CHICAGO — The White Sox unveiled their new, shiny, color scoreboard today. That was pretty much the highlight of the day for the Brewers, who once again paid for being short on arms.
You know what happens when you go into games against top teams when you are short-handed in the bullpen? You get beat.
Both Bob McClure and Pete Vuckovich are hurt. Considering neither pitcher has been placed on the disabled list, that means the Brewers have only eight pitchers to work with. You might get away with that against the Twins, but you won’t against the Royals and White Sox.
And the Brewers haven’t.
Bob McClure was hurt on May 9 when a line drive hit him on the pitching elbow. Pete Vuckovich was hurt two days later when he slid down a hill on the way to his start against the Royals. As a result, Jerry Augustine was the sacrificial lamb in a 17-3 loss to the Royals, a game in which he allowed 12 runs on 15 hits in five innings.
You’d think the Brewers’ brass would learn from that game. You can’t have two dead roster spots or that game will simply repeat itself. Well, today, it essentially did.
This time, Mike Caldwell was the sacrificial lamb. Having little help in the bullpen, Caldwell needed to fight through the assault on his Earned Run Average. Caldwell pitched parts of six innings, allowing at least a run in all but one of them. When all was said and done, he had allowed nine earned runs on 13 hits in five-plus innings of work.
Meanwhile, the strong-armed White Sox cruised. Starter La Marr Hoyt went the distance in this one, allowing two runs on 10 hits. He’s now won 12 straight dating back to last season. He’s 6-0 lifetime against the Brewers.
This is embarrassing. The Brewers have now been outscored 39-11 over the past three games, allowing 52 hits. Yet nothing is being done to help the pitching staff.
Well, not nothing. They’re doing something, but nothing that is helping their staff right now. The Brewers worked out free agent pitcher Dave Goltz and were impressed and scheduled another workout for May 15. Goltz signed a lucrative six-year contract prior to the 1980 season with the Dodgers, but he never quite lived up to the hype. The Brewers could use such an arm right now.
Another arm won’t solve the defensive woes, however. Once again, the gloves behind the mound are making the pitcher’s life difficult. Four more errors were made by sloppy Brewers defenders today. Though it didn’t make a difference today in this lopsided game, it’s been the difference in several games this season. Poor fundamental defense is simply unacceptable for a major league team.
Game Notes: The Brewers have lost four straight and are 4.5 games back in the American League East … Bob McClure threw on the sidelines prior to todays game and reported some progress, but isn’t expected to be ready for his next scheduled start against the Angels … Dave Goltz is 105-98 in a 10-year career and won 20 games with the Twins. Goltz claims the Brewers were his first choice before signing with the Dodgers for more money. He is also trying out for the California Angels and may have workouts with the White Sox and Royals as well.