Matt Garza (6-5, 3.78 ERA) looked to right the ship on Thursday afternoon after four straight Brewers losses when he took on David Buchanan (4-5, 4.82 ERA) of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Garza came into the game as the only Brewer pitcher to win a game in eight tries in July, and he had to throw a shutout to pick up a 1-0 win over the Reds on Saturday to do it.
Garza looked like he was going to repeat his performance. He didn’t allow a hit until the seventh inning and left with two outs in the eighth and a 1-0 lead. By the time the inning was over, the Brewers trailed 7-1 and the Phillies ran away with a series sweep and 9-1 victory.
For the first time in the four-game series Philadelphia didn’t score a first-inning run as Garza cruised through the top of the order without issue.
The Brewers picked up their first hit in the bottom of the second when Braun knocked a one-out single to right.
The Brewers put a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the third. Jeff Bianchi led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Garza. Unfortunately for the Crew, Carlos Gomez and Scooter Gennett flew out to end the inning.
Philadelphia broke up Garza’s perfect game in the fifth inning when Marlon Byrd picked up a one-out walk but he’d stay at first and Garza continued to roll.
Braun and Gomez collided on the first ball put in play in the top of the sixth, but Gomez made the catch and Garza put down the next two hitters to complete six innings of no-hit baseball.
Gomez came back out to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning and launched a home run (14) to center field to give Milwaukee the 1-0 lead.
Jimmy Rollins broke up the no-hitter in the top of the seventh with a lead off single past a diving Scooter Gennett and into right field. Chase Utley followed with a soft liner to center for a single to put two on.
Each runner advanced a base on a Ryan Howard roller to first base. Rollins was out at the plate on a grounder to short by Byrd, the throw by Bianchi was perfect and Rollins had no shot. Cody Asche flew out to Davis in left to end the threat.
The Phillies threatened again in the eighth when Cameron Rupp belted a one-out double down the line in left. Ben Revere came in to pinch-run for Rupp, and Cesar Hernandez came in to pinch-hit for Buchanan.
Hernandez drew a walk as Garza seemed to struggle with his command in the eighth. Tony Gwynn Jr grounded out on a slow roller to third for the second out, advancing both runners, and manager Ron Roenicke called for Will Smith to face Rollins.
Rollins singled to left to drive in both Revere and Hernandez and give Philly a 2-1 lead, and closing the book on Garza. The final line on Garza was 7 2/3 innings pitched, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three.
Chase Utley followed with a five-pitch walk to put two on for Ryan Howard who hit a ground-rule double down the line in left to bring in Rollins and put Utley at third.
Smith intentionally walked Bryd to load the bases for Asche. Asche hit a ground rule double over Braun in right to drive in Utley and Howard and move Byrd to third base.
That was it for Smith. He faced five batters and didn’t retire any, allowing a single, two doubles, and two walks. Brandon Kintzler came on for Milwaukee.
Dominic Brown knocked a two-run single up the middle off Kintzler to drive in Byrd and Asche. Both runs were charged to Smith who was charged with five runs, and allowed two inherited runs of Garza’s.
Revere followed with another single to make it seven straight Phillies reaching base. Hernandez grounded to Gennett at second who threw wildly to first leaving Hernandez safe. Roenicke challenged the play, and Hernandez was ruled out to end the inning with Philly on top 7-1.
We’ll turn to Twitter to summarize all of that for you.
To recap: Garza left in the 8th with 2 outs and Brewers lead 1-0. After the next out was recorded, Phillies take a 7-1 lead.
— BrewersBeat (@BrewersBeat) July 10, 2014
Antonio Bastardo came on to pitch the eighth for the Phillies, closing the book on Buchanan who threw seven innings and allowed just one run on four hits and a walk while striking out five. Bastardo put the Crew down in order in the inning.
Wei-Chung Wang came on to throw the ninth for Milwaukee. Rollins picked up a one-out walk and two batters later Howard belted his 15th home run of the year to make it 9-1.
Jake Diekman came on to pitch the ninth for Philadelphia and he put the Brewers down in order to end the game.
Garza picked up the loss for the Brewers, in a gigantic travesty of justice. Buchanan was credited with the win for the Phillies. For the 7th time in nine July games Milwaukee scored two runs or fewer.
The loss cuts the Brewers division lead to 1.5 games, with the potential of falling to just one game if St. Louis beats Pittsburgh tonight. The Brewers will play host to the Cardinals in a three-game weekend series before the much-needed All Star break.