Sunday, July 3, 2011

Plush Leads Improbable Comeback


You had to be all kinds of frustrated when the Brewers had fallen behind 7-0 to the Twins on Saturday night, as not only did it mean that the team's road woes were continuing but their current losing streak was going to continue as well. Thank God, however, for Nyjer Morgan. The birthday boy nearly single-handily brought the Brewers back from the brink, collecting three hits and was just a single short of the cycle.

The man known as Tony Plush hit his third home run of the season (tying a career high) in the top of the sixth inning that scored Rickie Weeks and brought the Brewers to within four. Morgan would then score after tripling in the eighth inning, and then with two outs in the ninth inning he hit a double to deep right (which could have been caught) that scored two runs and tied the game. George Kottaras would then plate Morgan home, and the Brewers capped off their largest comeback on the road since 1983. Not bad for a team that has struggled mightily this season away from Miller Park (although a very pro-Brewers crowd might have neutralized the road environment just a bit).

Morgan is without question the POTG, but credit manager Ron Roenicke for making all the right moves to bring this team back from a seven nothing deficit. Roenicke was faced with a couple of speedbumps with a slight injury to Ryan Braun (which will keep him out of Sunday's game) and the disastrous performance of Chris Narveson, but he earned his paycheck on Saturday night. Check out the box score and notice position changes and lineup moves like I've never seen in a game that didn't go into extra innings. Nyjer Morgan started in center, moved to left, went back to center. Mark Kotsay started in right, then went to first, and later to left. And Corey Hart, Josh Wilson, and George Kottaras were all used to pinch hit and then spell someone at a different defensive position than the one they pinch hit for. He also plugged newly activated Takashi Saito into an 8th inning role and was rewarded with Saito picking up his first win of the year, followed by John Axford picking up his 21st save of 2011.

As a fan, you're going to write off the game when you see your team is down 7-0 by the 4th inning, but credit the Milwaukee Brewers and their staff for not doing the same. When you're on a losing streak, sometimes you need a game like the one the Brewers had to turn things around and get some of that momentum back. They're back in first place now with the win, and we'll see if they can hang on to that momentum today in the series finale against Minnesota.

Nyjer's 31st
Celebrates in grand fashion
Happy Birthday Plush

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