Brewers: Eight-Run Eruption Versus Cubs Shows Potential of Offense
Offseason moves left Brewers fans wondering how good the 2020 team would be, offensively. Saturday’s game hopefully put some of those questions to rest.
If Opening Day was supposed to be the opportunity for Brewers fans to see just how the new offensive lineup would stack up in 2020, they were likely left disappointed. That’s because Milwaukee ran into a buzzsaw in their first game.
The Cubs deployed Kyle Hendricks as their Opening Day starter and he ended up stymieing Brewers hitters the entire night. The Chicago starter pitched a three-hit shutout, leaving Brewer shortstop Orlando Arcia as the only member of the team to collect a hit, of which he collected three, in a 3-0 Cubs win.
As it turned out, fans merely had to wait one more day to see what the new members of the Brewer offense were capable of doing. The offense busted out in a big way on Saturday when the Brewers put up runs in five of nine innings on their way to a 8-3 win at Wrigley Field.
Offseason acquisitions had their hand prints all over the scoring for the Brewers in the game. Third baseman Eric Sogard started off the scoring for Milwaukee with a second-inning single that scored Lorenzo Cain. That was after some extremely heads up base-running on Cain’s part that had both Brewers and Cubs fans feeling deja vu.
New Brewers catcher Omar Narvaez got in on the next scoring play for the team. After he reached base on the first of two times that he was hit by a pitch, he came around to score along with Cain on a two-run triple by Ben Gamel, who received his first start of the season on Saturday.
Next up for a contribution by a newly-acquired Brewer was Justin Smoak. In the top of the fifth, the Milwaukee first baseman hit a towering home run down the right field line that hit high off the foul pole and brought in the fourth Brewers run of the game.
Of course any discussion about Milwaukee’s offensive potential also has to include their returning players, namely the annual MVP candidate that is Christian Yelich. He added the next two Brewer runs on a smash to center field that brought home Sogard.
New right fielder Avisail Garcia got in on the action himself toward the end of the game. The speedy outfielder scored all the way from first on a seventh-inning double by Narvaez, who rounded out the team’s scoring on an RBI-single by Cain on the very next play. Cain had plenty of big moments of his own on the day.
When all was said and done, eight of nine Brewers starters would end up with a hit in the game, the only one without one being Arcia, oddly enough. Of those newly-acquired Brewers who started Saturday’s game – Sogard, Smoak, Garcia, and Narvaez – all of them had at least a run or RBI.
Saturday’s game against the Cubs didn’t even get to showcase all of the new players who will contribute offensively for the Brewers at some point this season. Infielders Jedd Gyorko, Brock Holt, and Logan Morrison all have yet to make their Milwaukee debuts.
Still, Saturday’s performance should be at least somewhat more representative of what the Brewer offense could look like this season. Cubs starter Yu Darvish had great career numbers against the Brewers going into the game (5 games, 1.67 ERA, 0.963 WHIP) and Milwaukee ended up making him look very human.
It will take more than one big game to determine exactly what the Brewers offense holds for 2020. If it gets anywhere close to its potential, Brewers fans are in for a fun ride.