All of the anticipation of Opening Day was making baseball fans around the world anxious as the time came for the 2019 season to begin and for most teams to introduce new additions to the roster. The Milwaukee Brewers had more in mind when it came to starting off the new season.
Thursday afternoon was Opening Day all around for Major League Baseball, and the Milwaukee Brewers were coming in as the reigning, defending, undisputed National League Central division champions. Their first obstacle? A four game set with division foe, the St. Louis Cardinals.
What happened on Opening Day?
Milwaukee went with Jhoulys Chacin to start the season for the Brewers in game one, but little did they know that Chacin would add more fuel to the fire. But there were some speed bumps on the Crew’s road to victory.
The Milwaukee Brewers were the first to feel their backs against the wall when Kolten Wong and Harrison Bader went back-to-back in the second inning. Wong’s home run was a 2-run missile to right field and then Bader would follow suit and take Chacin deep to left field. Making the score at the time 3-0, Cardinals.
It was time to retaliate. Stepping up to the plate with “moose calls” echoing through out Miller Park was Mike Moustakas with two outs. He took Mikolas’ 1-2 pitch near the scoreboard to put the Brewers on the board.
The Brewers started to find a rhythm and a spark was lit in the bottom of the third as the Brewers added on three more runs. Those runs came off the bat of the 2018 NL MVP, Christian Yelich as he hit a 3-run homer to give the Brewers the lead.
Skipping ahead to the fifth inning, Chacin helped out is own cause by hitting a solo jack to left field and after that, Milwaukee never looked back.
Josh Hader comes in to shut the door and what he thought was going to be a game tying home run turned into the best play throughout Opening Day. Lorenzo Cain robbed Jose Martinez of a solo home run in right-center field with two outs in the ninth. The Crew went on to win game one, 5-4.
On Friday, We Wear Pinstripes
Friday night we would get a look at young right-hander, Freddy Peralta, making his 2019 debut and newly added Cardinal Paul Goldschmidt would get the best of Freddy by hitting two out of his three homers off of him. His third came against Jacob Barnes. But Brewers’ fans did see home runs by Yelich and an absolute bomb by Ryan Braun who–when touching home plate–made it very clear that he was not happy that they walked Yelich to get to him for an easy out. Braun made them pay with a three run home run. But the Cardinals would get the best of the Brewers, winning game two 9-4.
Did the Brewers bounce back on Saturday night?
The Milwaukee Brewers were not going to have a record of 1-2 and made sure of that. It was the starting pitching debut of Brandon Woodruff and he did not disappoint. He threw five scoreless innings and even collected a couple of hits at the plate.
The big talk of Saturday night’s game was about none other than Yelich as he went on to make history. He became the first ever reigning MVP to hit a home run in the first three games of the season. He also had some help from teammates, Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas as both big men hit home runs, as well.
More history was made as Hader struck out the side on just nine pitches. The Brew Crew took game three, 4-2.
How did the series end on Sunday afternoon?
It was time for the anticipated debut of young phenom, Corbin Burnes to make his starting pitching debut. He proved that he needs to be considered a threat, but Sunday afternoon was not easy like Sunday morning as Milwaukee saw the series win slipping away and fast. Yelich hit yet another home run in the first inning off of Michael Wacha in only four days of the 2019 season making his home run total up to four making Yelich one of only six players to accomplish that feat. He got the silent treatment once he reached the dugout.
St. Louis saw some home runs in the 4th and 5th inning from Paul DeJong, Matt Carpernter and Goldschmidt. But don’t let that stat fool you, Burnes did have 12 strikeouts on the day but did give up four earned runs and six hits.
With Milwaukee down 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh, a comeback was needed and fast. Both Shaw and Braun had run scoring singles in the inning making it a 4-3 game. It came to the bottom of the ninth with Ben Gamel at third as the tying run and Cain at first base with no outs. It was time for the reigning MVP to make a case as to why he should win the award again. Yelich hit a 2-0 double to left-center causing both runs to score and the game to end in dramatic fashion. Milwaukee won the game 5-4.
Key takeaways from the opening weekend
This weekend showed us that Yelich’s MVP season was not just a one and done type of scenario. In his first 4 games, he’s batting .500 (6-12), with four homers, eight RBIs, and a .667 OBP. But don’t let the light shine bright and just one player, other players are making their names known by just showing up and showing out. Moustakas is hitting well, along with Shaw and Braun.
We are still waiting to see new catcher, Yasmani Grandal and slugging first basemen Jesus Aguilar and Eric Thames get in on the action but it’s still early in the season. Also, with the news of Corey Knebel and Jeremy Jeffress not quite healthy yet, will we see the Brewers go deep into their bullpen with their series against the Reds?
The Milwaukee Brewers will travel to Cincinnati tomorrow to take on the Reds in a three game set then they will be back home to play their RIVALS–that’s right Cole Hamels–the Chicago Cubs this weekend after a break on Thursday.