SEATTLE – Maybe things are turning around? Or….
It’s tough to get your hopes up these days. It seems that every time you acknowledge a good game, a game that could be a positive turning point, the Brewers follow it up with three games across the other side of the tracks.
So what do we make of this win? Cautious optimism.
Pete Vuckovich was… encouragingly good. He allowed only a run in 7 2/3 innings on four hits and three walks, striking out six. It was his second win since his return from the mysterious and controversial ankle injury.
Rollie Fingers was… the Rollie Fingers we expect. Fingers has been good this season, but not the automatic save we were spoiled with last season. He came into a high leverage situation in the eighth with two outs, a runner on first and the first run of the inning in. Richie Zisk lifted a deep fly ball to the wall in left. On some days and in some parks, that may have been a two-run homer to give the Mariners the lead. Today, it wasn’t.
The defense was… okay. In fact, the defense almost gave this game away. We’re used to seeing numbers other than “0” in the “E” column of Brewers box scores, and the Brewers waited until the ninth inning to fulfill their erroneous duty. Al Cowens hit a grounder to short to lead off the ninth and Robin Yount promptly booted it. Fingers then threw a wild pictch to put Cowens in scoring position with no one out. Luckily, Fingers got out of it.
You can’t help but attribute a decent chunk of this win to luck. The Brewers scored just enough to beat a bad offensive team 2-1. I don’t know if this should fall in the “encouraged” or “optimistic” categories. It should probably fall in the “yeah, that’s what they’re supposed to do” category.
Maybe it’s a positive sign. Maybe they’re turning the corner. Or, they may just be delaying the inevitable. In some ways, I wish they’d just lose a game like this so that they could make some major changes, rather than barely winning and sticking with what they’ve got.
According to Harry Dalton, change isn’t imminent: “No matter how hard it is, the general manager’s job is to remain patient. I still firmly believe that this team has outstanding talent. I just don’t think we’re a very good team at this time.”
Game Notes: Robin Yount’s ninth inning error was his first in the final three innings of a game since 1980 … It was Fingers’ 11th save of the season … Vuckovich won his fifth consecutive game … Only two Mariners reached as far as third base … Ted Simmons hit a solo home run in the second, giving the Brewers eight home runs in their last three games and fifth in their last two.