MILWAUKEE — He saved the Brewers when the season was on the line in Baltimore. He’ll need to do the same against the Angels today in Milwaukee.
When Harry Dalton acquired Don Sutton on Aug. 31, he envisioned Sutton helping the Crew to make the postseason. On Friday, Sutton will need to prevent the Crew from being swept out of it. The wily vet and his magic perm takes the hill at 2:15 p.m. CT against Geoff Zahn to save the season once again.
Sutton may need to be close to perfect, though, with the way the Brewers have been swinging the bats: feebly, meekly, weakly. In the first two games in Anaheim, the Crew hit .182 or about 100 points lower than their team batting average over the ’82 season.
In his afternoon press conference on Thursday, Brewers manager Harvey Kuenn was at a loss as how to kick start the Crew offense.
“Maybe I should have Cooper lead off,” Kuenn said, according to The New York Times, “Gorman hitting second, and then Yount and Molitor hitting third and fourth. What good would it do? There wouldn’t be anybody on base for Yount and Molitor, anyway.”
Whoa, that’s pretty cynical even for a guy with a wooden leg. But can you blame him? His Brewers have been bums in six of their last seven games.
Think about that. The Brewers have lost six of their last seven games. It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that they can reel off three in a row. The wonderful thing though is that they’re not playing a tripleheader. They just need to win one. Without that, there isn’t the question of winning the other two. Win today. That’s the key.
Having Harpo Sutton on the mound helps. Sutton has been nothing short of awesome for the Crew since coming from Houston. He pitched a gem to help the Brewers clinch the AL East on the last day of the season.
He’ll be an asset today as well as the Angels have never seen him. So, not only do the Angels need to deal with Sutton’s veteran savvy and nasty stuff, but they’ve got to try to figure him out for the very first time.
When Game 3 is put into those terms, there may be a flicker of hope for the Crew.
Let’s just hope he can stop that bastard Fred Lynn, who went 2-for-4 in Game 2 and his average dropped to .625. May be time for a little chin music.
Facing the Crew will be Geoff Zahn, who won 18 games but got his brains beat in by the Crew in his two starts. Zahn, a tall, lanky lefty who doesn’t throw hard enough to break an egg, gave up five runs to the Crew in each of his two starts this season.
Let’s hope the Crew follows that precedent in Game 3 because it’s a better one than what the Crew has set in the past week.