Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Another One Down to the Wire

You had to know that after a weekend filled with extra innings, blown saves, and missed chances, it would only be fitting for the Brewers to go through one more kind of those games. As of today, Milwaukee has only played about five games that were not save opportunities for either teams. The Brewers have played in few blowouts, as they have seem to have relished the close game situation. Tuesday, even after they looked like they would pull it out, was another one of those close games.

The Brewers fell behind early, but eventually took the lead against the Cardinals 4-3. The Brewers then rallied up four runs in the sixth, and it look like the game was over and our bullpen could get a rest. Well, St. Louis put up four right back at the Crew and were down just 8-7. Then in the ninth, the Cards struck again, as Gagne blew his fourth save in ten tries. As is commonplace with the Brewers these days, we were headed to extras.

From there, Mota and McClung pitched well in relief, and then Gabe Kapler knocked in Gabe Gross for the winning run in the 12th. The Brewers won 9-8, to improve to 12-8.

This game was interesting for a whole number of reasons. First, it's incredible we have 14 pitchers on the roster, yet still have an overworked bullpen, and almost had to make up some interesting decisions had this game gone on a few more innings. In 12 innings we went through Parra, Stetter, Riske, Shouse, Torres, Gagne, Mota, and McClung. Who would have pitched once McClung had to leave the game? McClung could have gone five max I'd say, which could realistically have happened. Nobody wanted to see Turnbow back in there, I know that. They wouldn't have went to Dave Bush, because if he pitched Tuesday, he wouldn't be able to pitch Wednesday.

Then if Bush can't pitch Wednesday, who does? The next guy in line would be Suppan, but he pinch hit for the second straight day (still can't believe that), so he's out. There's no way Villanueva or Gallardo would be ready. Think about it, if this game went a little longer, we could have seen Ben Sheets. I know he's out Wednesday, but that's more precautionary. The Brewers are lucky they got out of this one when they did.

Still, these are the game where I love looking at the box score. Crazy box scores like this are one of the main reasons I love the National League rather than the American League. I mean, who doesn't love a double switch! Also, how many people that didn't see this game looked at the box score and said, Albert Pujols, second base? That's how crazy this game was, people!

Brewers hit much better today, racking up 15 hits on the day. Every started got a hit besides Bill Hall, who went 0 for 6. And a nice performance from Gabe Gross, going 2 for 4 with 3 runs, including the game winner. Farewell, Gabe Gross.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Gabe Kapler


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