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Brewers 5, Twins 4: Caving In

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A solid major-league debut can’t override Josh Hader and the Brew Crew bullpen.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Minnesota Twins
Jake Cave wears #60, which matches my prediction for the number of home runs he’ll hit this year.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

It was an exciting night for Jake Cave. As it stands, excitement doesn’t win ballgames.

The Brewers got the scoring started quickly, with Lorenzo Cain scoring on a sacrifice fly in the first. But Bobby “Sheer Cussedness” Wilson tilted the score in Minnesota’s favor with a two-run double in the second inning.

Milwaukee tied it in the fourth with a two-strike homer off the bat of Jesus Aguilar, but once again the Twins would quickly retake the lead. This time, it was a two-run homer for none other than Jake Cave, making his major-league debut today after seven years in the minor leagues. It was Cave’s second run of the game -- he stole a base in the second and scored on Wilson’s double.

Brewers starter Freddy Peralta didn’t make it more than four innings, surrendering just three hits but walking six Twins hitters. However, Milwaukee has what some consider to be a “pretty good bullpen,” so knocking a struggling starter out of the game isn’t automatically a good thing.

Speaking of not-good things, the game would quickly find itself reset to an even score. In the top of the fifth, a Manny Pina RBI double and a costly wild pitch with a man on third knotted things up once again, this time at four apiece. The fifth would prove to be Fernando Romero’s last frame; he gave up just three hits across five innings of work, but only struck out two.

The score would hold for a few more innings, with Dan Jennings and Jeremy Jeffress holding down the fort for Milwaukee and Taylor Rogers and Ryan Pressly doing the same for Minnesota. But one fatal pitch by Addison Reed was launched off the bat of Christian Yelich, who stroked a go-ahead solo shot into left-center field that put the Brew Crew up 5-4.

The formidable Josh Hader predictably struck out the side swinging in the bottom of the eighth. Zach Duke put up a zero of his own in the top of the ninth, and Hader returned to close things out after tossing just 16 pitches through an inning and a third of work.

Hader walked Robbie Grossman to lead off the ninth, Byron Buxton came in as a pinch-runner, a mound visit was held, Corey Knebel began quickly warming in the Milwaukee bullpen, and Mitch Garver hopped up off the bench to pinch-hit for Mr. Cave.

A mindful Hader made a couple of closer-than-comfortable pickoff attempts to try and nab Buck, then struck out Garver swinging — four straight for the challenging southpaw. More pickoffs, more strikeouts -- Ehire Adrianza was Hader’s fifth straight swinging strikeout, and the Twins had but one out to work with.

And one hitter to count on.

And who should it be but Big Boy Bobby Wilson.

In a shocking twist, Wilson swung and missed at three straight pitches.

Josh Hader is absurd.

The series will close tomorrow at 1:10. See you then! Or not. Live your life.

STUDS:

CF Jake Cave (1-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBI)

C Bobby Wilson (1-for-3, 2 RBI)

DUDS:

RP Addison Reed (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, HR)

3B Eduardo Escobar (0-for-4, 3 K)

ROBOT ROLL CALL: