It’s hard to call any loss during a 19-3 tear “tough”, but yesterday afternoon’s game was tough. First, let us give respect to Clayton Kershaw. In my opinion he is the best young pitcher in baseball, hands down. There is no shame in losing when that guy is on the mound. He is a big part of why yesterdays loss was a tough one to swallow. The other reason it was a tough game is because of all the wasted opportunities. Bad baseball decisions lead directly to a loss.
When you have been struggling to put runs on the board, you need to capitalize on every opportunity you have. In the bottom of the 1st inning, Jerry Hairston doubles with one out. Normally with Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder behind him, that should be a run no problem. Pop out, strikeout. (That’s 1 missed oppo) The 3rd inning comes up and Josh Wilson singles. Then Marco Estrada laid down the perfect bunt to move Wilson to 2nd base. That was followed by a Corey Hart single. With runners on the corners and 1 out, Jerry Hairston grounds into an inning ending double play when Ed Sedar called for the squeeze bunt. (Missed oppo #2) To the 6th inning we go. Hairston doubles again with 1 out. Braun flies out and Fielder flies out. (Missed oppo #3) At this point in the game the Brewers have missed 3 run opportunities and they are only down 1-0. Then things got out of control.
Kameron Low took over for Marco Estrada after the 5th inning. Loe threw a scoreless 6th inning and retired the first two batters of the 7th. Barajas doubles down the line and Jamey Carroll singles in Barajas. Fine, it’s still only 2-0. Then Kam Loe makes one of the worst throws to first I have seen all season, which allows Carroll to score. (Missed oppo #4, should have been the end of the inning) Then Tim Dillard comes in and does what he does (give up runs) and the Brewers are down 5-0 going into the bottom of the 9th. In my opinion, Dillard never goes in to that game if the score is 2-0. (Missed oppo #5) Then Braun triples, and Fiedler hits a sacrifice fly to make sure they were not shut out at Miller Park for the first time all season.
You may disagree with me, but yesterday the team looked a little flat. Which is ok, you are allowed to have an off day once a month. Marco Estrada looked great again yesterday, in his 10 innings of spot-start work he has only given up 1 run. If only he was that good working out of the bullpen. Other than Estrada, no one looked particularly sharp yesterday afternoon.
After the game yesterday, the Brewers headed out to NYC for a weekend show down with the Mets. Shaun Marcum will pitch in the first game against Mike Pelfrey. After the last two road trips, I feel like the team has crushed the road demons. The team won both series on their previous road trip, including taking 2 of 3 from the Cardinals in St. Louis. I can see no reason why this team can not continue to win on the road.
In NL Central news, Chicago Cubs GM Jim Hendry has been dismissed by the team. It’s hard to imagine why (Milton Bradley, Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome, Nomar Garciaparra, and all of this Carlos Zambrano nonsense). Happy trails Jim, I am sure you will find work somewhere else. Besides you have two World Series rings already, so if this was your last ride at least it didn’t lack excitement.
Hope everyone has a terrific weekend. Go Brewers!!!!