Preview: Brewers at Nationals
The Brewers made trades before, during and after their 4-1 win over the Nationals on Friday night. Milwaukee acquired outfielder Curtis Granderson from the Toronto Blue Jays, relief pitcher Xavier Cedeno from the Chicago White Sox and starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez from their hosts, the Nationals, all for minor leaguers.
Gonzalez has struggled in his seventh year with Washington, going 7-11 with a 4.57 ERA in 27 starts. He has a career record of 124-97 with a 3.71 ERA in 308 games with Oakland and Washington.
“The track record’s important, the success he’s had is important and we feel like we’re adding a good pitcher to our staff,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said after the game.
Granderson, 37, has hit .243 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs in 103 games this year, and the 32-year-old Cedeno is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in 33 relief appearances this season.
The Brewers (76-60) got a solid outing from Jhoulys Chacin and early homers from Travis Shaw, Jesus Aguilar and Erik Kratz in Friday’s win, their third straight and eighth in 11 games. Chacin allowed just one run in the first inning after loading the bases with no outs.
“He squeaks out of trouble all the time and then once he settles in in the second (inning), third, whatever he’s on cruise control the rest of the game,” Shaw said.
Washington (67-68) stranded 12 baserunners and went 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Tanner Roark, who came in with a 1.61 ERA since the All-Star break, allowed all four runs in the first three innings.
“Just a little erratic at times, not hitting my spots and they made me pay for it,” Roark said.
On Saturday, Brewers right-hander Chase Anderson (9-7, 4.04) makes his second career appearance against Washington, the first being a loss in 2014 while with Arizona.
Opponents are batting .224 versus Anderson, but he has given up a league-high 28 home runs. The Brewers are 14-12 in his starts.
Last time out, he allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings against Pittsburgh but got the win. He gave up two home runs.
“He’s good at not giving up hits. That’s what’s different about Chase — there’s going to be some home runs, but not a lot of hits,” Counsell told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He knows that mistakes are what he’s going to get hurt on. There’s a lot of really good pitchers who have given up home runs.”
Washington right-hander Stephen Strasburg (7-7, 4.14) makes his first start against Milwaukee since 2014. He’s 0-2 with a 5.30 ERA in three games vs. the Brewers.
After missing 29 games with a cervical nerve impingement, Strasburg allowed five runs in four innings in his first start. He improved in his second start back, giving up just two runs on five hits in six innings of a win at Philadelphia.
“The rust was off a little bit,” Nationals catcher Matt Wieters told the Washington Post. “He was able to make the corrections a little easier than his last start, which is big. Any time you’re coming back, being able to make the adjustment on the fly is big, and he was able to do that tonight.”
Washington made another trade Friday, sending right-handed reliever Ryan Madson (2-5, 5.28, four saves) to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor league pitcher Andrew Istler.
“Feels like a fresh start, especially to a year I’ve struggled a little bit,” Madson said.