MILWAUKEE — Members of the media from far and wide descended onto Milwaukee County Stadium to witness history. In the process of watching the great Brewers win again, Rickey Henderson broke a record.
Okay, okay. They came to see Rickey Henderson break Lou Brock‘s single season stolen base record. And he didn’t only break it. He shattered it, stealing four bases in the game to give him 122 on the season with 33 games remaining.
But the A’s, at 57-72, are little more than the great Rickey Henderson. The Milwaukee Brewers, as proven again tonight, are a great team.
Henderson walked in the third, stole second, hoisted second base over his head, blah, blah, blah… The A’s didn’t score that inning, but the Brewers struck for two thanks to a Dan Meyer error and a Ted Simmons sacrifice fly.
The A’s took the lead with three runs in the sixth, though the Brewers quickly tied it at three on a costly two out error in the bottom of the inning. Henderson’s speed then resulted in another run in the eighth when he led off with a walk, stole second and third, and scored on a sacrifice fly. But the Brewers weren’t done.
Ben Oglivie singled and Gorman Thomas walked to lead off the bottom of the eighth, chasing starter Preston Hanna. After a perfect Don Money sacrifice bunt, Charlie Moore was intentionally walked to load the bases, bringing up Jim Gantner. Gantner singled home two, giving the Brewers the lead for good.
Ho hum, really. Doc Medich, the scrap heap fifth starter, had tossed 12 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings before allowing two runs in the sixth. Rollie Fingers, who had been nursing a sore pitching elbow, pitched for the first time in six days and set down the side in order in the ninth, striking out two for his 301st career save.
But the focus of this game was on the fearless Rickey Henderson. He may end up with 130 or even 140 stolen bases this season. But while he’s stealing bases, the Milwaukee Brewers are stealing hearts. This team is winning games that will lead them to the postseason.
The second place Boston Red Sox lost to the California Angels 7-6, and are now 6 1/2 games behind the Brewers in the AL East.
Game Notes: At 34 home runs, Gorman Thomas is on pace to surpass his 1979 total of 45, which led the league. … The Brewers have won seven of their last eight games.