It was a rainy, muggy night in Milwaukee, but the real storm was in Miller Park.
It took the whole team – but mainly Prince and his two homers - to get hot at the plate tonight and help one Mr. Tony Plush put in the winning run as the Brewers beat the Mets 7-6.
WP: John Axford (2-1)
LP: Dale Thayer (0-1)
HR: Prince Fielder (2-run, 4th Inning; 2-run 8th Inning)
RBI: Prince Fielder (4), Ryan Braun (2), Nyjer Morgan (GW)
RISP: 3-6 (.500)
HR: Ronny Paulino ( 3-run, 8th Inning)
RBI: Ronny Paulino (3), Angel Pagan (1), Carlos Beltran (1)
LOB: 7 (.230)
Close games have been something of a trademark for the Brewers this year. Winning close games are usually the trademark of playoff teams. After losing a tough close one yesterday to Capuano and the rest of the Mets, the Brewers really needed a solid performance tonight to stay on track. It’s easy to look past teams like New York when you have a big series coming up like this weekend’s against the Cardinals, but a good team stays focused.
The Brew Crew certainly got more than their fair share of solid performances tonight. Randy Wolf got another ND, but struck out six and only gave up one run on a balk in the fourth inning. Wolfy’s command was excellent and the Mets hitters had a hard time finding a beat on his breaking pitches.
At the plate, the middle of the lineup turned in one of their best performances of the season, putting up nine of the team’s 10 hits and scoring five of Milwaukee’s six runs. It’s the kind of production Ron Roenicke – and every one of the Brewer’s fans – have been expecting. Prince Fielder is the obvious stand out of the group today: he hit not one, but two two-run shots. The first one came in the fourth inning when he took the green light on a 3-0 fastball and hammered out to left field. The more impressive home run came in the eighth.
After Kameron Loe gave up four runs in a disastrous eighth inning that included Ronny Paulino’s monster shot to left field, the Brewers came up needing a big rally. After Rickie Weeks drew a walk and Nyjer singled, Ryan Braun stepped to the plate and hit a beautiful two-run double to make it 6-4 Mets. Then came Prince. Again he was given a middle fastball, this time with a 1-1 count, and put his second ball into the Brewer’s bullpen. Suddenly it was 6-6, and if you were anywhere within earshot of Miller Park, you knew it.
Prince’s home run wasn’t even the most exciting play of the night. That honor belongs Nyjer Morgan, who put in the game-winning run in the ninth inning. Craig Counsell was in on the double-switch, and he hit a clutch single on a hard ground ball. He moved into scoring position when Rickie Weeks struck out for the first out. Morgan came up and knocked a hard liner that bounced down the first base line and into the corner, prompting Counsell to cross the plate and the Brewers rush one Mr. Tony Plush – who is probably still celebrating his first walk-off win.
ANALYSIS AND MISCELLANIA
Ok, I’ll say it. Loe almost blew this one. He gets a pass from me for several reasons:
- We won.
- In 11 of his last 12 games, he didn’t surrender a single run. He hasn’t pitched perfectly, but he’s serviceable.
- Batters are still only managing .224 against him.
- Again, Loe can’t pitch and make the plays in the field, and there is rarely an excuse for an infield hit.
We as Brewers fans are a fickle, reactionary bunch. Remember how many of you wanted to get rid of Ax? Or how many said we’d never recover from the 0-4 start? How about we take a breath, relax, have a beer and use some perspective on this one. Loe will be back to his old form once we find the right place for him.
I think overall Loe just needs a decent break so he can work some of this funk out. He has 32 appearances this year. He had 53 last year. When you’re a reliever this shouldn’t be a problem, but being setup man – especially a struggling one – the added stress can be disastrous. The kid needs a break, or possibly a move to the sixth or seventh inning for the time being.
This is the second game in a row Rickie put up donuts in the hit column. In fact, he’s 1 for 11 in his last three games with four whiffs and three walks. I like the walks, obviously, but he needs to start putting wood on the ball if this team is going to keep winning. That’s his only job right now – especially if he’s going to be as inconsistent in the field as he’s been this year.
Casey McGehee is now 1 for his last 28. Congratulations Casey. I cannot for the life of me understand how Casey got so put-outable this year. It makes me wonder if last year was just a fluke, or perhaps he just doesn’t know how to adjust now that the word is about what he likes to hit. I am inclined to think it’s the latter, but only time will tell on that one.
Speaking of congratulations, John Axford is now a father. His son was born early yesterday morning, and he returned to the team today with his new found dad-powers to deliver a great ninth inning and pick up his second win. Ax, if your son learns anything from you, let it be two things: a high 90′s fastball and the secrets to growing magical mustaches. Truth be told, I’m almost positive that his kid was born with a handlebar ‘stache.
Want to know the best part of Morgan’s walk-off hit? He didn’t know he won the game.
Finally, with Prince’s two dingers tonight he passed Stormin’ Gorman Thomas into the number three spot on the Brewers All-Time Home Run list. Three More and he ties
Brett Favre Geoff Jenkins at number two. This makes six home runs in six games Fielder which officially makes him an offensive juggernaut and the number one candidate for my new best friend.
The Brewers kept it exciting tonight, and the rubber match kicks off tomorrow at 7:10 as Yo looks for his ninth win against the lefty John Neise. Stay Dry Milwaukee.