Lost in the elation of yesterday's win was a single moment in the game that really pissed me and other like minded Brewers fans off. With the Brewers up five runs in the eighth inning and K-Rod due to bat at the top of the inning the Brewers called upon a pinch hitter. The hitter chosen by Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was Casey McGehee. Casey McGehee took about two pitches before hitting a foul pop-up that the catcher caught for the out. As Casey McGehee headed back to the dugout he was treated to a chorus of boos from the crowd at Miller Park. #areyouseriousbro
I am not here to defend the season of Casey McGehee. A .626 OPS is not good. In fact, it is very bad. He underperformed badly and now he has (seemingly) been replaced in the lineup by Jerry Hairston. If you are one of the people who believes that Casey McGehee is responsible for all of the Brewers losses this season then this is exactly what you wanted to happen. Adding to that, a pinch hit at bat when the Brewers are up five runs in the late innings is exactly the time you should want to see Casey McGehee swing the bat. If he gets a hit, great. If he doesn't, the Brewers are still up five. He was the second bat off the bench after Mark Kotsay. He didn't have anything to do with the game's outcome. He can't ruin anything. He has done nothing to deserve a boo.
Before I dig deeper into this idea of booing someone during a playoff game when your favorite team is in the midst of (possibly) it's greatest run ever, I want to tell you a story. Continue reading »
If game 1 was the game that everything went right for the Brewers then game 2 was the game that everything didn't. Zack Greinke alternated between being a good pitcher and throwing batting practice for Diamondbacks hitters. Once up 4-1 the scoreboard read 4-4 after Justin Upton's homerun to tie the game. The mood was quiet in Miller Park when the Brewers came to bat in their half of the inning and to say the crowd was nervous at this point would be an understatement as few seemed to realize the Brewers were in the middle of a tie game. The anxiety was magnified in the 6th inning when Roenicke decided he'd had enough and turned to the bullpen. The message was clear to those looking for a reason to panic: Zack Greinke, the former Cy Young winner who was supposed to save our pitching staff, couldn't make it through the sixth inning. Takashi Saito came in and did a good job keeping the game tied, but the crowd remained reserved. When Rickie Weeks led off the following inning with a groundout it did nothing to help stir the sleeping crowd. It was a tie game that felt like a 6-4 game. Then this happened:
Jerry Hairston doubled.
For the first time in recorded history a reliever was brought in to face Yuniesky Betancourt.
Brad Ziegler BALKED Hairston to third.
Yuni WALKED. (!)
Jonathan Lucroy did the sweetest squeeze bunt ever and the Brewers took the lead.
The Brewers would go on to add five more runs in the inning, but this sequence right here is what sealed it. This sequence turned the crowd from lethargic to "Miller Park is shaking right now. Should we be worried?" mode. Just like Braun throwing out Bloomquist the night before, this was the moment that you KNEW the Brewers were going to win.
There have been only two games thus far, but the numbers look so good it's hard not to mention them. Ryan Braun is hitting .750 in the playoffs. Seven fifty. The Brewers bullpen hasn't allowed a run in five innings. Jerry Hairston is the starting third baseman all of the sudden and he's hitting .500. Yuniesky Betancourt drew a walk. Everything is looking good for this team. Everything. If the playoffs are all about luck (and I'm inclined to believe that they are) then the Brewers have got to be the favorite from here on out because at this moment every single thing is going their way.
I am going to try and not get too excited. I'm going to try and not let these two games cloud my vision. I know there is a long way to go. I know these are only two games, but wow... just wow. What a weekend.