ARLINGTON, Tex. — Last time the Brewers met knuckleballer Charlie Hough, the Rangers pitcher was knocked around and out in the third inning. Today… Well, today was a different story, as Hough led the Rangers to a 4-1 win.
The secret? He had less movement on his knuckler.
“If it’s really moving,” Hough explained to the Milwaukee Sentinel, “I end up walking six guys and throwing 2,000 pitches. It’s a funny pitch. You just can’t predict which way it will go, which is good since the hitter can’t either.
Hough kept Brewers hitters off balance all game, mixing in an occasional 70 MPH “fastball” with his famed knuckleball. He limited the Crew to only a run on four hits in nine innings while walking only one.
Mike Caldwell was the victim of another opposing pitcher’s gem as he pitched plenty well enough to win. Caldwell scattered nine hits over eight innings while allowing only two earned runs.
The loss was the Brewers’ second in a row and fifth in their last seven games. This has been the team’s most challenging stretch under Harvey Kuenn.
Is Harvey worried? “I’m not worried in the least,” he said. “These guys are too good of players not to snap back.”
Well, the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 3-2 today to retake first place in the AL East by a half a game. So hopefully fortunes will change quickly.
Game Notes: The Rangers had come into the game having lost 10 of their last 12 games. … Pitching coach Cal McLish visited the club after missing nearly two months with myasthenia gravis, a chemical imbalance resulting in a weakness in the muscles. No decision has been made on his role with the club for the remainder of the season. … Robin Yount was named the American League Player of the Week along with Baltimore’s Tippy Martinez by batting .460 with four homers and six RBI. … Randy Ready, the third baseman for the Brewers’ El Paso farm club, was named the Topps AA Player of the Month for the second straight month. He hit .388 with two homers and 18 RBI. … Brewers general manager Harry Dalton hinted that he wouldn’t mind picking up a starting pitcher with big league experience for the stretch run, but wouldn’t name any names.