenson connected on a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning, capping a four-run frame that helped propel Class A Advanced Florida past Daytona, 4-3, in a rain-shortened game. He also drew a walk, finishing 1-for-2. Tortugas leadoff man T.J. Friedl (No. 15) also homered and walked in the contest, while picking up his first steal of the season.

White Sox No. 22 prospect Jordan Stephens pitched well in his season debut for Birmingham, allowing one earned run on two hits in six innings. The 25-year-old righty, the club’s fifth-round pick in 2015, issued two walks while striking out seven. Making 16 Southern League starts last season, Stephens worked to a 3.14 ERA in 91 2/3 frames.

Yankees’ No. 11 prospect Dillon Tate kicked off his season by allowing one earned run on two hits over six innings in Double-A Trenton’s 6-2 win over Richmond. The Vintage 1969 Ray Nitschke Green Bay Packers Mitchell and Ness Away White Jersey Throwback 23-year-old righty struck out five, induced seven ground-ball outs and did not issue a walk, throwing 49 of his 75 pitches for strikes.

Corey Knebel injured against C Ray Nitschke Jersey ubs

MILWAUKEE — An 8-0 loss to the Cubs hurt. Losing All-Star closer Corey Knebel hurt a whole lot more.

The Brewers placed Knebel on the 10-day disabled list on Friday with a strained left hamstring suffered in the ninth inning Thursday night as Knebel was merely logging an inning of work in a lopsided loss. He collapsed on the mound after throwing a two-out pitch to Tommy La Stella and had to be helped off the field by a pair of Brewers athletic trainers.

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MILWAUKEE — An 8-0 loss to the Cubs hurt. Losing All-S Youth Nike Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap tar closer Corey Knebel hurt a whole lot more.

The Brewers placed Knebel on the 10-day di Women’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Color Rush Vapor Untouchable Pink Jersey sabled list on Friday with a strained left hamstring suffered in the ninth inning Thursday night as Knebel was merely logging an inning of work in a lopsided loss. He collapsed on the mound after throwing a two-out pitch to Tommy La Stella and had to be helped off the field by a pair of Brewers athletic trainers.

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Before the Brewers’ clubhouse opened to reporters, manager Craig Counsell told MLB Network Radio that Knebel would be sidelined a minimum of six weeks.

Video: CHC@MIL: Knebel exits game with apparent leg injury

“It’s one game and it’s a tough loss and all that,” said Brewers starter Brent Suter, “but prayers are going out for Corey and his well-being. He’s in some pain right now.”

The Brewers called up reliever Adrian Houser, their No. 13 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, for Friday’s 7:10 p.m. CT game, when rookie Brandon Woodruff makes his first start of the season following two relief appearances. Houser made his Major League debut for the Brewers in 2015 but missed the second half of the 2016 season in the Minors and most of 2017 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He re-established himself late last season with a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League.

The Brewers were in a 6-0 deficit when they called for Knebel, who needed work after not appearing in any of the Brewe Vintage 1969 Ray Nitschke Green Bay Packers Mitchell and Ness Away White Jersey Throwback rs’ previous four games. Knebel hit Javier Baez with a pitch before Jason Heyward launched a two-run home run to extend the lead. Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Elite Away White Jersey Cheap  After Knebel struck out Ian Happ, the right-hander fell behind pinch-hitter La Stella, 1-0. Knebel went down on the next pitch, a check-swing strike.

Knebel hit the dirt and grabbed his left hamstring. As he was helped off the field, he was unable to put any weight on that leg.

“I didn’t see anything in terms of his landing that seemed different,” said Suter, who was watching from a television in the training room. “It just looked like his hamstring popped or something. I don’t know, but it’s not good news.”

Video: CHC@MIL: Counsell on Knebel’s injury, 8-0 loss

Utility man Hernan Perez completed the at-bat against La Stella, inducing a fly out on one pitch to end the inning. Perez became the first Brewers position player to pitch at home since Joe Inglett on July 27, 2010.

Video: CHC@MIL: Infielder Perez toes the rubber, gets out

In a somber clubhouse, Suter was not the only teammate who expressed concern for Knebel, who Vintage 1969 Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Throwback Team Color Jersey Mitchell and Ness  took over as Brewers closer last May and made the National League All-Star team. He finished the year with 39 saves and a 1.78 ERA in 79 appearances while setting a franchise record for a reliever with 126 strikeouts.

“That was tough,” said fellow reliever Jacob Barnes. “No one wants to see that happen, especially in that type of game when he’s just trying to get some work. It was not fun to watch. Obviously, we can only hope for the best with that.”

Barnes pitched two more scoreless innings Thursday and has not been scored upon in six innings over four games this season. He’s one of the many candidates who could be called upon to close, along with the Brewers’ former closer, Jeremy Jeffress, and veterans Matt Albers or Dan Jennings.

The Brewers’ most electric reliever is left-hander Josh Hader, though he is in his first full season as a relief Ray Nitschke Jersey Mitchell and Ness pitcher and has not logged a save since 2015 in Double-A.

“We’ll figure that out,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “I haven’t thought about that.”

Said Barnes: “We’re going to have to figure out a way to do it. … We’re going to have to all step up, offensively and defensively, pitchers, everyone is going to have to Ray Nitschke Jersey step up more. Everyone saw what [Knebel] did last year.”

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Corey Knebel

Ni Ray Nitschke Jersey nth inning errors cost Brewers vs. Cubs

MILWAUKEE — “The ninth inning is our inning,” Travis Shaw said Friday after the Brewers scored their second walk-off win in four nights.

On Saturday, the Cubs said otherwise.

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MILWAUKEE — “The ninth inning is our inning,” Travis Shaw said Friday after the Brewers scored their second walk-off win in four nights.

On Saturday, the Cubs said otherwise.

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Capitalizing on two more Brewers errors in a homestand full of them, plus the absence of strikeout-inducing closer Corey Knebel, the Cubs put the ball in play Vintage 1969 Ray Nitschke Green Bay Packers Mitchell and Ness Away White Jersey Throwback  enough to score four times in the top of the ninth for a 5-2 win at Miller Park. The high-wire Brewers, after being two outs away from what would have been their fifth win in their final inning at-bat, found themselves on the ot Ray Nitschke Jersey her end of a ninth-inning comeback.

“We know at some point, other teams will do it to us,” said fill-in closer Jacob Barnes. “We just have to try to limit it as much as possible.”

