ANAHEIM — It’s been speculated that today marks the start of a 10-game road trip that could very well determine the fates of manager Buck Rodgers and a handful of Brewers players. Coming into this game 7 1/2 games back in the AL East, this is desperation time.
Finally, the Brewers played like it, ending a four-game losing streak.
Paul Molitor led off the game with a home run over the 386-foot sign in left center off of starter Ken Forsch. Charlie Moore would drive in a run on a second inning ground out and Cecil Cooper hit a two-run homer in the third, his sixth. The offense finally showed up.
Pete Vuckovich made his first start since May 6 and pitched a solid five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and four walks. Jamie Easterly and Rollie Fingers combined to hold the Angels to one run the rest of the way.
Beyond the numbers, we saw heart. In the fourth, Fred Lynn hit a drive to deep right field. Charlie Moore raced back, leaped and snagged what would have been a home run for the first out of the inning. Ben Oglivie would make a similarly spectacular catch in left to rob Lynn in the sixth. Then, with two down in the ninth and the tying run at first, a ground ball was hit to Paul Molitor. Molitor threw wide to first, but Cecil Cooper stretched just far enough to both catch the ball and record the game’s final out.
Maybe it was partly luck. But bad luck has gone against this team far too often. We’ve seen the alternate ending, where Cooper stretches only to see the ball go into the outfield as the tying run scores. It was nice to be on the right side of this thing.
Of course, not everything was roses today. The Brewers committed three more errors, a recurring theme. While bad defense accounted for only one run, the glovemen continue to make life difficult for the pitchers.
But today, progress was made. Jobs appear safe for another day.
Game Notes: Roy Howell made his first start since April 25, hitting second as the Designated Hitter. He went 1-for-2 and scored a run before being pinch hit for by Don Money in the fourth … Gorman Thomas played with a stiff neck that has bothered him the past few games.