MILWAUKEE — So, uh… it’s possible I overreacted after yesterday’s ugly 7-3 loss to the Tigers. The team we called “Harvey’s Wallbangers” after a four-game winning streak under their new manager easily disposed of the Tigers 13-5 today.
Now that the Brewers are 7-4 under Kuenn since he took over on June 2, we need to start accepting the stats that come in. And while there certainly have been wild variations, the average is something we should all be happy about.
The Brewers have scored 73 runs during those 11 games, averaging 6.6 runs per game. If you feel the need to take out the two highest (13 and 11) and lowest (two, twice) run totals, the Brewers still average 6.4 runs. So even through the inconsistencies, the Brewers offense has been very good on the whole under Harvey.
Today’s offensive display was near the top of the list of impressive power displays under Kuenn. The Brewers pounded out 18 hits, smashing back-to-back homers for the sixth (Gorman Thomas and Ben Oglivie in the first) and seventh (Don Money and Thomas in the third) times this season. Adding in Robin Yount‘s seventh home run of the season in the seventh, Harvey’s Wallbangers lead all of baseball with 75 long balls.
It may have been easy to question the authenticity of the proclaimed rebirth after the first four games, but we’re now talking 11 games. It’s littered with good and bad, but on average it is well beyond what we were used to under Buck Rodgers. And once again, it all goes back to attitude and atmosphere.
“We’ve had a change of leadership, a change of atmosphere, a change of attitude, a change of outlook and a change of strategy,” said Thomas. “It’s been a complete change. Period.”
“The attitude change has been drastic,” Oglivie agreed. “It’s a change for the better. It’s much easier to play now.”
Is it official? Is this team for real? We’ll hold off the parade, but we need to stop debating whether the change is for the better. It is. And it will lead to better results. The question left to be answered over the course of the season, though, is how much?
For now, let’s just enjoy watching Harvey’s Wallbangers mash the baseball.
Game Notes: Gorman Thomas and Ben Oglivie each have 12 home runs, while Don Money now has nine … Rollie Fingers remains out with back spasms, and is unavailable for anywhere from two to 10 days … Cecil Cooper, who has been out for four games with an injured hamstring (or buttock), is healing well … Brewers signed 12 players, including number one pick in the secondary phase, first baseman Tim Utecht. Also signed number two pick in the regular phase, pitcher Brian Duquette. Other signings include local players Rob Derksen and Dave Klipstein, James Paciorek, Alan Cartwright, Archie Shamblin, Jay Aldrich, Kevin Murray, Harold Landers, Ben Donisi, and Charles Crim.