Brewers manager Craig Counsell wasn’t shaken.

“There’s no reason to shake your head at it,” Counsell said. “It’s fun baseball. You enjoy it. It was a great ballgame, an entertaining game. We didn’t make a couple plays in the end.”

Eric Thames‘ home run leading off the fourth inning and Lorenzo Cain‘s sacrifice fly in the eighth gave Milwaukee a 2-1 lead entering the final frame, and when Barnes retired the first man he faced, the Brewers were on the brink of their first error-free day on an opening homestand in its sixth game. That ended when Victor Caratini sparked the Cubs’ winning rally with an infield hit to shortstop Orlando Arcia, whose off-balance, one-hop throw past first base pushed the tying runner into scoring position.

Barnes found himself in even bigger trouble after Jason Heyward walked and Javier Baez reached on Shaw’s costly fielding error, loading the bases with one out for pinch-hitter Ben Zobrist‘s tying infield hit to a diving Thames.

Video: CHC@MIL: Cubs manufacture a late rally for win

At that point, the Cubs had sent five men to the plate in the inning against Barnes, none of whom hit a ball past the infield.

On both the Baez and Zobrist grounders, Counsell said, at least one out was available. The Brewers did not get either.

Slumping Chicago leadoff hitter Ian Happ promptly cashed in, lining a go-ahead, two-run single to left-center field. Cubs pitcher Jon Lester added insurance with a pinch-hit squeeze bunt, and new Cubs closer Brandon Morrow logged his first save with a scoreless bottom of the ninth.

“You execute pitches, and unfortunately sometimes it goes in the wrong spot,” Barnes said. “That’s all you can do. I look back — and obviously it’s frustrating, no one wants to give up runs, but at least I executed pretty well for the most part.”

Barnes did not mention the errors. Counsell did.

“We’ve made too many infield mistakes, there’s no question,” Counsell said, referring to the fact that nine of Milwaukee’s 11 errors this week occurred on the infield.

When the Brewers broke camp, did Counsell expect this to be a good defensive infield?

“I think they are a good defensive infield,” Counsell said. “We’ve made defensive mistakes the last couple of games.”

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
What could have been: Shaw’s error was the most costly miscue in the decisive ninth. While the unanimous consensus in the Brewers’ clubhouse was that the ball was hit too softly by the speedy Baez to turn a game-endi Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Elite Away White Jersey Cheap ng double play, Shaw himself conceded that he had plenty of time to get an out at either second or third base.

“It was one of those top-spin ones,” said Shaw. “I kind of froze on it. I just misplayed it. You either got to go get it or go back. I kind of just froze there and got caught in an in-between hop and misplayed it.”

On the board: On a sunny, difficult day to hit, the Brewers’ only baserunner in the first three innings against Cubs starter Yu Darvish reached via Ryan Braun‘s two-out walk in the first inning, but Thames broke through leading off the fourth when he connected with a full-count slider from Darvish and lined a home run to the right-field seats. Thames, who also homered in Thursday’s series opener and is part of Milwaukee’s crowded outfield and first-base picture, has hit safely in all five of his starts with three home runs.

Video: CHC@MIL: Thames crushes a solo dinger to right

Bryant answers: Zach Davies started for the Brewers and had an effective changeup, inducing five swinging strikes in 19 pitches including strike threes against Happ and Kyle Schwarber in the top of the first inning. But Kris Bryant didn’t miss a changeup low in the zone leading off the sixth, lifting a tying home run that traveled a Statcast-projected 407 feet and left his bat at 108.8 mph, making it the hardest ball in play up to that point in the game. Bryant led the way for the Cubs with three hits, and reached safely all five times up.

Video: CHC@MIL: Davies strikes out eight over six innings

“I was happy to use [the changeup] in pretty much every situation,” said Davies, who limited the damage to that run in the sixth inning for the Brewers’ first quality start since Chase Anderson‘s on Opening Day. “I thought [the Bryant homer] was a good pitch. My thought process was, I hadn’t thrown many 3-2 changeups against him in the past. He got under it and it got out of the park.”

Video: CHC@MIL: Bryant crushes a solo homer to left field

QUOTABLE
“I didn’t feel much more pressure, to tell you the truth, and I thought I pitched pretty well. Obviously, there were runs given up, and no one ever wants to do that. But it wasn’t hit hard. They literally didn’t leave the infield besides [Happ’s hit].” — Barnes, on being chosen for the Brewers’ first save situation since Knebel went down with a hamstring injury

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Davies danced his way out of trouble to briefly preserve a 1-0 lead in the fifth, when the Cubs put their first runners in scoring position with Tommy La Stella‘s single followed by Caratini’s double to start the inning. The next batter was Heyward, who hit a bouncer to the first-base side of the mound. Davies chased it down, did a counterclockwise pirouette and fired a throw home to catcher Jett Bandy to retire La Stella. The Cubs challenged the call, but it stood upon review, as La Stella’s lead leg appeared to be elevated over home plate. Davies went on to walk Baez to load the bases, but managed to escape without a run scoring.

Video: CHC@MIL: Davies catches La Stella coming home

WHAT’S NEXT
The Brewers will seek sources of offense for Anderson, who followed six scoreless innings on Opening Day with a four-inning, four-run outing against the Cardinals in his home debut. Outfielder Christian Yelich, still dealing with discomfort in his right oblique, is “doubtful” for Sunday’s 1:10 p.m. CT series finale against the Cubs, according to Counsell. Anderson has a 3.79 ERA i Vintage 1969 Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Throwback Team Color Jersey Mitchell and Ness n seven care Ray Nitschke Jersey Mitchell and Ness er starts against the Cubs.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.


Milwaukee Brewers

Athletics pro Ray Nitschke Jersey spects thrive for Nashville

Triple-A Nashville got off to a fast start this season thanks to performances from some of the Athletics’ top prospects.

Triple-A Nashville got off to a fast start this season thanks to performances from some of the Athletics’ top prospects.

Starting spots for Youth Nike Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap  each team’s Top 30 prospects

Franklin Barreto, Jorge Mateo, Dustin Fowler and James Naile each put together impressive performances as the Sounds cruised to an 11-0 win over the Baby Cakes on Opening Day.

