Kottaras Saves the Day in Narrow Brewers Victory

George Kottaras
What started out as a pitchers duel between Yovanni Gallardo and Ryan Dempster ended with some fireworks as the Brewers got a 2 run home run from catcher George Kottaras and that proved to be enough in a 2-1 victory over the Cubs.  Milwaukee improved to 4-2 on the young season and dropped the Cubs to a lowly 1-5 to start their year.  

Milwaukee also kept pace with the Cardinals who sit at 5-2 and are just 0.5 games ahead of the Brewers.

The first inning this afternoon was a bit shaky for Gallardo (1-1, 5.91ERA) as he gave up the only run of his day on a Starlin Castro sacrifice fly, but he settled down and went inning for inning with Ryan Dempster before his offense finally chased his pitching foe and allowed him to get the win.

Overall it was a crazy good pitching day on both sides as Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.88ERA) only allowed 5 hits (just 2 before the 7th inning) and struck out 5 in the loss.  After Russell allowed the only Brewers runs Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol came in and shut down the Brewers bats again in the final two innings to keep the Cubs in the game.

With a narrow 2-1 lead heading into the 8th inning the Brewers turned to their fearsome late innings duo of Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford to hold on to the victory.  K-Rod struck out the side and Axford got the first two batters swinging.  But he allowed a double to pinch hitter Steve Clevenger that put the tying run in scoring position.  Credit to Axford though as he came back to finish off Reed Johnson with a swinging strikeout to earn his 2nd save of the season and his 45th consecutive save.

Starters:
MIL -
 Yovanni Gallardo: 7IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 6K, (107 pitches, 68 strikes)
CHI - Ryan Dempster: 6.2IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 5K, 1HR, (106 pitches, 65 strikes)

Brewers Highlights: 
George Kottaras: 2-3, 1HR (2), 2RBI (5), 1BB,  .429avg
Matt Gamel: 2-4, 1R, 12B (1), .273avg
Norichika Aoki: 1-3, 1BB, .400avg

Cubs Highlights: 
Ian Stewart: 2-4, 2K’s, 2LOB’s, .250avg
David DeJesus: 1-3, 1 run, 1BB, 1K
Starlin Castro: 0-2, 1BB, 1RBI (2)

Notes: 

- the Brewers had each of their first two batters to start an inning reach base but that couldn’t produce any runs off of it early on.

- Just how good was Gallardo?  Check out the numbers (thanks to BrooksBaseball.net) 

Pitch Statistics
Pitch Type Avg Speed Max Speed Avg H-Break Avg V-Break Count Strikes / %
FF (FourSeam Fastball) 91.36 93.1 -1.12 10.59 47 31 / 65.96%
CH (Changeup) 88.35 89.5 -2.02 3.62 2 2 / 100.00%
SL (Slider) 87.15 89.4 1.26 4.05 35 22 / 62.86%
CU (Curveball) 79.55 81.7 5.45 -5.25 16 8 / 50.00%
FT (TwoSeam Fastball) 91.19 92.4 -6.70 10.03 7 5 / 71.43%
Pitch classifications provided by the Gameday Algorithm and may be inaccurate.

Pitch Type LWTS correspond to how many runs were likely to score on a particular pitch based on average run expectancy when each pitch was thrown and what happened as a result. Negative scores indicate more effective pitches.

Time to Plate is the time, in seconds, that it takes an average pitch of this type to reach the plate. This is strongly correlated with velocity, but also factors in movement.

Strikes

- I count 31 of his 68 strikes on the outside part of the plate and that’s about as good an indication that a pitcher was on as you’re going to find.

- Ryan Dempster was called for a balk in the 2nd inning that moved Gamel & Kottaras to 2nd and 3rd with just one out, but an infield catch by Darwin Barney and a strikeout of Gallardo got him out of that jam. 

- Dempster retired 11 Brewers batters in a row after George Kottaras’ single in the top of the 2nd inning. 

- Gallardo got a lot of help from his defense as he recored 11 groundball outs. 

- Every one of the first 8 outs by a reliever on either team was recorded by a stirkeout. 

- Axford was the only relief pitcher to allow a hit between the two teams as all relievers combined for no runs on just 1 hit with 12K’s between the 5 relievers.   

Up Next: Milwaukee and the Chicago Cubs will square off tomorrow in the series finale as the Brewers go for the series sweep at 1pm Central from Wrigley Field. 

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Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy has been covering college football for nearly half a decade and is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadgers.com. He's also a featured columnist covering college football for Bleacher Report.

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