The Milwaukee Brewers made mistakes on the base paths and failed to capitalize against one of the game’s best pitchers in Clayton Kershaw as the Los Angeles Dodgers avoided the series sweep 5-1 Sunday.
Kershaw picked up the win allowing the lone Brewers run in the opening inning. Milwaukee had plenty of chances to score, but Kershaw avoided potential rallies all eight innings he pitched. Ryan Braun recorded his first of two hits off Kershaw singling home Carlos Gomez.
Braun was the only Brewer with more than one hit.
Before Sunday’s game, manager Ron Roenicke told reporters he likes the aggressive baserunning philosophy, because in the long run the benefits outweigh any drawbacks. However, that back fired in the finale. Milwaukee put their leadoff man on base in four of the first five innings which consisted of a runner on second with nobody out in three straight. Four baserunning blunders gave Kershaw more opportunities to settle in.
In the postgame interview, Roenicke said that you have to try some things to try creating runs. The first mistake happened when starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson led off with a double. Gomez then hit a ground ball to the shortstop and Nelson was out trying to advance to third.
Second mistake came two pitches later when Gomez was picked off first base. Third mistake came with Braun on second base trying to advance to third on a ball in the dirt. Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis threw to third and Braun was called safe, but play went to replay and was called out. In that situation Braun would have been on third with nobody out with hot hitting Aramis Ramirez batting.
Final baserunning mistake came in the fifth inning, when Jean Segura was attempting to suicide squeeze home Rickie Weeks. Segura would pop up the bunt and Kershaw made a diving catch and doubled up Weeks at third. “We missed the squeeze, that would of changed the ballgame and changed the way I pitch the guys late in that game,” Roenicke said.
Nelson gave another stellar performance on the mound picking up his fourth quality start, but picked up his third loss. Nelson exited after six innings and after 81 pitches giving up two runs and eight hits.
With the loss, Milwaukee ends the home stand with a 4-2 record taking two out of three from NL-West teams. Up next for the team is a four game showdown in Chicago against the Cubs then a weekend series with the team the Brewers just saw, the Dodgers.