MILWAUKEE — Want to cure your early season woes? Play the Toronto Blue Jays.
That’s been the story here in April so far. The Brewers roughed up the Blue Jays in two of three games to open the season and won only one game in the Indians and Rangers series combined before getting the Blue Jays again today.
While the Brewers’ offense may not have scored 14 or 15 runs like it did in two of the three games in the opening series, the pitching got a much needed boost to morale. Today, it was from an unexpected source: Randy Lerch.
Lerch came into the game with a 9.00 ERA on this young season, but that came against non-Blue Jays opponents. Today, he was fantastic. Lerch went seven innings, allowing only a single run on four hits and two walks. He didn’t strike anyone out, but who needs strikeouts?
Paul Molitor got Lerch all he needed in the third inning with a two-run homer, his first long ball of the season. Ted Simmons, who struggled mightily since returning from a calf injury, went 3-for-4 and seems to be breaking out. Ed Romero collected the only other Brewers hit, a double.
But the biggest sigh of relief you heard streaming from this Milwaukee crowd was directed towards Rollie Fingers. Fingers came into this game with a 5.14 ERA and had either lost or blown a save in each of his first three appearances. Today, however, he was nearly perfect. In two innings of work, Fingers allowed only a hit and struck out two.
How could we make this day even better? The defense didn’t make an error. Finally, a full team effort.
Sure, it’s just the Blue Jays. But the Brewers have looked lately like a team that may be even worse than Toronto. The talent is there. Having a series with the Blue Jays may be just what this team needs to turn things around. Unfortunately, the first game of the series was rained out and won’t be made up until later in the season, so only one game remains in this short series.