MILWAUKEE — Prior to today’s game, the Brewers gathered in the clubhouse to watch the highlight film of the 1981 season. You know how it ended. Don Money knew how it ended (with him hitting a deep fly ball to the left field corner that was caught by Dave Winfield). Money was no where to be seen for most of the viewing.
Maybe Money thought it was over. Maybe he was hoping that maybe, just maybe, the ending would change. Maybe he likes to torture himself. But Money entered the clubhouse just as the final play was shown.
His audible response? We can’t tell you. We’re classy and professional and stuff. But he wasn’t happy.
Why would the team decide to show highlights of this agonizing conclusion prior to a game? Was it intended to be celebratory or motivational? Either way, it led to a victory today.
The Brewers like playing the Twins. Gorman Thomas and Ted Simmons, who have otherwise had a nightmare start to the season, both hit their third homers of the season today. All six combined home run balls have come agains the Twins.
Cecil Cooper, who may the be the early season favorite for AL Most Valuable Player, hit his second homer, went 3-for-4 and increased his batting average to .371.
But as has been the trend of late, the Brewers have been riding a wave of unexpected heroes to victory. Today, that hero was Randy Lerch. The afterthought in the Brewers rotation — the redheaded stepchild even — allowed only a run on six hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Jim Slaton also continued his Spahn-like domination of opposing hitters in recent games. Today, he pitched the final 2 2/3 innings, allowing only a hit and no runs to earn his first career save. If that sounds familiar, it’s because in his last appearance, Slaton pitched 4 1/3 innings of one-hit, no run ball in relief.
In fact, Slaton now has a streak going of 10 scoreless innings. Incredible.
Today marked a nice, team win. A motivated and focused team. A team that, if they continue to get these contributions across the board, may be able to give Don Money something to smile about when this season comes to an end.