About Those “Entertaining” Brewers….
Yeah, well, maybe not so much.
There has already been some attrition to the Brewers’ lineup, with Aramis Ramirez re-straining his knee and going to the D. Then on Sunday, making matters more dire, young shortstop Jean Segura was involved in a collision at second base on a double-play turn, and he left the game with a bruised quadricep. He is being listed as day-to-day with that injury.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel glumly reviews the opening week of the 2013 baseball season, saying
[I]t’s almost unbelievable to think that six games into the season, the Milwaukee Brewers are already in scramble mode.
Their starting pitching has struggled as a whole. The bullpen, even with an extra arm, is being overworked. Ryan Braun has missed time with a neck injury. Aramis Ramirez is already on the disabled list. The bench is short and inexperienced.
The end of yesterday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks proved shocking and dismaying.
First, we have John Axford losing his job as closer by, well,
blowing another save failing to prevent the Diamondbacks from scoring in extra innings in spectacular fashion. Analysis of his highly combustible start to the season points towards a change in his release point.
Next, there was a Ryan Braun holding a bat sighting in the bottom half of the inning in which Axford ignited the Diamondbacks’ offense. Rickie Weeks was at the plate with two men on base and Heath Bell laboring on the mound. The Brewers had already rallied against Diamondbacks closer J. J. Putz, and with Weeks and apparently Braun set to come to the plate with only one out and the winning run on base, it looked as if they might show real “grit,” real fight, real heart and pull out a victory despite their terrible bullpen and incredibly shallow bench.
But Weeks watched three strikes sail by him, and then Braun was withdrawn back into the dugout and pitcher Kyle Lohse (?!?) was sent to the plate, lumber in hand, game on the line. I guess Braun’s neck is really hurting. Predictably, Lohse had a poor plate appearance, striking out, ending the game, and sending Brewers fans home sad.
Ron Roenicke spoke with the Journal Sentinel about Braun’s non-plate appearance, saying,
“He (Braun) couldn’t hit,” Roenicke said. “He was up there so if it came down to it, they had to figure out if he could hit or not and make a decision whether to maybe walk Rickie or not. So, just send him up there and see what happens.
“But he couldn’t swing.”
On the other hand, despite the loss, the game saw lots of scoring, there were comebacks and a near-comeback, and the game proved pretty entertaining in the abstract. But for fans of baseball in Milwaukee, this game does not portend and enjoyable future, at least in the short-term.
Braun returned to the lineup for Monday’s game against the Cubs, and, as of this writing, he is 2 for 2 with a double, and RBI, and a run scored. So, despite their troubles, the Brewers are proving capable of clubbing the Cubs, which should light up some smiles in the Brewers dugout, clubhouse, and the whole city of Milwaukee.