Saturday, April 25, 2009

Brewers Outlast Astros in Marathon

It may have taken 11 innings and 4 1/2 hours, but the Brewers were able to win their fourth straight game by knocking off the Houston Astros by a score of 9-8 on Saturday night. This was a game where the Brewers were continually forced to come back from a deficit, but they answered every time. As Ryan Braun told FSN's Telly Hughes after the game, this team has their swagger back, and the Brewers are now just one game under .500.

Milwaukee took the lead in the fourth inning when Prince Fielder hit a solo shot to put the Brewers up 1-0, but then Jeff Suppan gave up three runs to Houston in the bottom of the inning. Suppan didn't pitch that bad, as he went 6 innings giving up 3 earned runs (4 total). It was an average Suppan start, although I'm happy with the six strikeouts he tallied throughout the night.

The Brewers found themselves down 4-1 in the 6th inning, a deficit that was erased when Bill Hall hit a 3-run shot to tie the game. Hall had a pretty good game in this one, going 3-for-6 with four RBI. He did have an error late in the game that nearly cost the Brewers the victory. That error, however, did cost him TBC's Player of the Game award. 

That award would be going to Prince Fielder. When the Brewers found themselves down 7-6 in the 9th inning, Fielder brought them back into the game with a two-run home run. Corey Hart scored on the play, although Hart should have had a home run himself earlier in the inning, but because Minute Maid Park is the most poorly designed ballpark in the history of America, it was only a double. 

The Brewers needed Fielder's home run because of an uncharacteristically bad outing from Todd Coffey, who for some reason pitched the 8th inning instead of the 9th inning. Coffey gave up three runs in the inning off of four hits. That meant it was Carlos Villanueva for the save in the 9th, but he faltered as well, giving up a run to the Astros and the game went into extra innings.

Villanueva - who after hitting a single in the top of the 10th - pitched into the bottom of the 10th as well, but ultimately grew tired after nearly fifty pitches. With the bases loaded in the bottom of that frame, it appeared as if the Astros were on their way to a victory, but Mark DiFelice came in and shut it down. 

Now in the 11th, the Brewers had yet another chance to win this ballgame. Hart doubled right off the bat, and scored when Ryan Braun hit a shot back up the middle. The Brewers then loaded the bases, but got nothing out of it. Still, they had a one run lead in the bottom of the 11th, and it was Mark DiFelice's time to shine.

DiFelice rose to the occasion brilliantly, and the Brewers earned the victory. They are now 5-3 on the current road trip, and this is the second series win in a row for Milwaukee. They'll go for the sweep, as well as a .500 record, when they take on the Astros on Sunday at 1pm.

Player of the Game: Prince - 3-for-5, 2 HR, 3 runs, 3 RBI


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