Brewers now 16-12 (3rd)
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What the hell was that??
This game was a disaster before it started. Brewers ace Pete Vuckovich, who was scheduled to start today’s game, sprained his ankle when he slipped down a rain-soaked hill behind Royals Stadium on his way to the game.
Let’s think about this for a moment. Pete Vuckovich should have started. He has a 2.62 ERA and three wins covering his last three starts. The bonehead is climbing down a hill in the rain behind the stadium. He can’t get a ride to the game? What is the guy doing?
So instead of Vuke, the Brewers get Jerry Augustine. Jerry Augustine. Yeah, that Jerry Augustine. The mop-up guy to the mop-up guy. He of only two appearances this season before today’s game. Sure, he did surprisingly well in those two appearances, but his luck was bound to change.
It changed in a hurry. Augustine allowed four runs on four hits and a walk in the first inning. In the second, he allowed three more runs on three more hits. If this were a typical game, Augustine never would have lasted the second inning. But he stayed out there.
Why? Because the team is short-handed. Or short-armed. Bob McClure has an elbow injury. You know about Vuke’s run-in with a hill. Jim Slaton, whose arm has to be turning to Jell-O from overuse, will be starting in McClure’s place. So the options were limited.
Augustine stayed through the third, which he managed to escape without allowing a run. And the fourth. Then, he allowed five more runs on five hits and a walk in the fifth.
Augustine may have kept pitching, but he was saved by a 54-minute rain delay. His final line after Jamie Easterly finally put him out of his misery: five innings pitched, 12 earned runs, 12 hits, two walks.
“I wondered if he missed curfew last night or something,” said Royals catcher John Wathan, who feasted on Augustine and Brewers pitching for three hits. “A lot of us on the bench were wondering what he’d done.”
Augustine was surely wondering the same thing. “This is probably the most humiliating day I’ve ever had,” he said.
Of course, when it rains it pours. Larry Hisle‘s right rotator cuff is torn again. You know, that bastard shoulder of his. It’s bothered him for three seasons now and undergone two operations. He’s out for a minimum of two months. If we’re going to be honest with ourselves, his career is likely over.
Hisle’s spring started with such promise. He was one of the team’s top performers. When the season got underway, he dealt with nagging injuries to his wrist and eye. But they were just annoyances. His shoulder was fine. Then this.
Things were looking so good for this team after a four-game sweep of the Twins. Now? Battered, bruised and humiliated.
Game Notes: X-rays on Vuckovich’s ankle were negative … Bob McClure threw prior to the game and his injured elbow did not respond well. Jim Slaton will start in his place on May 14 … Brewers general manager Harry Dalton says the Brewers will explore acquiring shortstop Rob Picciolo or infielder/outfielder Rodney Scott. Picciolo was designated for assignment by the A’s and Scott was put on waivers by the Expos last weekend.