While Naile, Oakland’s Women’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Color Rush Vapor Untouchable Pink Jersey  No. 25 prospect, spun a gem over five scoreless innings on the Ray Nitschke Jersey mound, the trio of position players combined to go 7-for-14 with eight RBIs.

Barreto (No. 66 overall, Athletics’ No. 3) put the Sounds on the board early, hitting a two-run homer in the third. The second baseman also drove in a run via a sacrifice fly in the fourth on his way to finishing 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

Mateo (No. 73 overall, Athletics’ No. 4) also collected a pair of hits in his Triple-A debut. Hitting atop the Ray Nitschke Jersey Mitchell and Ness Sounds’ lineup, the 22-year-old went 2-for-5, scored twice and drove in three runs.

While Mateo was making his Triple-A debut, Fowler (Athletics’ No. 5), who was acquired while on the disabled list at last year’s Trade Deadline, was making his organizational debut. Fowler got off to a good start, singling in his first at-bat, and just kept on hitting on his way to a 3-for-5, two-RBI performance.

Barreto blasts off

Other top prospect performances from Thursday’s Opening Day action:

• No. 29 overall prospect Juan Soto (Nationals’ No. 2) started the season in the best way possible, lifting a two-run homer out to left in his first at-bat. The 19-year-old, who hit just three homers in 2017 (32 games), finished 1-for-4.

Soto opens year with a homer

• No. 44 overall prospect Estevan Florial (Yankees’ No. 2) came up with a pair of run-scoring hits in Class A Advanced Tampa’s win over Lakeland. The 20-year-old, who finished 2-for-5, drove in a run with an RBI single in the seventh and collected another RBI via a ninth-inning triple.

• No. 81 overall prospect Nick Gordon (Twins’ No. 4) showed off both his speed and bat, going 4-for-5 with a triple and an RBI for Double-A Chattanooga. Gordon, who hit .270 in 122 games with the Lookouts a season ago, tripled and scored in the first and then singled in three of his final four at-bats.

• No. 92 overall prospect Dane Dunning (White Sox No. 6) was stuck with a no-decision, but he put together an impressive outing for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. The 23-year-old right-hander struck out eight and gave up three hits as he cruised through five innings of one-run ball.

Brewers No. 10 prospect Freddy Peralta put up nothing but zeros for five innings on Opening Day. The right-hander, who was making his Triple-A debut, struck out six, walked two and gave up just one hit.

• A pair of Indians pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts over 12 innings as No. 8 prospect Shane Bieber fanned nine in six scoreless innings and No. 28 Elijah Morgan struck out eight over six innings as well. Bieber, pitching for Double-A Akron, gave up two hits and didn’t allow a run, while Morgan gave up just one unearned run on four hits for Class A Lake County.

Bieber fans ninth batter

• Rockies prospects Colton Welker (No. 4) and Willie Abreu (No. 27) combined to go 5-for-6 with three homers and six RBIs to lead Class A Advanced Lancaster to a win over Modesto. Welker drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single in the first, but the duo really helped break the game open when they hit back-to-back homers in the second. The homer was the first of the night for Abreu, who also went deep in the sixth as part of a 3-for-3, four-RBI evening. Meanwhile, Welker finished 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs.

• A trio of Royals prospects, led by No. 3 Seuly Matias, showed off their power as they combined for four homers and five RBIs. Matias rounded the bases twice as he hit a pair of solo homers for Class A Lexington. However, he wasn’t alone as Gabriel Cancel (No. 22) went 2-for-4 with a homer and a double for Class A Advanced Wilmington and Samir Duenez (No. 30) also went 2-for-4 with a double and a homer for Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

Matias smacks second homer

• Tigers prospects Beau Burrows (No. 4) and Gregory Soto (No. 8) were dominant on the mound for Double-A Erie and Class A Advanced Lakeland. Burrows led Erie to a win as he struck out six and gave up just one hit over five scoreless frame Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Elite Away White Jersey Cheap s. Soto, despite the strong effort, was stuck with a no-decision after fanning five over five scoreless innings of his own.

Burrows rings up sixth K

Or Vintage 1969 Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Throwback Team Color Jersey Mitchell and Ness ioles No. 15 prospect Michael Baumann posted a career-high 10 strikeouts in a season-opening win with Class A Delmarva. Baumann, who posted a 1.28 ERA across 11 appearances last season, struck out the first two batters he faced, setting the tone for the dominant performance. The righty carved his way th Vintage 1969 Ray Nitschke Green Bay Packers Mitchell and Ness Away White Jersey Throwback ough five scoreless innings, walking one and yielding four hits.

Red Sox No. 30 prospect Jhonathan Diaz started the season with a win for Class A Greenville. Diaz struck out the side in both the fourth and fifth innings and fanned at least one batter in each frame, finishing with nine over six scoreless innings. The left-hander walked one and gave up two hits.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Jon Lester uses bounc Ray Nitschke Jersey e to nab Ryan Braun

MILWAUKEE — Jon Lester got to test his “Pippen-to-Jordan” pass, and it worked in the first inning on Thursday night in the Cubs’ 8-0 win over the Brewers at Miller Park.

The Cubs pitcher has struggled throwing to first base, or any base for that matter. He’s acknowledged it. And the Brewers know it, too. This spring, Lester and Cubs coach Bria Women’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Color Rush Vapor Untouchable Pink Jersey n Butterfield worked on a bounce pass from Lester to help him.

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MILWAUKEE — Jon Lester got to test his “Pippen-to-Jordan” pass, and it worked in the first inning on Thursday night in the Cubs’ 8-0 win over the Brewers at Miller Park.

The Cubs pitcher has struggled throwing to first base, or any base for that matter. He’s acknowle Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Elite Away White Jersey Cheap dged it. And the Brewers know it, too. This spring, Lester and Cubs coach Brian Butterfield worked on a bounce pass from Lester to help him.

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With two outs in the Brewers’ first on Thursday, Ryan Braun walked against Lest Vintage 1969 Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Throwback Team Color Jersey Mitchell and Ness er and stole second quickly and without a throw before the lefty had delivered a pitch to Travis Shaw. Braun then tried to steal third, but this time, Lester bounced the ball t Vintage 1969 Ray Nitschke Green Bay Packers Mitchell and Ness Away White Jersey Throwback o third baseman Kris Bryant, and Braun was tagged out.

“They weren’t even going to wait for the ball to be delivered to the plate,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the Brewers. “Two things happened — that we fulfilled that and it’ll give him a lot more confidence, and they only had a couple baserunners, which is the best method to prevent basestealing.”

