It used to be that the day we hit the .500 mark was filled with joy and excitement. Now, with the higher expectations, and even playoff talk, it's filled with relief. It's also the point at which we say, "Alright, let's get this thing started".
I've been impressed with the Crew over the last week, and I don't know how you can't be. There are scoring just enough to win, and their pitching and defense has stepped up as well. Tonight was no different, with Ben Sheets going 8 2/3 innings, giving up 1 run on 7 hits, added 5 more strikeouts to his season total. He couldn't quite go the distance, but that allowed for a two-pitch save from Solomon Torres, 5th of the season.
The Brewers did trail in this one 1-0 until the 5th inning, when Ryan Braun stayed hot by bringing home Rickie Weeks on a single. Braun crossed the plate thanks to another 2 run shot by Prince Fielder, in an almost deja vu type situation from how the scoring happened on Friday. The Brewers would win the game over the Astros by a final of 4-1, as Russell Branyan added his 2nd home run of the season. It was the 3rd longest home run ever hit at Miller Park, sailing into the Dew Deck. Branyan now holds the longest, 3rd longest, and 4th longest home run distances in the history of the Park. Oh and by the way, please don't tell me that's a "soft" platoon at 3rd anymore, Ned. We're not that stupid.
Before the Brewers can start thinking about going after the division, they had to get to the .500 mark. A series sweep tomorrow would put them over that hump, and hopefully they can stay over the even mark for good, instead of tetter-tottering with it for the next week or so.
TBC's Player of the Game: Plenty of candidates in this one, but I'm going to give it to Jason Kendall. Kendall was 3 for 4 in throwing runners out at the bases, and the runner he missed stealing second (Kaz Matsui), he eventually got out at 3rd. May not be the sexiest player of the game we've given, but making outs on the bases early kept the Brewers in the game in time for the offense to take over.
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)