By: Big Rygg
The day was Monday, May 3rd. The Milwaukee Brewers were taking a much needed day off. After scoring all of two runs in the previous four games (three of them were shutouts), a more timely day off there may not be all season.
In Los Angeles, Ryan Braun’s stomping grounds and home to team owner Mark Attanasio, the Milwaukee Brewers got away from baseball and got their heads straightened back out.
Tuesday night saw the start of a series against the Dodgers. It also saw the first of back-to-back 11 run outputs by the offense. The first night they needed more of the 11 than they did the next night, but even still both games wre wins for Milwaukee and suddenly they had won three of four.
Before the team could feel comfortable, though, they put up only three runs in the third game despite having a chance to sweep the Dodgers for the first time in franchise history. That game was lost in the bottom of the ninth inning when LaTroy Hawkins couldn’t get the game to extra innings. He loaded the bases and succumbed to the moxie of Andre “All I Do Is Walk Off” Ethier to the tune of a grand slam. (Hawkins would land on the disabled list two days later with shoulder weakness.)
The Brewers headed for Arizona and Chase Field with a 3-4 mark on the roadtrip to that point.
So what happened after a three-run losing effort from the offense? How about a three-run winning effort complete with Trevor Hoffman’s second save on the trip, his 596th career save? Yovani Gallardo (winning pitcher in the only victory in San Diego) threw another dominant start by striking out 10 Diamondbacks in just five innings.
Thinking that perhaps another pitching duel was on tap, Randy Wolf took the hill in Arizona where he had won six starts in a row in visitors’ uniforms. History would be kind to Wolf on this day.
Wolf started off rocky, letting the D’backs plate two in the first inning, but settled down after that. His demeanor no doubt helped by his team going on a 12-0 run.
Yup. Twelve, zero.
The Brewers finished off the game with five more players touching home plate safely after Wolf gave up a solo home run to Mark Reynolds.
And the last of those runs? Plated when Jody Gerut finished off hitting for the cycle with an RBI double in the ninth. It was only the sixth cycle in Brewers history and the first since Chad Moeller accomplished the feat in 2004.
So to that point, after getting shut out three times in four games, the Brewers put up run totals of 11, 11, and 17 around winning four out of five and having somebody hit for the cycle.
To top off the week, Chris Narveson went out and spun yet another near-quality start, but very good start nonetheless and Prince Fielder hit another home run which is always a good sign.
Narveson struck out eight in 5.2 innings pitched before giving way to Todd Coffey to get out of a jam. Coffey got himself into a jam and was rescued by the freshly recalled Mitch Stetter. The bullpen threw up zeroes the rest of the way (despite Jeff Suppan loading the bases in the bottom of the ninth) and the Brewers head back to Milwaukee owners of a 6-4 mark on this 10-game road trip out west.
So let’s recap this recap, shall we?
Brewers head to San Diego after a brief and rough homestand. They get shut out in consecutive games before Gallardo plays the role of stopper in game three. They promptly get shut out again before leaving San Diego.
The knock Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw out of his start in under three innings and rough up teammate Chad Billingsley as well while putting up consecutive 11-run games. They lose game three in L.A. on a walk-off grand slam. Demoralizing.
In Arizona, the Brewers sweep their gracious hosts and score a total of 26 runs in the three-game set.
What a week.
Then again, that seems to be this team’s M.O. so far this year. As skipper Ken Macha said this week: “Get on the rollercoaster.”
It should be a fun, if frustrating, ride this season with this team.
Yeah, that’s quite the week that nobody saw coming.