SAINTS SUBDUE MILKMEN IN GAME TWO BLOWOUT
Saints subdue Milkmen in game two blowout
Fans of the Milwaukee Milkmen have almost gotten used to the pitching being basically perfect on a nightly basis, as the club had posted a collective 3.63 ERA through the first 52 games of the season. But Wednesday's game two against the St. Paul Saints provided a stark reminder that even the best pitching staff in the American Association is going to have an off night every once in awhile.
Drew Hutchison toed the slab for the Milkmen, fresh off his best start of the season after shutting out the Chicago Dogs for 5.0 inning with 9 strikeouts on August 27th. He didn't possess that same sharpness on Wednesday, however, and quickly found himself in a hole in the first inning. Max Murphy worked a full count with two outs before drawing a walk, then Alonzo Harris deposited the first pitch he saw over the fence for a two-run homer to give the Saints the lead.
St. Paul continued to pile on in the third, starting with a walk to Mitch Ghelfi. Mikey Reynolds doubled to left field to move the runners up to second and third with no outs, then Chuck Taylor smashed his first American Association home run of 2020 to make it 5-0 ballgame.
The Saints broke the game open in the fifth. Hutchison started the inning, but after walking Ghelfi and issuing a single to Reynolds, he was replaced by Zach Hartman. Hutchison allowed five hits and four walks across 4-plus innings, striking out four. He threw 75 pitches. Hartman's fortunes weren't much better. Murphy singled to score Ghelfi and Harris walked to load the bases. Chris Chinea promptly unloaded them with a three-run double. By the time Hartman worked out of the inning, St. Paul had pushed an additional four runs across, two charged to the starter's line and two of them to Zach.
One night after allowing only two hits to St. Paul, Milwaukee's offense recorded only two hits in this contest. The first was a 439-foot home run off the bat of Adam Brett Walker in the fourth inning, his league-leading 21st of the season. That would be the only damage done in 5.0 inning against Saints' starter Nick Belzer. In the sixth, Brett Vertigan drew a one-out walk against lefty reliever Aaron Brown, advanced to second on a passed ball, then scored when David Washington singled the opposite way to left field.
If there is a bright side to this one, it is the work that Dylan Baker and Taylor Ahearn provided to finish out the contest. Making his first appearance since July 29th, Baker touched 95 MPH on the radar gun and struck out three batters while working around a hit in a scoreless frame. Ahearn allowed a hit and a walk while punching out three and hanging two zeroes on the scoreboard in the final innings of this 9-2 loss.
Wednesday's defeat drops the Milkmen to 30-23 on the season, but the team will still be in first place in the American Association standings when play begins on Thursday. Milwaukee will face off in the rubber match against St. Paul (26-27) for their final road game of the 2020 regular season, with first pitch scheduled to take place at 7:05 PM.
The Milkmen are out of town, but you can still catch the games on AA Baseball TV by clicking here. A full season subscription can be purchased for $19.99.
The Milkmen are on the road for a six-game trip before returning back to Franklin Field to meet the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks on September 4th, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 PM. For tickets and more information visit MilwaukeeMilkmen.com.