MILWAUKEE — For two consecutive, glorious games, everything went right for the Brewers. Magnificent pitching, timely hitting and solid defense. Today, debt was paid to the baseball gods.
Very little went right. Starter Randy Lerch was knocked around for seven runs on six hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings. But that didn’t fall entirely on Lerch.
With two down in the third, the Mariners had scored three runs. A grounder was hit to short and Robin Yount mishandled it for an error, loading the bases. Jim Maler then hit a grand slam to make it 7-0.
Four unearned runs.
All of the Mariners runs were scored in that one inning. The Brewers’ defense did what they could to help them score more with two more errors, but the bullpen kept Seattle at bay.
On a day in which the inconsistent Brewers offense managed only a run on four hits, the bullpen was the one collective shining star. Jim Slaton, Jerry Augustine and Jamie Easterly combined to allow only a single baserunner through 4 1/3 innings in relief of Lerch.
Of course, that’s yet another case of too little, too late when you give up seven runs in an inning and your lineup can’t muster more than a single hit in an inning. The only Brewers run scored as a gift when starter Gene Nelson walked the bases loaded in the first and Gorman Thomas scored on a groundout. A run without a hit, apparently one of the few ways this team can score right now.
That’s six straight games in which the Brewers have scored four or fewer runs and eight of the last nine. Not going to cut it with this average pitching staff.
Game Notes: Paul Molitor, who has been nursing a sore shoulder, sat out today’s game. Don Money started at third base and hit cleanup while second baseman Jim Gantner hit in Molitor’s customary leadoff spot.