Then this happens.
How else do you describe four runs in the first and five runs in the second? How else do you describe three total hits given up by Brewers pitching, equal to their own first inning output? How else do you describe three innings of hitless relief for Jim Slaton?
The team is not only playing better, the players are getting healthier. Today was a game of happy returns. Pitcher Moose Haas made his first appearance since May 25 due to elbow tendinitis. How did he feel?
“I really didn’t feel good the whole game,” Haas assured us. “My arm didn’t feel sore. It felt dead. I didn’t have the slightest idea where the ball was going.”
Neither did the A’s. Haas allowed one run on three hits in six innings. Sure, he matched his season total of four walks in the game, but I think Haas is just fine.
Gorman Thomas, who had been out five games with a shoulder injury, also returned. How did he feel?
“My shoulder only hurt twice tonight,” said Thomas. “One of them was on the first pitch, when I made that check swing.”
The next pitch after that check swing? The ball ended up deep into the left field bleachers. He had two hits and drove in four. I think that Gorman’s fine, too.
Charlie Moore, out since May 27 with a jammed thumb, returned. He celebrated by going 2-for-5 with an RBI and run scored. Yeah, he’s fine.
The Brewers are healthy and they’re happy. Jim Slaton, when asked about his three inning save that gave him two on the season, looked over at closer Rollie Fingers and said, “I’ve got 281 left to catch you. Watch out.”
Team harmony. Healthy players. Productive offense. Suffocating pitching. Pristine defense. Winning baseball.
The Brewers are now a game over .500 for the first time since May 23. How long can the Harvey Kuenn honeymoon continue? Who knows, but the first two days have been nothing short of impressive.
Game Notes: Ted Simmons hit two doubles and drove in three runs. He now has hits in nine of the last 11 games … Cecil Cooper left in the fourth inning due to a hip pointer injury that is not believed to be serious. He thinks he hurt it in the last game of the Seattle series.