The Milwaukee Brewers spoiled the debut of rookie Matt Magill and Carlos Gomez got a little bit of redemption in the process after being the goat of the previous nights game where he misplayed a fly ball he lost in the sky that fell for a double that ended up costing his team a victory.
Magill was visibly nervous in his debut, which was evident early on. He started the game off by issuing a walk to leadoff hitter Norichika Aoki. He was able to get Carlos Gomez to swing and miss for his first career strikeout and got Ryan Braun to fly out to deep center. After standing on first for a couple of batters, the speedy Aoki was able to get a good read on Magill and stole second base off him to move into scoring position. Yunieski Betancourt hit a single, advancing Aoki to third base for Rickie Weeks. Magill got out of the jam, however, when he got Weeks to hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing Betancourt out at second base.
Wily Peralta took the hill for the Brewers and shut down the Dodgers 1-2-3 to start off the game. Crawford struck out swinging, A.J. Ellis grounded out to shortstop and Andre Ethier flied out to center field in a quick inning for the Dodgers offense.
Magill had a much better second inning. It started out by striking out Maldanado. He then got Blake Lailli and Alex Gonzalez to each fly out to deep center to record his first perfect inning in the majors.
Matt Kemp continued his lackluster season thus far by grounding out to short stop to lead off the Dodgers’ half of the second. Skip Schumacher then grounded out to second base for the second out of the inning. Jerry Hairston, Jr. followed that up with a two-out double to center field, breathing a little life into the Dodgers’. Unfortunately, Luis Cruz couldn’t capitalize and flied out to shallow right field to end the inning.
Peralta struck out swinging to start off the third for the Brewers, but Aoki followed that up be drawing a walk. Gomez, who was the player of the week last week, hit a shallow single to shallow right, advancing Aoki to second base. Ryan Braun reached on a fielder’s choice that netted zero outs for the Dodgers, as both runners were safe advancing. With Aoki on third, Gomez on second and Braun on first, Betancourt singled to shallow shallow center field, plating Aoki for the first run of the game. Weeks followed that up by hitting into a fielder’s choice that got Betancourt out at second, but allowed Gomez to score in the process to extend their early lead to 2-0. Magill struck out Maldanado swinging to end the inning.
Juan Uribe led off the bottom of the third inning by singling to shallow left-center field, which brought up Magill for his first major league at-bat. He did what was expected of him and sacrificed Uribe over to second base. Uribe then advanced to third base on a wild pitch by the pitcher, which allowed Ellis to knock him in with a bloop single to shallow right center field, cutting the deficit in half. Ethier grounded out to third base to end the inning, but the dodgers were on the board and only down by a run.
Magill had another perfect 1-2-3 inning in the fourth when he struck out Lailli and Gonzalez before getting Peralta to ground out to first base to end a rather quick inning.
Kemp led off the Dodgers’ half of the inning with a single to shallow center field and then proceeded to show that he can still be a threat on the base paths by stealing second base. Schumacher hit a grounder to shortstop but Gonzalez made a bad throw, allowing Schumacher to reach first safely and then advance to second on the miscue, while Kemp ran around third to score the tying run. With no outs and the go-ahead run in scoring position, the Dodgers looked primed to have a big inning. However, Hairston was unable to advance the runner by grounding out to shortstop and Cruz flied out to left-center field for the second out of the inning. In a move that rarely happens at Blue Heaven on Earth, Juan Uribe was intentionally walked to face Magill. The move worked and Magill hit a weak grounder to third base for the final out of the inning.
Magill came out for the fifth inning with a renewed vigor and a new game, tied at two apiece. He got Aoki to ground out to shortstop before Gomez got on board with a single. But Magill was able to get Braun to fly out to right field and got Betancourt to fly out to right-center to end the inning.
Peralta had a three up, three down inning in the bottom of the fifth, getting Crawford to fly out to deep center field, Ellis to hit a comebacker that he successfully tossed to first base, and getting Ethier to fly out to left field to end the inning in a rather quick fashion.