Lester scattered three hits over six shutout innings in the win over the Brewers in the series opener.

Video: CHC@MIL: Lester sharp over six scoreless innings

“You can’t control the other team’s game plan,” Lester said. “You have to try to execute your stuff. We were able to get a free out there.”

Lester r Youth Nike Green Bay Packers Ray Nitschke Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap eme Ray Nitschke Jersey Mitchell and Ness mbered what Braun did the last time he faced him and wasn’t surprised that the Brewers tried it again.

“They’re an athletic team and I think they led the league last year in stolen bases,” Lester said. “You know they’re going to bring that to the table. You don’t allow baserunners and it’s OK.”

Video: CHC@MIL: Lester, Maddon on scoreless outing in win

Before the game, Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell was asked if they’d try to take advantage of Lester.

“We’ll be aggressive, yes,” Counsell said.

In case you aren’t a Chicago Bulls’ fan, Lester’s bounce pass is a reference to Hall of Famers Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan.

“I like what he’s doing,” Maddon said of Lester’s effort. “I think he’ll get comfortabe with that and that’s all he needs to do.”

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter Ray Nitschke Jersey  reporter Adam McCalvy contributed to this report.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Chicago Cubs,
Ryan Braun,
Jon Lester

Christ Yangervis Solarte Jersey ian Yelich out with right oblique injury

MILWAUKEE — “Day to day” remained the prognosis Thursday for outfielder Christian Yelich, whose open-ended absence with a tight right oblique meant the Brewers entered their four-game series against the rival Cubs without one of their most productive early-season hitters.

It was the first instance of that much-debated Brewers outfield depth working in the team’s favor. Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana and Yelich have been sharing the corner outfield spots this season.

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MILWAUKEE — “Day to day” remained the prognosis Thursday for outfielder Christian Yelich, whose open-ended absence with a tight right oblique meant the Brewers entered their four-game series against the rival Cubs without one of their most productive early-season hitters.

It was the first instance of that much-debated Brewers outfield depth working in the team’s favor. Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana and Yelich have been sharing the corner outfield spots this season.

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“I think whenever you have your first ‘ding’ of the year, it always gets a little more attention,” said Brewers general manager David Stearns. “But as we know, over the course of 162 [games], there are going to be a lot of times guys are going to be down for a couple of days. That’s what we anticipate here.”

Brewers manager Craig Counsell wouldn’t even go that far, declining to speculate beyond Thursday’s game. Counsell said Yelich was hurt swinging the bat sometime during the just-completed series against the Cardinals, though it was not clear whether that happened before or after Yelich delivered a two-strike, two-out, tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of Tuesday’s walk-off win.

Video: Must C Clutch: Yelich, Braun go back-to-back for win

Yelich, who did not appear in the clubhouse or on the field during batting practice, ended Wednesday leading Brewers regulars in batting average (.385) and second to Lorenzo Cain with a .426 wOBA and 163 wRC+. With Yelich sidelined, Cain and third baseman Travis Shaw remained the only players to start each of the Brewers’ first seven games this season.

Brewers officials were happy Yelich said something about his discomfort before it became something worse.

“The thing about baseball is the schedule doesn’t rea Ryan Tepera Jersey lly let you heal, so when you need to take a step back, then you have to take a step back,” Counsell said. “In the scope of things, one or two games, three days, whatever, a weekend, is not a big deal. You try to min Men’s Toronto Blue Jays Majestic Authentic 26 Yangervis Solarte Alternate Royal Blue Flexbase Jersey imize it. If we can keep it to that instead of two weeks or something like that, then you’re doing the right thing.”

Rivalry weekend
This four-game series marks the first test of the Brewers’ latest effort to take back Miller Park from Cubs fans. For one week in February before tickets  Yangervis Solarte Jersey went on sale to the general public, the Brewers sold seats for games against the Cubs exclusively to fans in Wisconsin zip codes, saying in their promotional copy, “Maybe it’s fair. Maybe it’s no Custom Blue Jays Jersey t. Either way, we just want to make sure Miller Park is packed with Brewers fans for these 10 crucial matchups.”

The Brewers sold several thousand tickets for each game via the presale, according to a spokesperson.

“I don’t know what to expect. We’ll see if the plan that they hatched has positive results,” Counsell said. “I know they tried something different with ticket sales, and I hope it has positive results. I get it, though. Chicago dwarfs Milwaukee in size, and it’s easier for a lot of their fans to get here than to Wrigley [Field]. It’s not a surprise.”

Did Counsell like the marketing idea?

“I’m for more Brewers fans here, for sure. We all are,” he said.

“We’re very fortunate to have the following we do,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. “We love our Cubs fans on the road, and it’s fun to come out and see our fans. I’m almost certain that if you’re from the state of Illinois, and you want to see a game up here, you’ll find a way.”

Back to normal
After allowing six hits, two earned runs and a pair of inherited runners to score in two uncomfortable relief appearances, right-hander Brandon Woodruff joins Milwaukee’s starting rotation on Friday at 7:10 p.m. CT. It marks the first time the team has required a fifth starter this season.

“I think just getting back in a good starting routine is going to be good. I can’t wait,” Woodruff said. “It’s tough. I respect those [relievers] a lot. It’s something you have to work at, just like being a starter. You have to learn how to do it.”

Woodruff has not started a Major League game since the Brewers’ Cactus League contest against the Cubs on March 23, when he allowed four earned runs on six hits in five innings, but Counsell said he did not anticipate the right-hander being on a limited pitch count.

“I’ll go as hard as I can go, as long as I can go, until Steve Pearce Jersey they take the ball out of my hand,” Woodruff said.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Christian Yelich

Brewer Yangervis Solarte Jersey s shut out by Cubs, lose Corey Knebel

MILWAUKEE — Another subpar outing by a starting pitcher. Three errors and no runs for the second straight night. Cleanup hitter Travis Shaw ejected for going too far in an argument over a called third strike. Christian Yelich sidelined by a tight oblique.

And those were just the start of the Brewers issues on Thursday after an 8-0 loss to the Cubs at Miller Park.

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MILWAUKEE — Another subpar outing by a starting pitcher. Three errors and no runs for the second straight night. Cleanup hitter Travis Shaw ejected for going too far in an argument over a called third strike. Christian Yelich sidelined by a tight oblique.

