Brewers edge Phillies, honor '82 team with pregame ceremony
MILWAUKEE -- With the 1982 AL champion Milwaukee Brewers watching, the surprising NL Central-leading Brew Crew put on their own show.
Travis Shaw hit his 20th home run of the season leading off the bottom of the eighth inning and the Brewers edged the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 on Saturday night.
Shaw hit the center-field scoreboard when he crushed a 1-1 pitch right down the middle from Joaquin Benoit (1-4). The victory put the Brewers (52-41) a season-high 11 games over .500.
The Brewers honored more than 20 members of the 1982 AL championship team in a 30-minute pregame ceremony. Hall of Famer Robin Yount, Cecil Cooper, Charlie Moore, Gorman Thomas, among others, were cheered with arguably the loudest for the original team owner, former MLB commissioner and 2017 Hall of Fame inductee, Bud Selig.
"Tonight's about them," Shaw said after extending his career high in home runs. "A lot of good players on that team. For them to all come back and for us to get a win is kind of a perfect night."
The St. Louis Cardinals won their ninth championship by edging the Brewers 4-3 in the 1982 World Series. It was the Cardinals' 13th trip to the Series and the Brewers' first.
Both clubs are wearing 1982-style throwback jerseys during the three-game series.
"They were great teammates together," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "That's something this group has created, for sure. It is an honor for us to be compared to that team. That was a heck of a baseball team."
Jacob Barnes (2-1) picked up the win when got out of jam in the top of the eighth thanks to a slick double play after walking two batters.
Corey Knebel pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 20 chances. He struck out Tommy Joseph for his 45th consecutive appearance with a strikeout to start the season, a major league record. Odubel Herrera squeezed a double down the third-base line with two outs, but Cameron Rupp went down swinging to end the game.
Herrera pulled the Phillies even with a solo shot off Jimmy Nelson in the seventh. Nelson went 6 2/3 innings, struck out nine, walked two and missed a chance to match his career-best four consecutive wins.
Hernan Perez made it 2-1 for Milwaukee with a home run off Aaron Nola leading off the Brewers' sixth.
Nola pitched four scoreless innings, but lost a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Thames smashed a two-out RBI double.
Nola's streak of four straight starts of seven innings or more ended when Pat Neshek took over to start the seventh. Nola mixed in a changeup with his curveball and struck out seven and walked two.
He knew it could have been better.
"I didn't get strike one enough," Nola said. "It was a little more stressful tonight because getting behind in counts."
Nelson cruised through the first four innings, allowing one hit and striking out seven, but cost himself a run in the fifth. Rupp walked and advanced on a single by Nick Williams. Both moved up on Nelson's errant pitch. Rupp scored on a sacrifice fly by Ty Kelly.
Phillies: OF Aaron Altherr didn't play. He doubled in Friday night's game, but then left the field with a mild right hamstring strain.
Brewers: Caution is the word on LF Ryan Braun. He's missed 39 games this season during two stints on the disabled list with a left calf strain. "I think enough has happened (to him) as we've gone through this, that it's day-to-day for the rest of the year, for me," manager Craig Counsell said. "We've had a couple of recurrences of it." Braun was in the lineup Saturday night.
BREWERS STAY HOT
Milwaukee has won eight of the last nine games, 11 of 13 and leads the Central by 5 1/2 games.
Phillies: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (5-5, 4.49 ERA) hasn't won in six starts since beating San Francisco 9-7 on June 4. He looks to snap that streak when he makes his team-leading 19th start of the season and fifth career against Milwaukee. He is 2-1 with a 2.74 ERA facing the Brewers.
Brewers: RHP Matt Garza (4-4, 3.98) looks to build off his last start, when he allowed five hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a 4-0 win July 5 against Baltimore. He makes his 14th start of the season and ninth career against the Phillies. He is 2-2 (2.32 ERA) facing Philadelphia.