Magill retaliated with another 1-2-3 inning of his own. He got Weeks to ground out to shortstop, Maldanado to fly out to right-center field and Lailli to ground out to shortstop.
Kemp led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a bloop single to shallow right and Schumacher followed that up with a bloop single of his own to left-center field, advancing Kemp to second base. Hairston flied out to center field, but it was deep enough to allow Kemp to tag on the play and advance to third base. Cruz then grounded out to second base, but it still scored Kemp for a 3-2 lead. Juan Uribe came up to bat, and predictably grounded out to end the inning.
Gonzalez led off the top of the seventh by grounding out to third base and then Magill got Jean Segura, who was pinch hitting for Peralta, to strike out looking. Paco Rodriguez then came on to relieve Magill but Aoki hit a bunt single to second baseman Schumacher, who committed a fielding error on top of that, allowing Aoki to advance to second base. Matt Guerrier then came in to relieve Rodriguez and served up a two run home run to Gomez and spoiling Magill’s debut. He then walked Braun, but Braun decided to try and steal and Ellis nailed him at second for the final out of the inning, but the damage had been done and the Dodgers’ lead had turned into a trailing 4-3.
Tom Gorzelanny relieved Peralta in the bottom of the seventh and pitched a perfect frame. He got Gonzalez to ground out to first, Crawford to line out to second base and Ellis to line out to center field.
Guerrier stayed in the game to start the top of the eighth and got Betancourt to pop out to third to start the inning. Weeks then hit a single off of him to center field and then Guerrier served up a second two-run home run, this time to Maldonado. Now down 6-3, Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly went back to his bullpen and brought out J.P. Howell, who struck out Lailli and got Gonzalez to ground out to second base to end the inning.
Former closer and current set up man, John Axford got the call by the Brewers for the eighth inning and Ethier welcomed him to the game by hitting a solo shot to right field, cutting their deficit to 6-4. Axford regrouped, however, and retired the next three batters, in order. Kemp grounded out to third base, Schumacher grounded out to shortstop and Hairston struck out swinging.
Khris Davis was announced as the pinch hitter for Axford and the Dodgers responded with bringing in Josh Wall to relieve Howell. The Brewers then decided to call on Logan Schafer to pinch hit for pinch hitter Davis. The series of moves worked, and Schafer singled to shortstop to start off the inning. Aoki sacrificed Schafer over to second before Gomez struck out swinging for the second out of the inning. Wall gave four free passes to Braun and got Betancourt to ground into a fielders choice at third base.
Jim Henderson came in to relieve Axford and preserve the win for the Brewers. He got Cruz to pop out to first base for the first out of the inning before walking Punto. Gonzalez popped out to shallow center field for the second out. Punto realized he could make it to second freely as the Brewers weren’t going to throw down to second with such a large lead, so Punto took the free base. Crawford hit a grounder to third base, but Betancourt couldn’t field it properly and Crawford reached first safely on the error and Punto advanced to third as well. Crawford then stole second base to put the potential tying runs in scoring position, but Ellis grounded out to shortstop to end the game.
After the game, Gomez explained how he was able to hit the two-run shot off of Guerrier and chalked it up to being familiar with him and his tendencies, as he has played with and against Guerrier and had an idea of what pitch was coming in the seventh inning.
”I saw the first pitch he threw me was out of the zone,” Gomez said. ”I knew that he was going to try to throw me a curve on the inside. I was just going to stay back and wait for the moment to drop the head on the ball and that’s what happened.”
Overall, Magill pitched six and two-thirds strong innings, struck out seven Brewers and retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced. Unfortunately for him, that final out of the seventh inning was the one that the Dodgers couldn’t get quickly enough.
”We still would have gone to Guerrier at that point,” Mattingly said. ”We knew he (Magill) had gone further than we talked about and we weren’t going to put him in that position.”
Magill was the ninth starting pitcher the Dodgers have used in their first 23 games this season. The last time they used nine or more pitchers in their first 23 games of the season was in 1945.