Tuesday, June 8, 2010

McGehee Squeezes One Through the Infield... FTW!

On a night where the debut of Stephen Strasburg dominated the headlines, there was a pretty spectacular pitching duel going on right in our own backyard. The Cubs' Ted Lilly brought his A-game to Miller Park against our only capable starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo, and together they kept the game scoreless through seven innings. It wasn't until the top of the eighth inning when the Cubs finally struck first, and we had ourselves a ballgame.

With two outs and Carlos Villanueva on the mound, Chicago's Tyler Colvin hit a single to right field that would score Kosuke Fukudome and put the Cubs up 1-0. Right away, you got the feeling that this would be another depressing Brewers loss, but with the first pitch in the bottom half of that inning Corey Hart stroked one into the seats over left field, and the game was tied 1-1.

Just like that though, Chicago would come back and steal a run off of John Axford after Alfonso Soriano grounded out to Escobar. The ball wasn't hit sharply enough to give Escobar a play at home plate, so Koyie Hill was able to score and the Brewers were down by a run again. Like the inning prior, it was hard not to think that this would be another heartbreaking loss for Milwaukee.

But in the bottom of the ninth, Rickie Weeks was able to get on when he was hit by a pitch. He eventually moved over by stealing second base, with no thanks to Carlos Gomez who hit a pop up in front of home plate when trying to bunt. Real clutch there, Gomez. Fielder then drew a walk, and Braun moved them both over by grounding out. At that point, there were two outs with runners at 2nd and 3rd, and Casey McGehee was at the plate.

McGehee has been one of our bright spots this season, but he has been cold of late and was hitless in Tuesday's game coming up to this at-bat. But McGehee poked one past the pitchers mound and over second base, hitting it in the most perfect of ways that it would get through the infield but also score two runs - Weeks from third, and Prince from second. A walk-off win that went the Brewers way? It happened, and the Brewers won 3-2.

It was a much needed win that keeps our depression about the Brewers away for another day, but ultimately this one all came down to the pitching. Yovani Gallardo is pitching better now than he ever has in his life, and Tuesday he went seven innings giving up just four hits. He also struck out seven batters over the course of those seven innings, and looked very sharp overall. McGehee is the hero, but the Player of the Game nod goes to Gallardo for another solid pitching performance.

Game two of this series is Wednesday night at 7:05, airing on both FSN Wisconsin and ESPN (subject to blackout). Randy Wolf is scheduled to get the start against Carlos Zambrano. I guess it'd be wise not to expect another pitchers' duel, at least not on our end.

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