Brewers 4, Tigers 0
Brewers now 82-56 (1st by 3.0 games)
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MILWAUKEE — This is why the Brewers gave up three prospects for Don Sutton.
Sutton was absolutely brilliant. Locked in a pitcher’s duel with Dan Petry, Sutton didn’t blink. Petry finally did.
The Brewers were held scoreless by Petry through seven innings on only three hits. Meanwhile, Sutton had blanked the Tigers as well on six hits. In two starts with his new team, the Brewers had provided two runs of support.
“I had been reading the box scores all summer,” said Sutton. “I knew what these guys could do. They just wanted to break me in, not have me take it for granted.”
In the eighth inning, the Brewers offense figured the initiation of Sutton was complete. Ed Romero, Paul Molitor and Robin Yount hit consecutive one-out singles, with Yount’s hit scoring Romero. Then Cecil Cooper hit a three-run blast to right to cap it off.
Sutton’s final line was exactly what the Brewers had paid for, and then some: Nine innings, no runs, seven hits, no walks, nine strikeouts. And, most importantly, the win.
The shutout was Sutton’s 56th of his career, tying him with Bob Gibson for ninth all-time. Brewers catcher Ted Simmons caught a few of those from Gibson as well.
“I just followed Simmons all night long,” Sutton said. “I think I changed two pitches from curveballs to sliders. But I followed him all night long.”
Sutton had the Tigers pounding grounders all night long. The outfielders had to be bored, accounting for only five of the 27 outs. Only three Tigers reached as far as second base, and only once were there two runners on base at a time.
“I’d say he was worth the investment,” manager Harvey Kuenn confirmed.
There is no doubt after this game. Brewers fans aren’t even phased by the fact that Frank DiPino, among the prospects dealt to Houston, made his sparkling debut tonight, striking out 10 and walking none in five innings.
If Brewers fans have anything to worry about, it’s closer Rollie Fingers, who has been forbidden from even picking up a ball. The slight tear in his forearm will be examined tomorrow.