Milwaukee entered the series finale on the heels of two dramatic walk-off wins and looked to sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers, but a furious late innings rally came up short this time as the Dodgers took the finale 4-3 over the Brewers.
A fifth inning blast by Matt Kemp gave the Dodgers a 4-2 lead and proved to be the winning margin as the Dodgers avoided their first ever sweep at the hands of the Brewers.
Down 4-3 in the bottom of the eight inning the Brewers attempted to repeat the 10th inning from the previous night, only the faces changed. After Corey Hart hit a single he was lifted for the speedy Carlos Gomez who promptly stole 2nd base and an errant throw bounced into center field allowing Gomez to get to 3rd with two outs.
Unlike last night though the Brewers comeback was thwarted, ironically, by former Brewer Jerry Hairston, Jr. who came up with an amazing diving stop of an Alex Gonzalez screamer towards 3rd base and was able to just get the throw off in time to get Gonzalez at 1st.
That meant it was up to the bottom of the order in the 9th inning to come through for Milwaukee. Travis Ishikawa attempted a surprise bunt, but again Hairston thwarted it with an amazing bare-handed throw and the following two batters went down in order to end any chance of a rally
MIL: Randy Wolf: (L, 0-2, 8.80 ERA) - 6IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 1K, 1HR
LAD: Aaron Harang: (W, 1-1, 5.40 ERA) - 6IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 4K
Travis Ihiskawa: 2-4, 2RBI, 1K
Aramis Ramirez: 2-3, 1BB, 1K
Alex Gonzalez: 2-4
Matt Kemp: 2-5, 2R, 1RBI, 2K's
Andre Ethier: 2-4, 1R, 1RBI, 1K
- Ryan Braun went 0 for the series with the Dodgers and his average dropped to just .261 so far for the season. He seems to be really pressing at the moment, struggling to find not his swing but some confidence at the plate.
- Travis Ishikawa got his first hit at a Brewer in his very first regular season start and went 2-4, but he's still only batting .182 on the season.
- Despite giving up 4 runs this was a much, much better start from Randy Wolf. Realistically only two of those runs were on Wolf. There were some grounders that should've been picked up but were just good pieces of hitting and honestly he deserved a bit better than what the infield gave him today.
- Speaking of good pieces of hitting, the Matt Kemp home run was one of the best examples of actually "hitting" a home run. Wolf gave him a pitch that 99 out of 100 players would swing at and miss, but Kemp found a way to not only get the bat on it, but stayed patient enough to crush it to right center field. That ranks up there on the list of great hitting I've witnessed in my life, don't believe me check it out for yourself.
- A day after hitting his very first home run Aramis Ramirez sure seems to have finally let go from the plate. He hit the ball well today as we noted above, even drawing a rare walk early on. Perhaps it was a case of his normal early season struggles, but it sure seems he's finally at piece and not working every at bat like it's his last and it's paying off for him. Hopefully it's a sign of things to come because we're going to need him to be a huge cog in the offense.
- The bottom of the order continues to outpace the 2-3-4 hitters and that's not a good recipe for long term success. There's nothing wrong with one part of the order picking up another that's struggling, but it can't be a sustained thing otherwise this team is going to be in deep trouble.
- Former Brewers were all over the Dodgers win today as Jamey Wright just worked the Milwaukee batters. In fact he struck out four straight at one point on his way to a 2 inning, no hit, 5 strike out performance.
Up Next for the Brewers is a 3 game weekend set against the Colorado Rockies. I'll be at the Saturday game so look for live pictures and tweets (@andycoppens) from there along with post game analysis from Nick Prill here.