MILWAUKEE — After the first game of today’s double header with the Cleveland Indians, Brewers fans were starting to wonder if the second game would be worth watching. Luckily, it was.
The first game was an example of something we’ve seen far too often lately. It was either poor hitting or dominant pitching, but given the consistency in that department lately, you’ve got to point the finger at the offense. This is a team that was routinely scoring seven runs or more a couple of weeks ago. Through today’s first game, the Brewers had scored four runs or fewer in 10 of the last 13 games.
And Game 1 today was painful. The immortal Ed Whitson held the Brewers to one run on three hits through six innings. He retired the Brewers in order three times. Then future first ballot Hall of Famer Dan Spillner took the hill and retired nine of the 10 batters he faced.
That’s sarcasm. Whitson and Spillner are capable pitchers, sure. But this is ridiculous.
In between games, manager Harvey Kuenn remarked about his Wallbangers: “Looks like our bats are on vacation.” No kidding.
The Brewers put down their margaritas for Game 2 and the bats came alive, pounding out seven runs on 12 hits. Gorman Thomas led the way with three hits and two RBI while Don Money had two big hits and drove in three.
Early, however, it looked like this game would be a painful continuation of the first. Rookie Bud Anderson cruised through the first three innings, allowing only one hit to the Brewers. But then the Crew reached on four straight singles (where are the home runs?) to score four runs and knock Anderson from the game. They then tacked on three more in the fifth on RBI hits by Cecil Cooper and Money.
Of course, as tends to be the case, it wasn’t just hitting that won this game. Jim Slaton allowed only two runs through seven innings before giving way to Dwight Bernard, who pitched two perfect frames.
“Everybody contributed just like we used to,” Kuenn said after the second game. “Hopefully this shows we are back on track.”
If so, the AL East is in trouble. Despite the Brewers’ recent struggles, they are now one game up on the Red Sox, who fell to Chicago today.
Game Notes: Robin Yount‘s hitting streak came to an end at 13 games in the first game when he went 0-for-3 with a walk.