MILWAUKEE — The Brewers collected three whole hits today. Angels starter Steve Renko retired the last 20 batters he faced.
Yeah, it was one of those games. The Angels scored a run in each of the first two innings, but even though the Brewers made it a one-run game in the third, the game seemed strangely out of reach.
If you’re looking for positives, Mike Caldwell recovered from an embarrassment last time on the mound to look passable as a starting pitcher. He allowed nine earned runs on 13 hits in five innings in a 13-2 loss to the White Sox May 13, and he allowed four runs (three earned) on 10 hits in 7 1/3 today. Not great, but better. Makes the last debacle seem more like a hiccup than an illness.
The only pitcher that mattered, though, was 37-year-old Steve Renko. It took him all of 93 pitches to finish this game. The Brewers were lucky to score one. Even luckier that it was light-hitting Marshall Edwards, who smacked his second homer since being called up from Vancouver a little over a week ago.
Are you worried? I’m worried. This team has won two of their last eight games. They’re still playing with a short bullpen, refusing to replace Bob McClure and Pete Vuckovich on the roster. While McClure appears close, Vuke isn’t. He tried throwing today and couldn’t land on his injured foot.
Paul Molitor left today’s game with an injured shoulder. He first hurt it making a throw on May 16. He is not a player the Brewers can stand to lose.
So the offense is down. Vuke and McClure are still hurt and the bullpen is scuffling. Now Paul Molitor is hurt. It’s bound to get better, right?
It needs to, and fast. Down four games in the AL East, the Brewers can’t stand to lose more ground.