Thursday, May 27, 2010

Weeks Walks Brewers to Victory

Before they had a chance to do it Thursday against the Astros, the Milwaukee Brewers had not won a series at home this season since their opening set against the Rockies. Needless to say, that's pretty embarrassing. The only thing that would have made that fact even more hard to handle is if they would not have been able to break that streak against the Astros, who again, are the worst team in the National League.

It wasn't pretty, but the Brewers were able to get the series victory thanks to a 4-3 that didn't come until the 10th inning. And it almost didn't come then. The Brewers had the bases loaded with one out against Matt Lindstrom, however they had nobody to send to the plate. John Axford was due up, but you're not going to have a reliever bat in that position. And the Brewers were out of pinch hitters due to the fact that they are only carrying 12 batters right now and one of them, Jody Gerut, is still injured.

The choices were pretty limited at this point, although they did have one position player left on the bench in Jonathan Lucroy. Now, the debate can be had that in a spot like this, with the game tied in extra innings, if you have a position player on the bench you have to use him. But I guess I agree with the conservative approach here that you need to save your backup catcher just in case this thing goes even longer. Still, it's pretty pathetic you have to trot Randy Wolf out in the bottom of the tenth inning as a pinch hitter (the Brewers best hitting pitcher, Yovani Gallardo, is scheduled to start on Friday).

Randy Wolf obviously didn't do anything special, but he didn't ground out into a double play which was really the biggest fear. That left room for Rickie Weeks to be the hero, bases loaded, two outs. Weeks, well he didn't have to do much, as Lindstrom threw him four balls outside of the strike zone. As you know, when that happens and the bases are loaded, the runners move forward and the winning run came home. A walk-off walk, the most anti-climatic way to win a game in baseball.

Those last three paragraphs almost didn't need to happen, because just one inning prior Prince Fielder had a chance to win the game after Carlos Gomez tied it with an RBI single. Fielder hasn't really been playing up to expectations this season, but he had the chance to make all that a moot point when he connected off a Lindstrom pitch, and never have I thought more sure that a ball was leaving the ballpark. I mean, Prince hit an absolute shot, but somehow it died just short of the track, and the game was meant to continue. As was Prince Fielder's chase for his first POTG nomination this year, I'm sure.

But the Brewers did get the win, and that's the main thing, as they've improved to 19-28. Still not the greatest record I've ever seen, but they have won three of their last four which is a positive. It actually looked ugly early as Dave Bush struggled in the first inning, but he settled down although he did only go five frames. Estrada, Braddock, Coffey, and Villanueva did a decent job of taking the reigns from there, with John Axford picking up the win.

So the Brewers get a much needed series win at home, and they'll have the chance to do it again this weekend against the Mets. It's a pitching duel Friday night as Yovani Gallardo will take the hill against Johan Santana. One man that won't be on the bench for that series is Jody Gerut, as the Brewers have decided to stop playing with fire and placed him on the DL. That means Adam Stern is up for like the third time in three weeks, taking his place.

POTG: Carlos Gomez


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