And those were just the start of the Brewers issues on Thursday after an 8-0 loss to the Cubs at Miller Park.

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Teammates and manager Craig Counsell were more concerned about the status of All-Star closer Corey Knebel, who went down with a left hamstring injury after throwing a pitch in the ninth inning and will be placed on the 10-day disabled list. Now, in addition to their solving their offense, defense and starting rotation, the Brewers must choose a new closer.

“The loss, you can turn the page,” Counsell said, “but [Knebel’s injury] makes it harder.”

Video: CHC@MIL: Counsell on Knebel’s injury, 8-0 loss

Thursday marked the low point of what has been a rollercoaster seven-game start to the season for the Brewers, who have celebrated a series-opening sweep in San Diego and two wild, ninth-inning comebacks, but have also endur Men’s Toronto Blue Jays Majestic Authentic 26 Yangervis Solarte Alternate Royal Blue Flexbase Jersey ed a series loss to the rival Cardinals and back-to-back shutout losses at home.

On Wednesday, Carlos Martinez and the Cardinals blanked the Brewers on five hits. On Thursday, it was Jon Lester and three Cubs relievers on four hits. They were the Brewers’ first consecutive shutout losses since August 2015.

“We could easily be 1-6 right now,” Shaw said. “The fact we’re 4-3 could be a good sign, because I don’t think we’ve played very well at all, all around. Hitting-wise, we haven’t been great. We’ve been great late in games, but for consistency of nine innings, we’ve only put it together one game out of seven. We’re still 4-3. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Shaw was ejected for arguing plate umpire Brian O’Nora’s called strike three to end the sixth inning. Shaw was barking from the Brewers’ dugout when O’Nora signaled the ejection.

“That was a ball, but he kind of let me air it out there for a while and didn’t do anything. I should have stopped talking when I got back to the dugout,” Shaw said. “I said a little bit too much.  Yangervis Solarte Jersey I think it was more frustration than it was anything else.”

Brewers starter Brent Suter was out of the game by then, having surrendered five runs (four earned) on eight hits in five innings. Since Chase Anderson pitched six scoreless innings on Opening Day, Brewers starters have a 7.54 ERA and have surrendered 43 hits in 28 2/3 innings.

Video: CHC@MIL: Suter gets Happ swinging

Of course, Cy Young himself could not win if his team cannot score. Besides Jesus Aguilar, who tallied three hits in his first start of the season to match a career high, the only Brewer to get a hit was Ryan Braun, who doubled in the sixth inning before Shaw struck out.

“Really it was a carbon copy of last night,” Counsell said. “We didn’t do much right. Offensively, we haven’t put an inning together the last two nights.

“We have not played well in any area of the game the last two nights. There’s been plays that have to be made and situations that have to be handled better. We’ve been getting down early, and I don’t think that’s helping. Four days in a row of getting down early. We have to switch that around.”

Video: CHC@MIL: Braun rips double to left field

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Credit him with an assist: Lester finished the first of his six scoreless innings by testing his “Pippen-to-Jordan” pass in the first. This s Custom Blue Jays Jersey pring, Lester and coach Brian Butterfield worked on a bounce pass to help Lester overcome the throwing issues that allowed the Brewers to steal five bases against Lester each of the previous two times they faced him, in 2015 and ’16. With two outs in the Brewers’ first, Braun  Steve Pearce Jersey walked and stole second quickly and without a throw before the lefty had delivered a pitch to Shaw. Braun then tried to steal third, but this time, Lester bounced the ball to third baseman Kris Bryant, and Braun was tagged out.

Did Braun push things too far?

“No, that was exactly what we wanted. We’re going to take a risk against Lester,” Counsell said. “It’s worked in the past. We’re going to push it on him. We’ll push it again when we get the chance.”

Video: Must C Curious: Braun duels Lester on the basepaths

Cubs second baseman Javier Baez said something to Braun after he was tagged.

“I told him, ‘Only once, not twice,'” Baez said.

Skunky Brew: Two of the Brewers’ errors came on the same sloppy play as the Cubs took a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Baez was at first base after hitting a two-run single when Lester smacked a comebacker that glanced off Suter’s glove and under second baseman Hernan Perez‘s glove for one error. While Baez cruised into third base, center fielder Lorenzo Cain bobbled the baseball for a second error that allowed Baez to score.

Baez bucked his slow start with three walks, a hit by pitch, two RBIs and a run scored for the Cubs, who got seven hits, five runs scored and four RBIs from their Nos. 5-8 hitters in the order.

“When you make mistakes on defense and the other team takes advantage, it normally does hit you in the solar plexus a bit,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Javy’s had that kind of experience on the bases. He’s always heads up. If you watch him, he’ll look behind as he’s running to see what’s going on. Going back in the day, you’d see Mays do that a lot. He’s got extraordinary instincts on the bases.”

Video: CHC@MIL: Baez scores from first on wild play

QUOTABLE
“It seems like an exaggerated week. We’ve had some crazy comeback wins, and then these last two defeats have been kind of ‘spank yous.’ As long as we stay centered, and we’re a really resilient team, I expect us to bounce back.” — Suter

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
After Knebel went down his injury, Counsell turned to utility man Perez to get the final out of the top of the ninth inning. He induced a Tommy La Stella fly out to preserve a 0.00 ERA after two appearances as a pitcher. Perez’s other outing was on the road last July in Washington; the last Brewers position player to pitch at home was Joe Inglett in 2010.

Video: CHC@MIL: Infielder Perez toes the rubber, gets out

WHAT’S NEXT
Brewers: After allowing six hits, two earned runs and a pair of inherited runners to score in two uncomfortable relief appearances, right-hander Brandon Woodruff joins Milwaukee’s starting rotation on Friday at 7:10 p.m. CT. It marks the first time the team has required a fifth starter this season. Right-hander Kyle Hendricks will make his second start of the season for the Cubs. He’s 4-1 with a 2.31 ERA in eight career starts at Miller Park.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since Ryan Tepera Jersey 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.


Corey Knebel,
Travis Shaw,
Brent Suter

Corey Knebel hits DL, Adrian H Yangervis Solarte Jersey ouser called up

MILWAUKEE — After collapsing on the mound Thursday due to Steve Pearce Jersey a left hamstring injury, Brewers closer Corey Knebel wondered if his season was over. Manager Craig Counsell had the same concern.

