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Chacin struggles, Crew can't seal sweep

@SarahWexler32
April 14, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Jhoulys Chacín struggled with his command in Sunday’s 7-1 loss to the Dodgers, throwing nearly half (31) of his 63 pitches for balls. It made for a short day for the right-hander, who exited with one out in the third inning after allowing six runs. “I think

LOS ANGELES -- Jhoulys Chacín struggled with his command in Sunday’s 7-1 loss to the Dodgers, throwing nearly half (31) of his 63 pitches for balls. It made for a short day for the right-hander, who exited with one out in the third inning after allowing six runs.

“I think he struggled with his slider a little bit,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He was just trying to get it backdoor to the left-handers and just couldn’t land it. He just left it a little bit outside frequently. So he couldn’t land that pitch, and that’s a pretty important pitch for him, especially against the left-handers, really. That kind of got him stuck a little bit, and then he fell behind and he had to come to them on a couple occasions.”

Chacin got the first two outs of the first inning before loading the bases on a pair of walks and a base hit. Two of those runners scored on an Alex Verdugo base hit that got through an infield shift.

“I mean, after you walk guys with two outs and nobody on, you’re always going to be in trouble,” Chacin said. “Those guys, they hit a lot of homers, but they also take a lot of walks, too, so you have to attack the inside and throw strikes and make good pitches. Sometimes I didn’t [come] through, sometimes I did and they hit it in the gap. Just one of those days that things weren’t working well.”

It was another tough start for Chacin at Dodger Stadium, where he has a 5.60 ERA in 13 games over the course of his 11-year career, eight seasons of which were spent pitching for National League West teams. (He did throw 5 1/3 scoreless innings in last year’s NL Championship Series.) It certainly wasn’t the performance that the Brewers, who are in the middle of a stretch that sees them play 13 games in 13 days, were hoping for, and they had to call upon Chase Anderson (2 2/3 innings) and Jacob Barnes (two innings) for multi-inning appearances.

“Those guys did a nice job,” Counsell said of his bullpen. “Chase really normalized the game for us where we got into good shape, and Jacob had an outing where he’ll be available tomorrow. We’re in good shape tomorrow.”

The Brewers’ offense, which tagged Dodgers pitching for a combined 12 runs and 21 hits in the first two games of the series, couldn’t get much going against Sunday’s starter Ross Stripling. An eighth-inning rally led to one run on a sacrifice fly by Eric Thames, but it wasn’t enough to match a Dodgers lineup that had 11 hits, including a pair of home runs (Joc Pederson off Chacin and Verdugo off Anderson).

Stripling’s former teammate, Yasmani Grandal, was 6-for-11 in the series and had one of the Brewers’ four hits against the right-hander on Sunday.

“[Stripling] had a great outing,” Grandal said of his former batterymate. “He’s always had the capability to throw strikes. You know, he’s a control guy, four-pitch mix. He had it going today, making good pitches, soft contact, getting ahead of the count ... his pitch count just stayed down.

“It was his day today. Sometimes you just gotta tip your cap.”

After being swept in its previous series against the Angels, Milwaukee bounced back with two wins against the Dodgers. The Brewers (10-6) will head back home atop the National League Central, and they’ll see the Dodgers again on Thursday, when Los Angeles comes to town for a four-game series.

“We won the series, so I think we did a decent job overall,” said Counsell. “We got four more next week, and it’ll be tough matchups.”

“I’ll have a chance to face them again in five days and try to get my revenge,” Chacin said.

Sarah Wexler is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @SarahWexler32.