OAKLAND — Following a second consecutive rout of the Oakland Athletics under new manager Harvey Kuenn, general manager Harry Dalton insisted it was time for a new nickname. Under George Bamberger, the Brewers were “Bambi’s Bombers.” Under Buck Rodgers, they were “Rodgers’ Raiders” (no, that one never really took off). So what did Dalton have in mind?
Yeah. Hey, Harry? Let’s leave the nicknames to others. Someone who may spot dirty unintended double-meanings because they are under the age of 100. You know. Someone like Cecil Cooper.
“Naw, just like the drink,” said Cooper. “Harvey’s Wallbangers. We keep banging ’em off the walls.”
Perfect! Thank you, Coop. Much better than banging balls. Much better.
The truth is that while walls were “banged” today with five doubles, they may be best known for their ability to hit balls over the walls. For the second time since May 28, the Brewers hit home runs in three consecutive at bats. This time it was Robin Yount, Cecil Cooper and Ben Oglivie in the seventh inning. Last time they accomplished the feat was in Anaheim and the Brewers actually lost.
Not this time. And for good measure, the Brewers hit two more consecutive homers in the ninth, this time by Ted Simmons and Gorman Thomas. The Brewers set a club record with 37 total bases and tied marks of 10 extra base hits and the three consecutive homers that has now been accomplished twice this season.
The Brewers have scored 26 runs in three games under their new skipper, including 10 or more in their last two. This same team had gone 22 straight games without scoring 10 runs in a game.
Missed in all of this ball and wall banging is that the Brewers’ pitching again was stellar. For the second time in three games, only the starter was needed. This time it was Bob McClure who pitched a complete game, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out eight.
The focus may be on the offense right now, but these are total team efforts. Three times in a row.
“It’s just a different atmosphere,” Gorman Thomas explained.
Whatever it is, it’s working.
Game Notes: In the first nine games of the current road trip, Cecil Cooper has 17 hits and seven home runs in 37 at bats … Reliever Dave Beard received his first major league start when Steve McCatty came up with a stiff shoulder before the game … Paul Molitor was the only Brewer not to get a hit in the game. He is in a 2-for-26 slump … Roy Howell, who has started the last two games after being used sparingly under Buck Rodgers, went 3-for-5 … Cecil Cooper, Gorman Thomas and Ben Oglivie all have 10 home runs … Beginning June 7, fans entering County Stadium will be allowed to bring small coolers and thermo bottles containing non-alcoholic beverages into the ballpark.