On Friday, Knebel had an MRI scan and got encouraging news. The Brewers did place Knebel on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring and recalled right-hander Adrian Houser from Double-A Biloxi, but the prognosis for Yangervis Solarte Jersey Knebel’s recovery — minimum four weeks sidelined, and perhaps more like 6-8 weeks — could have been much worse.

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MILWAUKEE — After collapsing on the mound Thursday due to a left hamstring injury, Brewers closer Corey Knebel wondered if his season was over. Manager Craig Counsell had the same concern.

On Friday, Knebel had an MRI scan and got encouraging news. The Brewers did place Knebel on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring and recalled right-hander Adrian Houser from Double-A Biloxi, but the prognosis for Knebel’s recovery — Ryan Tepera Jersey  minimum four weeks sidelined, and perhaps more like 6-8 weeks — could have been much worse.

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“Not as serious as everybody thought, which is good news,” Knebel said.

Said Counsell: “We feel like we’re fortunate here in talking about it. We know we’re going to have this guy pitching for us again for a good chunk of the season.”

Knebel moved slowly around Miller Park while Brewers relievers did their daily work in the outfield. He will be shut down completely for three days, and will not travel with the team to St. Louis and New York next week.

During Knebel’s absence, Counsell will have to amend his bullpen plan. He expressed open-mindedness on Friday about who might handle save situations when they come up.

“I’m open to going with the same guy every night, but I think right now we’ll just play the games and see how it kind of works out,” Counsell said. “Who we’re playing and lineups may have a little bit to do with  Custom Blue Jays Jersey that. I think as we get further along in this, somebody will probably claim most of the opportunities. But I don’t know who that will be right now.”

Video: CHC@MIL: Counsell discusses Knebel’s hamstring injury

Knebel had never endured a hamstring issue before Thursday, when it was determined before the game that he would get his first inning of work in six days. Knebel took the mound with the Brewers trailing, 6-0, and saw the deficit grow to 8-0 when Jason Heyward connected for a two-run home run.

Two batters later, Knebel threw a pitch to Tommy La Stella and collapsed.

“Whenever you’ve done that in the past to yourself, you know how badly [a hamstring injury] hurts. It’s worse than breaking a bone for me,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “That was painful to watch. He’s such a great talent and a big part of their team. You don’t like to see that happen.”

The incident renewed an old debate about whether it’s worth the risk to pitch a closer in non-save situations. Of course, the argu Women’s Personalized Toronto Blue Jays Majestic Flexbase Authentic Home White Baseball Jersey ment against is a lot easier to make in the wake of an unfortunate injury.

“Every manager you talk to is going to say the same thing: Everybody’s got to get work in,” Knebel said. “You’ve got to stay fresh, stay on the mound. So no matter what the situation was, I needed to get some work in and get ready to go. That’s exactly what I was doing.”

He’s back
This was not how Houser envisioned making it back to the big leagues for the first time since the end of 2015. But Houser, the Brewers’ No. 13 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, knows as well as anyone that the game rarely allows a player to choose his path.

Video: Counsell, Houser on callup after Knebel injury

After pitching a pair scoreless innings for the Brewers in September 2015, the right-hander required Tommy John surgery in 2016 and missed most of 2017 before re-establishing himself with a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League. Houser suffered another setback when he had an emergency appendectomy in January, but recovered during Spring Training and was scheduled to pitch in a Double-A tandem with fellow prospect Kodi Medei Men’s Toronto Blue Jays Majestic Authentic 52 Ryan Tepera Home White Flexbase Jersey ros beginning Saturday.

Instead, Houser was summoned back to the big leagues.

“It’s definitely been a long journey,” said Houser, who throws a power fastball and a plus curveball. “A lot of time put in to get here. I’m very excited to be back. … This definitely surprised me. I’m definitely happy about it.”

The Brewers, who are trying to get by with seven reliev Men’s Toronto Blue Jays Majestic Authentic 26 Yangervis Solarte Alternate Royal Blue Flexbase Jersey ers for as long as possible, needed some “length” in the bullpen, and Houser fit the bill. Counsell said the team may be flexible with that roster spot in the coming weeks.

Tweet from @Brewers: .@AdrianHouser12 meets with the media upon his return to Miller Park. pic.twitter.com/9Fvx7oK9Ky

Yelich still sore
Outfielder Christian Yelich’s sore right oblique was a bit better Friday, according to Counsell, but Yelich missed a second straight start. He remains day to day.

“I think improved, but [not] enough so that we thought he was a ‘go’ tonight for the starting lineup,” Counsell said. “I’d say he’s still in the same spot. We’ll look at him every day when he comes in and make a determination.”

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.


Milwaukee Brewers

NL Central takea Yangervis Solarte Jersey ways from first week of season

Cubs hitters arrived at Miller Park on Thursday with 58 strikeouts through five games, a dubious National League record. Brewers manager Craig Counsell was asked what he made of it.

He paused, smiled and looked around at the gathered crowd of reporters.

Cubs hitters arrived at Miller Park on Thursday with 58 strikeouts through five games, a dubious National League record. Brewers manager Craig Counsell was asked what he made of it.

He paused, smiled and looked around at the gathered crowd of reporters.

“You guys are making too big of a deal out of it, in my opinion,” Counsell Yangervis Solarte Jersey  said. “It’s way too early. We’re about three percent of the schedule in.

“I understand we have to address trends and things that are happening, but we do have to also understand the schedule, the way the game is played and the routine of the game. There are things we haven’t done well, there are things the other teams haven’t done well. There are things we’ve done really well. The most likely scenario is some of these patterns come back to what we expect. If they haven’t after a month, then I think you start looking pretty deep into them.”

Who wants to wait a month? Here’s where things stood in the NL Central after a week of regular-season baseball:

PIRATES

What we know: They will win some games. Maybe that’s an oversimplification, but it seems worth mentioning, considering the doom and gloom that descended on PNC Park after the team traded Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen over the offseason. Winning five of their first six games helped. Corey Dickerson was a good replacement for McCutchen, and there is hope for improved offensive production with full seasons out of Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco, each of whom logged few Steve Pearce Jersey er than 400 at-bats last year. The Pirates tied for second in the Majors during the first week by averaging six runs per game.

