MILWAUKEE – How excited was Willy Adames to return to the Brewers roster on Monday? So excited he couldn’t sleep on Sunday night. So excited that he had “annoyed” manager Craig Counsell in recent days as the date approached, his skipper said with a smile.
Can you blame him? Even after a 5-2 loss to the Cardinals at American Family Field in Adames’ return to action, the Brewers can clinch National League Central with just one division in that four-game series against St. Louis. .
“I’m like a little boy, man,” Adames said Monday afternoon. “I could barely sleep last night because I was so happy to go play today.”
Avisaíl García and Luis Urías hit solo homers in the second inning to make it a 2-2 draw with Jon Lester after two innings, but the Brewers offered no resistance after that and Yadier Molina made a pair of points as the Cardinals won a ninth straight game to strengthen their grip on the National League’s second-place Wild Card.
The Brewers’ magic number to win the division remained stuck at three for a second straight day as the Ladies returned from a 12-game absence due to left quadriceps strain with a 0-for-4 night.
“We’ve worked a lot and worked hard to try to push so that I can be a little normal, and I feel really comfortable right now,” said Adames. “I would say I’m almost 100 years old [percent]. I feel really good. I feel like it’s going to be good the rest of the year.
The Brewers could use another offensive boost from Adames, who proved to be a difference factor almost immediately after arriving in a May 21 trade with Tampa Bay. He’s 0.291 as a Brewer with 17 home runs and 51 RBIs, and the team is 70-36 since walking through the clubhouse door in Cincinnati the day after the trade.
Adames is now back in the midst of what constitutes a lull for a 91-game winning team with 12 regular season games to play. The Brewers have lost four of their last six games as they move closer to the division crown, and Christian Yelich was brought down to five holes on Monday as he went 0 for 3 and fell to 6 for 41 in the during his last 10 Games. Yelich hadn’t started a game below the cleanup point since 2015 with the Marlins.
“Overall we didn’t do enough offensively,” said Counsell. “It’s been a dry week except maybe a good run or two. We’re in a situation where our pitchers have to be near perfect.
Freddy Peralta wasn’t perfect, but he delivered six quality innings while throwing 96 shots – his record since before a switch to IL for shoulder inflammation. One hit from a clean first inning, Tyler O’Neill hit a single with two outs before Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer to establish an early Cardinals lead. Peralta then bounced back before giving up Molina’s simple tiebreaker in a hard-fought sixth.
What was it like turning around and seeing Adames back at the shortstop?
“It was pretty good to find him,” Peralta said. “Every day we could tell he was trying to come back as soon as he could. What I think is it was great that they gave him enough time to get back to where he’s healthy for the rest of the season.
Much like with García, who missed five-game games with a stiff lower back, the Brewers took a cautious approach with Adames given their dominant position in the standings – 10 and a half games ahead. on St. Louis, second after Monday’s loss. Adames has participated in a series of high intensity core running exercises over the past week and has seen the speed of the throwing machine.
It’ll be the biggest challenge as he joins a Brewers team that has already landed a playoff berth: readjusting to live the guns.
“It’s really hard when you don’t see any pitchers for two weeks, but we’ve tried to do as much as possible with the machine to [simulate] game situations, and during BP I was trying to tell the guys to push a little harder, just so I could get used to it, ”said Adames. “At this point in the season, you just have to prepare for the playoffs.
“We have two weeks. I think this will prepare me.