MILWAUKEE — I have good news and bad news. What would you like first? Good news? Really? Okay. I typically recommend bad news first. But we’ll start with the good.
The Brewers played a double header to kick off the second half the season today, choosing to play the July 6th rainout that was in Chicago in Milwaukee since the two teams won’t see each other there again. We saw the same Brewers who were streaking into the break. No momentum lost.
More good news? Sure. Jim Gantner returned from injury to go 3-for-4 in the opener.
“I was able to take batting practice throughout the injury and was able to keep my swing in check,” Gantner told the Milwaukee Sentinel. “I was just trying to make good contact. I knew I’d be anxious and didn’t want to get into a bad groove by trying to jerk the ball. So I just hit it through the box.”
All good stuff. But wait. Why did Jim Slaton pitch 7 1/3 innings of relief in a game in which the Brewers allowed only four runs? That, my friends, is the bad news.
With one down in Chicago’s half of the second, Mike Squires hit a comebacker to Brewers’ starter Pete Vuckovich. Reacting on instincts, Vuckovich attempted to barehand the ball. It ricocheted off of his throwing hand to Molitor at third, who made a dazzling play to throw Squires out at first.
But all was not well. Vuke sustained a gash between the ring and pinky finger of his throwing hand that required four stitches. He is expected to miss at least one start.
“I just go for every ball any way I can get them,” Vuke explained afterwards. “I don’t know how long I’ll be out. That depends on what the doctors say.”
The Red Sox beat the Royals 5-3, so the Brewers were able to inch a half game ahead in the standings for the AL East lead.