The Milwaukee Brewers will head to the ballpark coming off a loss for only the second time in two weeks on Thursday afternoon, but fortunately for the Brewers, their road to the postseason didn’t get any more difficult Wednesday night.
The Brewers will look to bounce back from a rare defeat when they host the San Diego Padres in the finale of a four-game series. Right-hander Jordan Lyles (11-8, 4.25 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for Milwaukee against Padres left-hander Joey Lucchesi (10-8, 4.22).
The Padres snapped a six-game losing streak Wednesday night, when Dinelson Lamet struck out a career-high 14 batters and rookie Seth Mejias-Brean hit his first big league homer, a two-run shot that provided the only offense in a 2-1 win.
The loss was just the second in the last 13 games for the Brewers (82-70).
“You win 10 out of 11, or 11 out of 12, you’re catching a lot of breaks,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell told reporters afterward. “Tonight, maybe we didn’t catch the breaks.”
Turns out the Brewers did get one break Wednesday night: The loss didn’t cost them any ground in the National League wild-card race thanks to the Cincinnati Reds, who beat the Chicago Cubs, 3-2, in 10 innings. Milwaukee and Chicago remain tied for the second wild card.
The Brewers did fall three games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central race. The Cardinals, who beat the Washington Nationals 5-1 on Wednesday afternoon, visit the Cubs for the opener of a four-game series Thursday night.
The Padres (69-83) will look to continue playing spoiler behind Lucchesi, who qualifies as the veteran presence in a raw rotation that has held the Brewers in check this week.
Lucchesi made 26 starts as a rookie last season, when Lamet was sidelined while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Garrett Richards, who made his Padres debut Monday night, underwent Tommy John surgery last July while Chris Paddack, who made the final start of an impressive rookie season Tuesday, spent 2018 in the minor leagues.
Richards, Paddack and Lamet provided a sign of things to come by combining to allow five runs over 14 2/3 innings in the first three games of the series.
“These are all guys with top-of-the-rotation stuff,” Padres manager Andy Green said Wednesday night. “When his stuff is on, Dinelson can pitch near the top of a rotation. We know what Garrett’s capable of doing. Chris had a really impressive rookie year. All of them have really live arms with really overpowering stuff.”
Lyles earned the win in his most recent start last Saturday, when he allowed two runs (one earned) over six innings in the Brewers’ 5-2 victory over the Cardinals. Lucchesi took the loss in his most recent start last Friday, when he gave up eight runs over 3 2/3 innings as the Padres fell to the Colorado Rockies, 10-8.
Lyles is 3-4 with a 5.02 ERA in 13 career games (nine starts) against the Padres. Lucchesi is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in two starts against the Brewers.
–Field Level Media