A Minute in Maryvale: 3.9.17

As we approach the second full weekend of March, we are officially 25 days away from MLB’s Opening Day, in which the Milwaukee Brewers host the Colorado Rockies for a four-game series at Miller Park, while the Colorado Springs Sky Sox open three days later with a four-game series with the Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple-A Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals) at Security Service Field.

In case anyone needed any extra motivation, here’s an ‘extraordinary’ video from the Brewers.

Out in West Phoenix, the Cactus Crew is ona bit of a tear as of late, winning five in a row after dropping a pair to AL West opponents Seattle and Los Angeles. During this stretch, Milwaukee has outscored their opponents 42-15, while slugging 11 home runs during that span.

One of those home run hitters was Lewis Brinson Wednesday afternoon. In case any Sky Sox fans forgot, he can swing the bat fairly well.

As has been a theme throughout the offseason and the early part of Spring Training, people around the league are speaking highly about the Brewers’ farm system.

One of the pieces that is making the Brewers such a top system is 2016 Sox pitcher Josh Hader, who was featured in an article by MLB Pipeline Thursday.

Now, for a quick recap of last night and this morning’s World Baseball Classic schedule:

Pool A

Israel 4, Netherlands 2

Pool A MVP Ryan Lavarnway was one of three batters to drive in a run as a 3-run first propelled Israel to a 3-0 group record. The Netherlands advances as well.

South Korea 11, Chinese Taipei 8 (10 innings)

After Chinese Taipei came back from an 8-3 deficit to force extra innings, Taekyun Kim’s two-run blast served as an exclamation point and gave the Pool A hosts their first win in the group’s final game in Seoul. 

Australia 11, China 0 (8 innings)

James Beresford and Luke Hughes drove in four runs each and Travis Blackley’s shutout start propelled the Southern Thunder to their first win and sets up huge matchup with Cuba for second place in pool B. Japan advances to the next round with the Australia victory.

Former Sky Sox outfielder James Kandilas recorded two of the team’s nine hits and scored a pair of runs from the No. 7 spot in the lineup.

Brewers 8, Padres 2

The heart of the Brewers order combined for five RBIs and Zach Davies avoided early trouble to help Milwaukee win its sixth straight Cactus League game, defeating San Diego by a 8-2 score in Peoria Thursday.

Prior to today’s matchup, the Brewers (8-5) scored seven first-inning runs in their first 12 spring games. That trend continued against San Diego starter Jarrad Cosart (0-1). Cleanup batter Eric Thames drove in his first run of Spring Training on a RBI single to score Ivan DeJesus, Jr.

Two innings later, No. 3 hitter Domingo Santana left the ballpark for the third time in Cactus League play, smoking a three-run home run to give the Brew Crew a 4-0 lead.

The homestanding Padres (5-7) knocked in single runs in the third and fourth innings to halve the Milwaukee lead, but the visitors responded with three more runs in the sixth inning. After Padre pitcher Brad Wieck loaded the bases with two walks and a single, Lucas Erceg drew the third walk of the frame with one out to score Thames. Two batters later, Lewis Brinson singled in Brett Phillips and Erceg to extend the lead to five runs.

The Crew tacked on another run in the seventh inning, when 2016 Sox outfielder Michael Reed, pinch-hitting for Santana, hit a solo shot to left field off Keith Hessler for his first long ball of 2017. In 121 games in Colorado Springs, Reed recorded 102 hits–eight of which being of the home run variety–and drove in 45 runs.

On the defensive side, Zach Davies (1-0) earned the victory on the mound, tossing two and two-third innings while surrendering four hits and one earned run on a solo home run by Wil Myers in the third inning. Davies ran into a jam in the first inning, but got some help on this grounder to shortstop prospect Mauricio Dubon.

Preston Gainey, Taylor Jungmann, Damien Magnifico, Forrest Snow and Paolo Espino combined to shut down the Padres offense, allowing one earned run and scattering six hits after Davies left in the third inning.

The Brewers partake in another split-squad day Friday with games at Maryvale Baseball Park and Scottsdale’s Salt  River Fields at Talking Stick.

Two days after Ivan Dejesus, Jr., clubbed a game-winning two-run home run in a win out at Glendale, half of the Crew faces the Chicago White Sox for the second time at home, while the other half travels to Scottsdale to face the Arizona Diamondbacks for the first time this spring.

(Featured photo courtesy of @Brewers)