Brewers Win; Closers Do Their Job

Pittsburgh Pirates' starting pitcher Jeff Locke

Pittsburgh Pirates’ starting pitcher Jeff Locke

All the closers were represented yesterday and all of them got their jobs done, with the Pittsburgh PiratesMark Melancon, Milwaukee BrewersFrancisco Rodriguez and St. Louis CardinalsTrevor Rosenthal all closing out their teams wins for saves.

* * *

Melancon (Sv 3), Radhames Liz, and Arquimedes Caminero combined for 4 shutout innings of relief work, allowing just 1 hit and striking out 5 as the Pirates up-ended the Chicago Cubs, 5-4, handing them their first back-to-back losses of the season.

Pushed into the #3 spot because of a day off being granted to Andrew McCutchen and an injury to Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco had 3 hits (.300) with a double and stolen base.

For the Cubs, Brian Schlitter (L 0-2, 9.53 ERA) continued to struggle, allowing a run in an inning of work.

Marte is day-to-day after being hit on the wrist Wednesday night, but did pinch-run and play center field in yesterday’s game. X-rays on the wrist were negative.

Kris Bryant got his first career start in center field with Dexter Fowler going through some groin issues. Fowler is hopeful to play Friday night. For you Strat-O-Matic fans, that’s Bryant’s 2nd appearance in center, so he’ll probably be rated there on his 2015 card now – congratulations!

The Bucs’ win put them back at .500 again. They’ll have Gerrit Cole on the mound tonight against the D-Backs in an attempt to finally move about the even mark.

The Cubs try to get their first win out of Jon Lester this evening in Cincinnati.

* * *

The Brewers ended their 8-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds. They finally got some homers, with Adam Lind (3 hits, .309) hitting his 2nd and Aramis Ramirez his 1st in his farewell season. (Maybe?)

Kyle Lohse (W 1-3) finally had a good start, going seven innings and allowing a pair of runs on just three hits and a walk to go along with four strikeouts.

K-Rod pitched a scoreless 9th, redeeming himself after a rough game Wednesday night, notching his 350th career save.

For the Reds, Kevin Gregg had a “nice” outing, dropping his ERA to 10.29 by allowing only one earned run in 1.1 innings of work. Yikes.

* * *

The Cardinals stayed hot, beating the Washington Nationals on the road, 4-1.

Michael Wacha (W 3-0) went 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and a pair of walks, striking out 6.

Rosenthal picked up save #6, working a perfect 9th and striking out one.

Matt Carpenter went 2-for-4 to up his average to .386 and also collected his 8th double of the year. I know pitching is back in fashion these days, but I’m starting to wonder if he can’t make a run at .400 this year. It’s early, I know, but he’s sick.

* * *

Bernie Miklasz at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had a nice column on why won-loss records for pitchers are kind of ridiculous, using Lance Lynn as an example. It’s worth a read.

* * *

Some good stuff by Anthony Witrado at Bleacher Report on Joey Votto with a little focus on Brandon Phillips‘ complete misunderstanding that getting on-base actually correlates with winning games; they’re not at odds. Read it here.

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Schedule

8-7 CHICAGO Lester (0-2, 6.89)
8-8 CINCINNATI Leake (0-1, 3.92)
6:10 PM CT
10-4 ST. LOUIS Martinez, C (1-0, 2.08)
3-13 MILWAUKEE Garza, M (1-2, 5.40)
7:10 PM CT
8-8 PITTSBURGH Cole (2-0, 2.65)
8-7 Arizona Collmenter (1-2, 3.38)
8:40 PM CT

* * *

Standings

W L GB Strk
St. Louis Cardinals 10 4 W2
Chicago Cubs 8 7 2.5 L2
Cincinnati Reds 8 8 3.0 L1
Pittsburgh Pirates 8 8 3.0 W2
Milwaukee Brewers 3 13 8.0 W1
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