When the Milwaukee Brewers realized it would be the Atlanta Braves they’d face in the National League Division Series, they knew they’d be in for a fight. That’s what exactly what they got in a 2-1 Game 1 victory, Friday afternoon.
We all knew Brewers pitching would be their greatest advantage in this series and beyond. Corbin Burnes had a challenging first inning, but did not disappoint in his six strong innings of work. The first Brewers starter to go six innings in the last 14 postseason games. Burnes, the leading candidate for the NL Cy Young Award, struck out six and didn’t allow a single run.
On the other side, Braves starter Charlie Morton, matched Burnes pitch for pitch… until the sixth inning. Morton struck out nine, but got caught by Brewers first baseman, Rowdy Tellez, for a 2-run homerun. Those would be the only runs of the game for the Crew.
Adrian Houser pitched a clean seventh for Milwaukee, but served up a solo homerun to Joc Pederson, that cut the lead to one. Nervous times.
Brewers closer, Josh Hader, was tasked with closing the door on Atlanta. (He’s the best in the business, after all.) With the margin tightened, Hader found himself in a pressure situation. After walking a batter and giving up a hit, Hader found his way out of it and sealed the Game 1 victory for Milwaukee.
This was a typical scrappy game for the Crew: outstanding pitching, a quiet but timely offense, and slick fielding. You’d like more runs, but a win is a win, especially at in the postseason.
Another effort like this will be the order, as the Brewers get set for Game 2 , Saturday.