CHICAGO — You know those games when everything possible seems to go wrong? Have no fear, Brewers fans, this wasn’t one of those games for your team on a nationally televised scale. But it was for the White Sox.
Chicago had early Cy Young candidate LaMarr Hoyt on the mound. Coming in with a 10-6 record and 2.34 ERA, there was certainly an expectation that the Brewers would have a challenge scoring runs.
But these are Harvey’s Wallbangers. What Hoyt faced today was a level of competition he hadn’t seen all season. Formerly a reliever, he made his first start of the season against the Brewers on April 27 and allowed one earned run over eight innings for an 11-2 White Sox win. From that point forward, he had lasted eight innings or more in 10 of 13 starts. Only once had he not lasted at least 6 2/3 innings.
Today? Well, today was different. Hoyt would face 11 batters and retire only four of them, though one would be via the sacrifice. By the time he left in the second, he was shellshocked. The Brewers were already up 5-0.
Though the White Sox would come back and make it a 6-4 game, their defense would put this game out of reach. Or I should say, their lack of defense.
Seven errors. Seven. Have you ever seen a big league game where players committed seven errors? I haven’t. I’ve seen Little League games. Maybe some school games. Don’t think I’ve ever seen it on the college level, and certainly not in the big leagues.
Seven errors led to four unearned runs. Shortstop Bill Almon would get the hat trick, flubbing three plays. It got so bad that in the ninth inning Comiskey Park fans were chanting, “We want an error! We want an error!”
“It was an embarrassing loss in front of a national audience,” said White Sox manager Tony Larussa, “or even if there was no audience at all.”
It was embarrassing. For you.
White Sox fans will see this game as one that was lost due to a lack of defense. In reality, there was also some outstanding pitching coming from Milwaukee. While starter Randy Lerch nearly let a big lead get away by giving up four runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings, Jim Slaton was his usual dominant self in relief. He threw 6 1/3 easy, shutout innings, allowing only three hits.
Slaton’s ERA overall is 3.12, but just as a reliever it’s 1.72 in 47 relief innings. Manager Harvey Kuenn is strongly considering keeping Slaton in the relief role only, even though he’s often used as a spot starter.
Want some bad news? No? Well, I’m going to give it to you anyway. Robin Yount was removed in the fourth after pulling his hamstring while, you guessed it, running out Bill Almon error.
“He said he felt a slight pull after rounding first base and that if we wrapped up he’d be Ok,” Harvey said. “I figured he’d be at 85% and there’s no way Robin goes 85%, it would have been 110% and I was afraid he would pull it more.”
Yount is not expected to play tomorrow.
Game Notes: Of the last 11 games, the Brewers have reached double digits in hits nine times. … Dwight Bernard‘s wife Barbara had a baby girl this morning. Kelly Dawn weighed in at 7 lbs. 14 oz., and both baby and mother are resting comfortably. … Division leading Boston did not play today, so the Brewers are now back to a half game back. … Jim Gantner took infield practice prior to the game without trouble, but Kuenn didn’t think he was ready to return from a shoulder injury.