Video: CIN@PIT: Polanco blasts go-ahead two-run homer

What we still don’t know: If they hit, will they be able to hold leads? Only one Pirates starter — Trevor Williams — completed six innings in the team’s first five games. Left-handed closer Felipe Rivero is a weapon at the end of games, but outside of Pittsburgh, how many fans can name another Bucs reliever. George Kontos is one of them, and he has been a solid reliever for the Pirates and Giants for years now, but manager Clint Hurdle has work to do to find the right combination of arms to get to the ninth inning.

The bottom line: It looks like the start of a rebuild for the Pirates, but they still have enough good hitters to compete on a game-to-game basis.

BREWERS

What we know: Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich have transformed the top of the lineup. After joining a team that set Major League Baseball’s all-time strikeout record in each of the past two seasons, Cain and Yelich combined for one strikeout in the opening series in San Diego while going 15-for-28 at the plate. Yes, the Brewers have a crowd out there in the outfield, with Cain and Yelich joining Ryan Braun and Domingo Santana. But the value of that depth was on display when Yelich went down this week with a tight right oblique.

Video: Must C Clutch: Yelich, Braun go back-to-back for win

What we still don’t know: Is the starting rotation good enough? After they got Cain and Yelich on the same January day, most expected GM David Stearns to spend dollars or prospects to acquire one more starting pitcher. Stearns bucked those expectations, believing Milwaukee’s pitching was better than outsiders think, and that the financial flexibility will come in handy if the club chooses to make additions at midseason. Other than Chase Anderson‘s  Ryan Tepera Jersey six scoreless innings on Opening Day, however, the first week was unkind to Brewers starters. Zach Davies, Jhoulys Chacin and Anderson combined to surrender 17 runs (13 earned) in 15 1/3 innings of the team’s home opening series against the Cardinals.

The bottom line: If the starting pitching levels out, the Brewers have the offense and bullpen to be as competitive as advertised — assuming closer Corey Knebel returns reasonably quickly from a left hamstring injury. A pair of ninth-inning comebacks during the first week added some confidence.

CUBS

What we know: The only way the Cubs’ offense can go is up, and it started to do so in Thursday’s win in Milwaukee. Besides the strikeout problem, new hitting coach Chili Davis will try to help end the team’s early-season funk with runners in scoring position. Chicago started the season 10-for-62 in those situations, a .161 average that bested only the Giants and Phillies among Major League clubs. But only the Rockies scored more runs than the Cubs over the past two seasons; Chicago’s offense is going to be fine over the course of 162 games.

Video: CHC@MIA: Rizzo launches a solo homer to right field

What we still don’t know: How much will the Cubs miss Wade Davis? The right-hander, who signed with the Rockies over the winter, was nearly perfect last year during the regular season, going 32-for-32 in save chances before the Brewers got him in the final week of September at Miller Park. In their championship season in 2016, the Cubs had Aroldis Chapman. Now, they have Brandon Morrow, who got a three-year deal coming off a solid setup season with the Dodgers. Morrow faced only one batter in the first week of the regular season and allowed a walk-off single in the 17th inning of a loss to the Marlins.

The bottom line: Slow start aside, the Cubs are the team to beat.

CARDINALS

What we know: This lineup, bolstered by the offseason addition of Marcell Ozuna, is legit. The Cardinals led the division and were third in the NL in the opening week with a .780 OPS and a .459 slugging percentage, led by the recently-extended Paul DeJong‘s three homers and 1.364 OPS through six games. DeJong is manager Mike Matheny’s seven-hole hitter, a sign of how deep this offense is.

What we still don’t know: How good will the pitching staff be once everyone gets healthy? Longtime Cardinal Adam Wainwright saw his season debut pushed back a week by a hamstring injury. Veteran relievers Luke Gregerson and Brett Cecil landed on the DL. New closer Greg Holland signed so late that he needed some time in the Minors to get into game shape. Eventually, if Carlos Martinez can pitch regularly like he did in Milwaukee on Wednesday in 8 1/3 shutout innings, and newcomer Miles Mikolas is as improved after three years in Japan as the Cardinals believe he is, this could be a very competitive pitching staff. They just need to get everyone together at the same time.

Video: STL@MIL: Martinez gives up no runs, K’s 10 in 8 1/3

The bottom line: The Cardinals are always good, and it looks like they will be good again in 2018. They have finished in the top three of the NL Central for 10 straight seasons.

REDS

What we know: They’re going to score. After bein Men’s Toronto Blue Jays Majestic Authentic 26 Yangervis Solarte Alternate Royal Blue Flexbase Jersey g blanked by Max Scherzer on Opening Day, the Reds scored 12 runs in two games started by Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez — something of a moral victory, even though the Nationals swept the series. Scooter Gennett‘s 8-for-17 start to the season offered confidence that his 27-homer surprise in 2017 was no fluke, and perennial NL MVP Award candidate Joey Votto is going to be a lot better than his 3-for-15 slump through the Reds’ first four games.

Video: Keep an eye out for Gennett after hot start

What we still don’t know: Is this Reds rotation better than the dire predictions? They got three quality starts in the first four games from Homer Bailey, Sal Romano and Tyler Mahle — a good sign with fellow starters Anthony DeSclafani and Brandon Finnegan on the season-opening disabled list. The Reds finished in the top half of Major League Baseball in runs scored last season, and they returned most of that group of hitters, so if the starting pitchers are able to keep games close, they should be able to pick off some wins.

The bottom line: It won’t get any tougher. Scherzer, Custom Blue Jays Jersey Strasburg and Gonzalez each placed in the top five of NL qualifiers last season in ERA. That’s a challenging way to start a season for any club.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Chicago Cubs,
Cincinnati Reds,
Pittsburgh Pirates,
St. Louis Cardinals

Crew’s flair for dramatic conti Yangervis Solarte Jersey nues with walk-off

MILWAUKEE — Craig Counsell described his Brewers as “a little bit of a high-wire act” on F Women’s Personalized Toronto Blue Jays Majestic Flexbase Authentic Home White Baseball Jersey riday afternoon, which seemed an apt description as the team bounced around the infield a few hours later for the second time this week.

Orlando Arcia‘s one-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning finished a 5-4 win over the Cubs at Miller Park that saw a big hit from reliever Josh Hader, of all people, help to snap Milwaukee’s 22-inning scoring drought. Twice in the past four games, the Brewers have walked off by that same score against the Cardinals and Cubs, their chief rivals. In two intervening losses, they did not score a single run.

