MILWAUKEE — There can’t be many complaints about the Brewers these days, but if you’re looking for a reason to be negative you can focus on the team’s inability to complete a sweep. For the fourth straight series, the Brewers went into the final game with the ability to shut out the opposition. Each time, they lost.
Of course, the time before that they shut out the Tigers in four games. But again. This is just for you Debbie Downers out there who don’t like success.
Today’s game, though, was certainly out of character for this team. After hitting 35 homers in the previous 15 games during a record-setting stretch, Red Sox starter Dennis Eckersley baffled Brewers hitters all day. He held the Brew Crew to only one run on six hits, needing only 97 pitches to do it in a complete game.
This is the first time the Brewers had been limited to a run since May 22, 10 games before the managerial change. Prior to today, Harvey’s Wallbangers had averaged 8.7 runs during their last nine games. They had averaged 6.9 runs per game spanning a stretch of 23 games starting June 10.
But Dennis Eckersley isn’t scared of the Brewers. Now 9-6 overall this season, he is 11-4 in his career against Milwaukee.
The thing is, Mike Caldwell nearly did well enough to win this game. Three of the four runs scored on him came on rallies that started with the bases empty and two outs. Unfortunately, he couldn’t shut the door.
Sure, the Brewers didn’t take first place for themselves today. But they are now 17-8 against division rivals New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox, three teams that were duking it out for first place when June started, while the Brewers watched from below.
This team is still on the rise. The Red Sox should consider themselves lucky that they left town with a win.
Next up is a two game series with the White Sox in Chicago starting tomorrow.
Game Notes: Prior to the game was the annual Father-Son/Daughter game at County Stadium. The kids won 34-0 to extend their winning streak to 13 games. … Today’s attendance of 35,947 was the largest 4th of July home crowd in Brewers history.