Dave Bush, We Hardly Knew Ye
By Lou Olsen
For those of you who have been reading the blog for a few months, you will know that I become attached to certain players. Whenever one of those players leaves, I like to take a second and reflect back on their time with us in Milwaukee. Word on the street is that our old pal Dave “the roller-coaster” Bush has signed a deal with the Texas Rangers, which would re-unite him with former Brewers pitching coach Mike “sweet stache” Maddox(who I also miss). I always liked Dave Bush, so it is only fitting that I say goodbye to him the only way I know how. Dave Bush, we hardly knew ye.
Dave came to the Brewers in a trade that sent Lyle Overbay north of the border to play for the Toronto Blue Jays. In that deal the Brewers also received Gabe Gross and Zach Johnson(not a bad deal). We all know who excelled out of that trio. It was David Thomas Bush, the 2nd round draft pick of the Jays in 2002. By the time he landed in the states, he had already made 40 major league starts. Based off of those numbers, the Brewers plugged him into the rotation immediately. In fact he was #2 in the rotation, due to yet another injury to Ben “frail old lady” Sheets. Those were the best of times.
There is no doubt that his first season in Milwaukee was his best. In 2006, he posted a 12-11 record with a sub-4 ERA. His most impressive stats from that season; he threw 210 innings, had 2 shutouts, and recorded a career high 166 K’s. Which, for those of you playing along at home, is 2 more shutouts than he had over the next 4 seasons in blue and gold. Needless to say, most Brewers fans saw real potential from Davey boy (myself included). Sadly for Dave, and most other Brewers pitchers throughout history, that first season was nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Most of us thought we had a solid number 2 or 3 starter, turned out he was more of a 5 spot.
Over the next four seasons Dave became a staple of the starting rotation, mostly based off of that one really great year and a total lack of starting pitchers (see Jeff Suppan). A lesser known fact about DB, he almost threw two no-hitters as a Brewer. The first one came in 2008 against his former team, the Canadian Blue Jays. Ironically enough, Lyle Overbay (whom the Crew traded to acquire Bush)broke up the no-hitter to lead off the 8th inning. The second no-hit bid came in 2009 against a very talented Phillies team. He went 7 1/3 innings before he gave up a hit.
In 2009 he recorded 15 hit by pitches, which is only impressive now that he is not on our team any more. His combined record as a Brewer was 46-53 in 152 starts. Hmm, did I mention that he rocked a sweet beard and awesome knee socks. At least he was better than Suppan, Ohka, Vargas, Parra, Mota, Gagne, Turnbow, Linebrink, Dessens, and Kolb. When I look at this list of garbage pitchers on the roster during his tenure in Milwaukee, it makes me realize how lucky we were to have number 31 for the last half decade.
In order to truly say goodbye, it is important to reflect on that person’s greatest moment. This past August, Dave became the third member of one of the most elite clubs in all of baseball. On August 11th of 2010, Dave got the ball against a weak Arizona Diamondbacks team. The game was played in Miller Park. On this day Dave Bush gave up back to back to back to back home runs. That is 4 straight batters going yard off of Bush; Adam LaRoche, Miguel Montero, Mark Reynolds, and Stephen Drew. Only two other pitchers in history have ever put together such an illustrious piece of baseball history; Paul Foytack and current Brewer Chase Wright (Huntsville). It’s good to know that two Brewers belong to the ‘B2B2B2B’ Club. Although, Chase Wright joined the club in Yankee’s pin stripes. Did I also mention that this is the same D’Backs team that now holds the record for most team strikeouts in a season. Truly a Brewers record to treasure.
Dave’s time in Milwaukee was never sweeter than that first season, but Dave did a great deal in the community and that can not be taken for granted. He was a huge part of the Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee. For the most part, he was a guy you could always count on to get quality starts…..even if they eventually turned into losses. Last year he led the team in quality starts with 18, bet you didn’t know that. Sometimes it really is about more than wins and losses, it is about giving the team a chance to win and Dave did that more often than not. In my heart of heart’s I believe that Dave could have come back in place of Chris Narveson (who I am still not sold on). At the same time, I think Dave has landed in a great situation with the reigning AL Champion Texas Rangers. My only hope is that when we play Texas in the World Series, he is rocking the beard and those killer knee socks. Without the beard and socks, he is just a guy named Dave.
Dave Bush, you will be missed. Best of luck to you in Texas. We’ll always have 2006 big guy and of course August 11th. Of all the players not dressing up for the Crew in 2011, I think I will miss you the most. Dave Bush, we hardly knew ye.