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MILWAUKEE — Craig Counsell described his Brewers as “a little bit of a high-wire act” on Friday afternoon, which seemed an apt description as the team bounced around the infield a few hours later for the second time this week.

Orlando Arcia‘s one-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning finished a 5-4 win over the Cubs at Miller Park tha Steve Pearce Jersey t saw a big hit from reliever Josh Hader, of all people, help to snap Milwaukee’s 22-inning scoring drought. Twice in the past four games, the Brewers have walked off by that same score against the Cardinals and Cubs, their chief rivals. In two intervening losses, they did not score a single run.

View Full Game Coverage

“We’ve been a little bit of a high-wire act for a little over a year now,” Counsell said. “That’s exciting, it’s maddening, it’s frustrating. It’s entertaining baseball, I think — even on the nights it doesn’t work out.

“You want more, for sure.”

Much more of this, and the Brewers might have to start handing out blood pressure medication. For the first time in franchise history, four of their first five victories have been decided in the final at-bat. There was a 10-inning win in San Diego on Opening Day on an Arcia single, and Ryan Braun‘s dramatic, three-run home run to cap a five-run rally in the ninth inning the next day. Then there were back-to-back home runs from Christian Yelich and Braun with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Tuesday against the Cardinals, and Arcia again against the Cubs on Friday night.

Arcia punched a single off Mike Montgomery over Chicago’s five-man infield to score Manny Pina, who had started the winning rally with a one-out walk and had taken third on Kris Bryant‘s throwing error.

“From the moment I’m in that circle, I’m focusing on the situation and focusing on the at-bat,” Arcia said, “and thankfully, it’s gone my way both times.”

Video: CHC@MIL: Arcia doused talking about walk-off single

“The ninth inning is our inning,” said Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw. “If we keep it close until the ninth, we’ve got a shot.”

Eric Thames and Shaw hit two-run home runs off Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks for the Brewers’ first runs since Yelich and Braun went deep to beat the Cardinals, only to see the Cubs pull even on a circus play in the sixth, with Javier Baez circling the bases on an RBI triple and a tough-luck throwing error by Eric Sogard that caromed off Baez’s helmet-less head.

Video: CHC@MIL: Statcast™ tracks Shaw’s 113.5-mph home run

With Brewers closer Corey Knebel out due to a hamstring injury and Friday starter Brandon Woodruff limited to 3 2/3 innings because his pitch count soared to 95, Counsell leaned once again on a bullpen that has limited opponents to nine earned runs and 28 hits in 36 2/3 innings so far.

Hader, Jeremy Jeffress and Matt Albers each worked beyond one inning to give Brewers hitters chances to win the game late. Albers was going two innings no matter what, and expended 34 pitches to hold the Cubs scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

After striking out Kyle Schwarber to end the top of the ninth, the mild-mannered Albers gestured dramatically toward the dugout.

“I was trying to fire up the troops a little bit,” he said.

Maybe it worked.

“That was the high wire, there’s no question,” Counsell said. “Look, it was a fun baseball game. We played with tremendous heart.”

Video: CHC@MIL: Counsell on Brewers’ 5-4 walk-off win

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Pitchers who rake: The Brewers needed something, anything, to wake an offense that had slumbered for 22 consecutive scoreless innings. Left-handed reliever Hader provided the hit off Hendricks that got them going. Hader’s first career hit was a single leading off the fifth inning, two batters befor Yangervis Solarte Jersey e Thames’ tying home run. Two batters after that, Shaw hit another two-run shot for a 4-2 Brewers lead.

Video: CHC@MIL: Hader gets his first big league hit vs. Cubs

“I just closed my eyes and it happened to be a base hit,” Hader said. “We came along today. Two big homers and we pulled through.”

Baez circles the bases: Baez, the Cubs’ spark plug in Thursday’s series opener, tied the game in the sixth when he lined a two-out RBI triple and scored on Sogard’s relay throw off Baez’s head — a tough-luck way to be charged with the Brewers’ seventh error in their last three games. It gave Baez three RBIs and three runs scored in his first seven plate appearances of the series, and opened the door to second-guessing a pitching change just ahead of the Baez at-bat. Hader had retired six of the seven men he faced and was at 41 pitches, but Counsell wanted a right-on-right matchup against Baez with two outs and a runner at second base. So he called for Jeffress, and Baez circled the bases to tie the game at 4-4.

Video: CHC@MIL: Baez rips an RBI t Men’s Toronto Blue Jays Majestic Authentic 52 Ryan Tepera Home White Flexbase Jersey riple, scores on an error

“I thought Josh had emptied his tank on the previous two hitters,” Counsell explained. “He was up over 40 pitches, it was the third inning of work he’d been in, and I just thought it was time. It was [Jeffress] for Baez before the inning started.”

QUOTABLE
“We know they’re going to be there all year. Top of this division with us, it’s going to be a battle all year long. We know they’re deep and a resilient bunch. What they did last year brought them together. We have to be on it, game in, game out, regardless of [which players] they lose.” — Hendricks, when asked if the Brewers will struggle without closer Corey Knebel

“This is part of the roller coaster, part of the ride. This is what the baseball season is. There are going to be tough games, there are going to be games that are a ton of fun like this, there are going to be ordinary games, but this is the ride we’re on. We’ll try to thrill you every night, but this one counts for a couple.” — Counsell

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
According to Elias, the last team to have four of its first five wins come in its final-inning at-bat was the Ryan Tepera Jersey 2011 Royals in Ned Yost’s first full season managing Kansas City.

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Brian Duensing took over in the Brewers’ sixth and walked Sogard. Cain then doubled down the left-field line. The Cubs challenged that the ball was foul, but after a review, the call was confirmed.

Video: CHC@MIL: Cain’s double confirmed after Cubs challenge

WHAT’S NEXT
Zach Davies called it “one of the worst games to go out there and not have your stuff” after struggling in a loss to the Cardinals in Milwaukee’s home opener. He gets a Custom Blue Jays Jersey chance for redemption against the Cubs beginning at 3:05 p.m. CT on Saturday. Davies has a 3.90 ERA in 10 career starts against the Cubs.

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Adam McCalvy Men’s Toronto Blue Jays Majestic Authentic 26 Yangervis Solarte Alternate Royal Blue Flexbase Jersey  has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.