Friday, April 9, 2010

Brewers Give One Away

When you play 162 games in a season, there are going to be a handful of games that leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. This wasn't just one of those games, it was the definition of that type of game. With a strong outing from their pitching staff and quality work at the plate, the Brewers had the Cardinals down to their last strike. But that's when Nick Stavinoha golfed a Trevor Hoffman curveball and knocked a two-run shot over the fence that would give the Cardinlas the 5-4 victory. There are games that suck when you watch them on television, but this was one of those games where I thank myself for not purchasing a ticket and heading to the ballgame.

Things started out quite weell for Milwaukee on Friday night however. Dave Bush gave up a run in the second inning, but was clean until the sixth when he gave up a two-run homer to Matt Holiday. I was very pleased with Bush's outing though, as he went 5 2/3 innings while striking out six batters. I'll take a performance like this from Dave Bush any day of the week, so that was good to see.

In the meantime, the Brewers were using the middle innings to accumulate runs on the scoreboard, highlighted by a 2-run double hit by Alcides Escobar in the fourth. Looking back, the bases were loaded at the time and looking back it's a shame that Gregg Zaun couldn't make it home. He's had some problems with his hamstrings and if he had tried to make it home he may have been thrown out, so I wouldn't have sent him either. But looking back we could have used that run.

Regardless, the Brewers were holding steady to a 4-3 lead thanks to another strong outing from the bullpen. LaTroy Hawkins had a spectacular eighth inning, with each of his outs coming via the strikeout. The biggest out was the last out, when after Ken Macha decided to walk Albert Pujols, Hawkins came right back and got Matt Holliday out with the high heater. Great outing from Hawkins, and it's nice to have a bullpen that I'm actually somewhat comfortable with.

So with the momentum behind them, the Brewers were looking to improve to 3-1 on the season and get a nice win over the rival Cardinals. It looked as if Trevor Hoffman was going to do it too, until Stavinoha hit a pitch that few batters connect on, much less swing at in the first place. But the Cards took the lead, and then Ryan Franklin held Milwaukee at bay, and St. Louis stole game one of the series.

It's a game that the Brewers definitely should have won, and with this being the projected winner of the NL Central, you'd like to get as many wins against them as you can. Over the course of 162 games, there will be plenty of games that are lost like this. You just hope that few of them are against an arch-rival that you know you'll be chasing all year.

POTG: I could easily go with Escobar here, but I think I'm going to give it to LaTroy Hawkins. That was a big inning he came up with, and he was put in a tough position having to walk Pujols and then face Holliday. Had the Brewers won, I think this inning would have been the reason why. But I'm not going to give him the short end of the stick just because Hoffman blew the save. I don't usually give too many of these out to relievers, but I've given two out already.

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