After letting a road opportunity slip away, the Milwaukee Brewers will turn to ace right-hander Brandon Woodruff when they return home to face the Miami Marlins on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series.
But Woodruff will have a tough act to follow despite his team’s loss on Sunday.
Corbin Burnes threw eight no-hit innings in a scoreless duel with New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, and the Brewers’ no-hitter lasted 10 1/3 innings. But the Yankees went on to win 4-3 in 13 innings.
The National League Central-leading Brewers lost a game in the standings to the Chicago Cubs, who defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
“I mean, we’ve got to turn the page,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “We lost, we played a good series, played a good game today. Ultimately, there’s 1,000 points you can look at in a game where you could have gotten a run home or prevented a run.
“But it was a good baseball game, and we came out on the wrong side.”
Now it’s up to Woodruff (4-1, 2.30 ERA) to get the Brewers back on the right side. He will be opposed by Marlins left-hander Jesus Luzardo (9-8, 3.59).
Miami is coming off a 5-4 comeback win at Philadelphia, scoring three in the seventh inning and two on a home run by Bryan De La Cruz in the eighth. Phillies starter Ranger Suarez no-hit the Marlins until there was one out in the seventh.
“Ballsy, gutsy, all those types of words and adjectives,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said in describing Sunday’s win.
Milwaukee will begin a seven-game homestand with a three-game lead over the Cubs in the NL Central. Miami is a half-game back of Arizona for the final NL wild-card berth.
The Brewers are 66-15 when scoring four or more runs, 13-48 when scoring three or less.
Woodruff is 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA in six starts since a four-month stint on the injured list. In his most recent start, he allowed just two hits over seven scoreless innings in a 7-3 win at Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
“I thought it was a game where he got stronger as the game went on and then really got on kind of cruise control for him,” Counsell said after Woodruff’s last start. “Every pitch got working good; fastball felt like it got better as the game went on. Just a great outing.”
Woodruff is 14-3 with a 2.36 ERA over his last 29 starts dating to last season. He is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two career starts against the Marlins.
“We’ve got Woody in a good spot. I think he feels really good. I think he just keeps getting better, really,” Counsell said. “He’s well-positioned to have a good month of September and, hopefully, beyond.”
Luzardo, who has never faced Milwaukee, is 1-3 with a 4.89 ERA over his last seven starts but has allowed just two earned runs in 18 innings in his last three outings. He allowed two runs on four hits in six innings in his start last Tuesday but did not get the decision in a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I always think it starts with pitching, and (Jesus) was outstanding again,” Schumaker said after Luzardo’s start against the Dodgers. “I thought his changeup was really good, slider had a lot of chase, a lot of ground balls … went six innings against a really good offense.”
–Field Level Media