MILWAUKEE — They say that when a hitter is “in the zone” he can’t miss. He can do no wrong. Today, Mike Caldwell showed that a pitcher can be in the zone, too.
Caldwell pitched a six-hit complete game victory for his 10th win of the season and third straight. The win also allowed the Brewers to extend their lead in the AL East to 3.5 games, their largest lead of the season.
But while the Brewers offense pounded out 13 hits, featuring a home run by Jim Gantner and four RBI from Robin Yount, Caldwell was the star. Other than a third inning solo home run by George Wright, Caldwell was virtually flawless, walking two and striking out three.
“If you told me he was a 10-10 pitcher and I didn’t know it, I’d call you a liar,” manager Harvey Kuenn said of his starting pitcher. “He has pitched flat out super baseball.”
It’s Caldwell’s second consecutive complete game, having thrown a shutout the last time out. In fact, he’s allowed only five earned runs in his last four starts, covering 34 innings.
“It’s like a hitter can hit a pitch no matter where it is at,” Caldwell explained. “I throw the ball and just think inside or outside and the ball ends up there.”
Whatever it is, it’s certainly working for Caldwell.
And whatever Jim Gantner did today worked as well. In addition to the home run, he had two other hits giving him three on the game. A week ago, he said he would not shave until he collected three hits in a game. Following today’s win, he was finally able to shave the week old beard. “I’m a man of my words,” a cleanly shaven Gantner said.
Today’s game was anything but a clean shave, thanks to Mike Caldwell’s zone. Game 2 of the series is tomorrow at 7:30 pm.