Marcum hits Grand Slam, Brewers blow 6-1 lead…again
What an amazing moment in Brewers history. Shaun Marcum, a guy who had never hit a home run in his major league career, launches a Grand Slam to give himself a 6-1 lead. It was almost too good to be true. Off his bat, I considered that it could clear the fence. But, then the realist in me kicked in and said, “No way. Warning track at best.” Thank goodness he proved me wrong (watch it here). It really was an awe inspiring sight, way better than any fireworks I witnessed on this particular Independence Day. Our offense supplied Marcum with one run, he knocked in the other 5 (one was on a fielder’s choice, but it was still his AB that drove in that run) .
Then, the rest of the game happened. As I watched the D’Backs chip away at our 5 run lead, inning after painful inning, it was like having an out of body experience. Could it be. Had I not just watched this exact same thing on Sunday? Then, they brought in Kameron Loe and I knew that the game was over.
I think that Loe is a good pitcher, always have, he just looks exhausted. You can not have a bullpen guy throw more than 50% of your games and not expect some fatigue to set in. It is true in all walks of life, no one is at their best when they are over worked. So, while I understand Brewers fans frustration yesterday, I do not agree with the boo’s that rang out as he left the mound. It was not entirely his fault that we eventually lost the game 8-6.
As much as I want to excuse the pitching as of the last 10 games, I can not. Not one pitcher has gone unscathed during this recent venture. Axford and Hawkins each gave up runs during this recent stretch. Which is scary considering the fact that neither of them gave up a run in the month of June. The offense has been ineffective, but the pitching has been down right dreadful. Since sweeping the Twins, the Brewers pitching staff has given up 52 runs in those 7 games. That is an average of 7.4 runs allowed per game. This offense is not consistent enough to overcome deficits like that.
It is easy to get frustrated and lose hope Brewers fans. No one knows this more than yours truly. In fact, I am usually the first one to throw in the towel. We all need to take a deep breath and look at it this way, we are still in contention for the division. Granted, just one week ago we had a 3 game lead and are now down a game (and only a half game ahead of the Pirates). What is important, is that we are still right there. We just need to stay afloat until the All-Star break. Then everyone can rest for a couple of days and try to figure out what has happened to this team.
One issue I want to bring up with all of you now, is that of Casey McGehee. Let’s call this what it is. A guy who caught fire, but was nothing more than a shooting star. Every time he steps to the plate he fouls off at least one ball, and they always go to Right Field. That to me means that he is late on all of his swings. This is an issue that can not be fixed by continuing to let him go up there and flail at the ball. I recently heard that we have minor league options on Mr. McGehee. For your approval, I recommend that we option McGehee and allow Gamel, Wilson, and Counsell to platoon 3rd base. Now, if McGehee goes down to Nashville and figures out his swing, then we can bring him back. If not, then at least we got two amazing seasons out of a guy we picked up off of waivers and have been paying next to nothing during that time.
I know it was a rough weekend for our boys, but hopefully everyone had a fun 4th of July weekend. Let’s put away the boo bird and get back on the cheer wagon tonight. The Brew Crew needs us now more than ever.