The Milwaukee Brewers stymied their way past a three game sweep at the hands of the Dodgers Sunday, thanks largely in part to the arm of Zach Davies and the bat of Eric Thames.
Davies threw six-plus innings of three-hit baseball Sunday, allowing just a single walk while retiring the first 13 hitters he faced. Not only did Davies shut down the potent Dodger offense, but he practically left them heartbroken as no Los Angeles hitter made it past first base until the seventh inning. Even then, it was only the Dodgers playing station-to-station baseball following back-to-back singles off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez and Cody Bellinger.
“They’re all in a very good place right now,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell told MLB.com. “It’s a good feeling when we send a guy out there that’s on top of his game. I feel these guys are on top of their game and we’re getting to see quality outings, for sure.”
With Zach Davies taking care business on the hill, the only question that remained Sunday was whether the offense could generate enough runs to get past the 35-win Dodgers.
Not only would they chase Kenta Maeda after only four innings of work, but the Brewers would generate all of the runs they would need by the end of the first inning, following Eric Thames connecting for his 15th home run of the season. It would be the first of two solo home runs Milwaukee hit Sunday, with the other coming off the bat of Domingo Santana.
Following the game, Thames was happy the Brewers were able to avoid the sweep.
“Just keep doing it, don’t think too much about it, don’t get too angry. Just come back the next day and play. That’s the best thing about baseball, every day you’re in there playing so it’s not like waiting a week to get back out there,” Thames told MLB.com
The home run also meant something to Thames, who had been battling a tight hamstring and a bout of strep throat for much of the month of May.
“I’ve been trying to work on staying short to the ball,” he told The Associated Press. “I’ve been getting long a lot the last few weeks, but I kind of flipped my wrists and the ball just kind of jumped off the bat a little bit.”
The Brewers also received an extra insurance run in the bottom half of the second inning following Eric Sogard’s RBI single that scored Manny Piña.
The Dodgers had entered Sunday winners of eight of their previous 10 ballgames. However, following the loss Sunday, manager Dave Roberts said the club was not able to get many good looks off of Davies.
“I think Davies was good. He kept the ball down, kept the ball away, changed speeds, and if you look at our at-bats, we didn’t get off many good swings,” he said.
“Here, it’s about production,” Roberts said, describing Maeda’s performance. “We can’t have the shorter outings. We’ve got to find some length.”
Dave Roberts felt when Maeda got ahead of hitters today he got "Afraid of contact & there are a lot of non competitive pitches."— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) June 4, 2017
The Dodgers were limited to only three hits, two of which coming in the seventh inning that also happen to coincide with their only scoring threat of the afternoon.
Following back-to-back singles from Adrian Gonzalez and Cody Bellinger, Yasmani Grandal proceeded to ground into a momentum-killing double play off new Brewers pitcher Oliver Drake. The double-play not only ensured Davies could not lose the ballgame, but served as a sort of revenge for Davies, with Grandal ending his no-hit bid in the fifth inning.
The Brewers will now look to build upon this victory as they prepare to host the San Francisco Giants for a four-game set beginning Monday night at 6:40 Central Daylight Time. Junior Guerra will get the ball for The Brew Crew, while Jeff Samardzija will get the nod for the visiting Giants.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, will return home to begin a three-game swing the Washington Nationals Monday. Game one will see Hyun-jin Ryu going up against Gio Gonzalez.
[Featured Image by Morry Gash/AP Images]